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User Review  - mckzlve - LibraryThing

It was a bit difficult to get through some parts due to the science aspect. What I liked is that it's easy to pick up on; you can read any section without reading previous sections. When I read ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jcrben - LibraryThing

Learned a few things; will have this one on hand in my kitchen for reminders about what's going on. Note: not many good recipes here, and although there's a few practical tips, that's not really the focus. Read full review

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What Einstein Told his Cook by Robert L. Wolke delves into the science behind cooking and various kitchen myths in an entertaining and sometimes comedic way. Robert is a Chemistry Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and also writes for the Washington Post. For my Chemistry class we read this book to learn about how science and Chemistry is involved in nearly all activities we do and how knowledge and understanding of the subject can allow you to improve your basic life necessities such as food.
One area that Robert puts a lot of focus on is cooking methods. Ranging from temperature changes and their effects on the food to different devices such as microwaves, stoves, and induction heating. Microwaves cause molecules to speed up immensely and heat the food to a higher temperature. However, the food cools faster because the heat doesn’t have time to effectively “sink” deeper into the food. Induction heating uses the charge of metals to heat them up by switching the charge. That is why induction heating only works with metal pans. The way to check if a pan will work is to see if a magnet stick to it.
Robert also puts a lot of focus on individual foods, even giving recipes for his favorite dishes such as white chocolate brownies. Much of the early chapters are spent talking about chocolate and how it is made along with different kinds. He writes about the entire process starting with the growing of cocoa beans to how they are dried and transported. Eventually they are mixed with the two other ingredients being butter and sugar. He also goes over ingredients like sea salt and others such as cream of tartar.
In conclusion, What Einstein Told his Cook is a good book for occasional quick reads. Its chapter structure allows one to read small amounts at a time making it a strong book to have in the bathroom or on a coffee table. Its quick stories and anecdotes remind me of The Disappearing Spoon. For anyone interested in cooking, chemistry, or just expanding knowledge, this is a really good book.
“What Einstein Told His Cook”, by Robert L. Wolke is a fun and lighthearted book that presents chemistry and science through the medium of cooking. This book is both informative, and interesting. As a former chemistry professor from the University of Pittsburgh, Wolke is very qualified and is able to accurately educate readers about the science and chemistry that occurs in everyday kitchen usage. The purpose of my review is to let everyone know how great of a book this is; for anyone and everyone. This book was originally a series of blog posts online, which brings up my only problem with the book. It can sometimes seem to drag on and talk about information not relevant to the overall plot. The chapters are divided into various sections on different topics ranging from salt to metals used in pans. Wolke has a good amount of humor in his writing, and makes reading this book enjoyable and educational. Along with the humor come the real basis for this book, the chemistry lessons. Anyone with an interest in chemistry will appreciate and remember the facts and information presented in this novel. As an example, my personal favorite part of the book was when Wolfe explained the process of making the different types of chocolate including: dark, milk, and white. Overall this was an interesting book that I would recommend to anyone with an inkling of an interest in chemistry.

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