Home > Uncategorized > Cooking for Geeks by Jeff Potter

Cooking for Geeks by Jeff Potter

Recently, Nathan Myhrvold of Microsoft fame came out with a 6 volume, 2,400 page series on the science cooking with a list price of $625. I have no intention of purchasing or reading THAT, but after reading Cooking for Geeks, I can’t imagine how much more Myhrvold’s book could possibly cover.

Potter goes into so many nuances of cooking, that you can geek out on almost any form of cooking. Want to learn about the Mallard effect that causes bacon or bread to brown up nicely? You’ll find pages and pages describing it. Want to know why baking in the oven is different than broiling? You can learn that too.

At first, I was expecting more of a cookbook and I was disappointed. But as I read on, I learned the book is much more than a cookbook. It’s a wikipedia of cooking: techniques, recipes… the “whys” behind cooking. Once I got past my trepidation, I had fun geeking out and learned more about what cooking IS, rather than learning this recipe or that recipe. I feel like reading this was along the lines of “Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” This book didn’t just teach me to cook a meal. It taught me to not be afraid of exploring. It taught me to learn why some ingredients naturally go with other ingredients (and to use that in my cooking). It taught me how to use the tools in my kitchen in order to acheive the results I’d like.

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