But it got me thinking about why I like cooking and reading about food. I'm one of those people that needs to know "why." I once had a writing professor that assigned a five-page paper and asked for an outline the week before. When I asked if he wrote outlines for short paper and he said no, I refused, telling him that if he didn't do it himself and had no good reason for us to do it then I just wasn't going to either. Take that D.A.! (Wow, serious flashback!)
But back to cooking . . . I subscribe to Cook's Illustrated which, in addition to excellent recipes, gives a detailed accounting of the process of recipe development and, in some cases, the science behind it. Lately, I have been thinking about developing my own recipes and being the researcher that I am I can't even begin to do that unless I have references at my fingertips that tell me why I should choose one ingredient over another and how it will affect the taste and/or texture.
In the spirit of food science, here are a few resources and good reads that I recommend:
- America's Test Kitchen
- News for Curious Cooks (see especially: New York Times articles)
- On food and cooking: The science and lore of the kitchen by Harold McGee
- I'm just here for the food: Food + Heat = Cooking by Alton Brown
- Good Eats with Alton Brown (I am especially enamored with food anthropologist Deborah Duchon)