On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

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Simon and Schuster, Mar 20, 2007 - Cooking - 896 pages
266 Reviews
Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is a kitchen classic. Hailed by Time magazine as "a minor masterpiece" when it first appeared in 1984, On Food and Cooking is the bible to which food lovers and professional chefs worldwide turn for an understanding of where our foods come from, what exactly they're made of, and how cooking transforms them into something new and delicious.
Now, for its twentieth anniversary, Harold McGee has prepared a new, fully revised and updated edition of On Food and Cooking. He has rewritten the text almost completely, expanded it by two-thirds, and commissioned more than 100 new illustrations. As compulsively readable and engaging as ever, the new On Food and Cooking provides countless eye-opening insights into food, its preparation, and its enjoyment.
On Food and Cooking pioneered the translation of technical food science into cook-friendly kitchen science and helped give birth to the inventive culinary movement known as "molecular gastronomy." Though other books have now been written about kitchen science, On Food and Cooking remains unmatched in the accuracy, clarity, and thoroughness of its explanations, and the intriguing way in which it blends science with the historical evolution of foods and cooking techniques.
Among the major themes addressed throughout this new edition are:
  • Traditional and modern methods of food production and their influences on food quality
  • The great diversity of methods by which people in different places and times have prepared the same ingredients
  • Tips for selecting the best ingredients and preparing them successfully
  • The particular substances that give foods their flavors and that give us pleasure
  • Our evolving knowledge of the health benefits and risks of foods

On Food and Cooking is an invaluable and monumental compendium of basic information about ingredients, cooking methods, and the pleasures of eating. It will delight and fascinate anyone who has ever cooked, savored, or wondered about food.

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Best food science reference book, ever! - Goodreads
No recipes, but very informative. - Goodreads
Concise explanations. - Goodreads
It is extremely wellwritten and well researched. - Overstock.com
Includes some helpful illustrations. - Goodreads
Really fun reference book for cooking and food. - Goodreads

Review: On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

User Review  - Filjan - Goodreads

A most marvellous book. I read it from cover to cover over eight months but will now be keeping it on hand for frequent reference. Make sure you buy an American edition rather than the British one which is more expensive and not as well produced. Read full review

Review: On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

User Review  - Patti - Goodreads

If you are looking for a book packed with recipes for souffle - , this ain't it. If you desire a book that delves into the science behind a souffle and WHY a thing of browned airy beauty can collapse ... Read full review

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Mammals and Milk 8 Unfermented Dairy Products
Fish and Shellfish
An Introduction to Fruits and Vegetables Herbs and Spices
A Survey of Common Vegetables
A Survey of Common Fruits
Bread Cakes Pastry Pasta
Sugars Chocolate and Confectionery
Wine Beer and Distilled Spirits
Cooking Methods and Utensil Materials
The Four Basic Food Molecules
a chemistry primer
selected references

Herbs and Spices Tea and Coffee
Grains Legumes and Nuts

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About the author (2007)

Harold McGee is a world-renowned authority on the chemistry of foods and cooking. He studied science and literature at Caltech and Yale, and has written two prize-winning books, On Food and Cooking and The Curious Cook, as well as many articles and reviews. He lives near San Francisco.

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