Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation

Front Cover
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, 2013 - Cooking - 468 pages
25 Reviews
In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements-fire, water, air, and earth-to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer. In the course of his journey, he discovers that the cook occupies a special place in the world, standing squarely between nature and culture. Both realms are transformed by cooking, and so, in the process, is the cook. Each section of Cooked tracks Pollan's effort to master a single classic recipe using one of the four elements. A North Carolina barbecue pit master tutors him in the primal magic of fire; a Chez Panisse-trained cook schools him in the art of braising; a celebrated baker teaches him how air transforms grain and water into a fragrant loaf of bread; and finally, several mad-genius "fermentos" (a tribe that includes brewers, cheese makers, and all kinds of picklers) reveal how fungi and bacteria can perform the most amazing alchemies of all. The reader learns alongside Pollan, but the lessons move beyond the practical to become an investigation of how cooking involves us in a web of social and ecological relationships: with plants and animals, the soil, farmers, our history and culture, and, of course, the people our cooking nourishes and delights. Cooking, above all, connects us. The effects of not cooking are similarly far reaching. Relying upon corporations to process our food means we consume large quantities of fat, sugar, and sa

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Review: Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation

User Review  - Judy - Goodreads

The title, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, says it all. Pollan takes the reader on a food trek: a limited historical account, his own account of transformation into a better cook plus ... Read full review

Review: Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation

User Review  - Wanda - Goodreads

"In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to ... Read full review

About the author (2013)

MICHAEL POLLAN is the author of six previous books, including Food Rules, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore's Dilemma, and The Botany of Desire, all New York Times bestsellers. A longtime contributor to The New York Times, he is also the Knight Professor of Journalism at Berkeley. In 2010, Time magazine named him one of the one hundred most influential people in the world.

www.michaelpollan.com

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