How to Read a French Fry and Other Stories of Intriguing Kitchen Science

by Russ Parsons

Hardcover, 2001




Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2001.


In a book widely hailed for its entertaining prose and provocative research, the award-winning Los Angeles Times food journalist Russ Parsons examines the science behind ordinary cooking processes. Along the way he dispenses hundreds of tips and the reasons behind them, from why you should always begin cooking beans in cold water, to why you should salt meat before sautéing it, to why it's a waste of time to cook a Vidalia onion. Filled with sharp-witted observations ("Frying has become synonymous with minimum-wage labor, yet hardly anyone will try it at home"), intriguing food trivia (fruit deprived of water just before harvest has superior flavor to fruit that is irrigated up to the last moment ), and recipes (from Oven-Steamed Salmon with Cucumber Salad to Ultimate Strawberry Shortcake), How to Read a French Fry contains all the ingredients you need to become a better cook.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member drinkingtea
I love this book! I love potato products with an unnatural passion, so this in depth study of french fries was a fabulous read.
LibraryThing member klburnside
I loved the information in this book so much that I started taking notes. In the book the author explains what is actually happening when you cook food. I started reading this book the day after I made fried green tomatoes for the first time, and it just so happened the the first section of the book was about the chemical process of deep frying. So then I totally understood the purpose of every layer of coating of the fried green tomatoes and why they were the consistancy they were... it was just really interesting. Just all of these things with making pie crust and sauces and salad dressing that I have observed as I've learned to cook.. now I understand it a little better. Some of it was a bit scientific and I really just don't understand chemical structures of proteins and fats and sugars and all that. I really enjoyed the book, but I'd only recommend it to people who really like cooking… (more)




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