25 March 2011

Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking

Ah, the ultimate, of the moment, gastronomic publication: "Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking" [Hardcover], by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, Maxime Bilet.

At $625 (Retail) for six volumes, and 40 pounds, that works out to about $104.16/lb. But you can find it discounted at major booksellers (see below).

Seriously, a major publication I would love to have, but out of my price range. Will someone please buy it and write a review?

From The New York Times:

"“Modernist Cuisine” is the cooking world’s equivalent of a complete Encyclopaedia Britannica, or of a library filled with first-edition Dickens or Proust."

From the Publisher:

"A revolution is underway in the art of cooking. Just as French Impressionists upended centuries of tradition, Modernist cuisine has in recent years blown through the boundaries of the culinary arts. Borrowing techniques from the laboratory, pioneering chefs at world-renowned restaurants such as elBulli, The Fat Duck, Alinea, and wd~50 have incorporated a deeper understanding of science and advances in cooking technology into their culinary art. In Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet scientists, inventors, and accomplished cooks in their own right have created a six-volume 2,400-page set that reveals science-inspired techniques for preparing food that ranges from the otherworldly to the sublime. The authors and their 20-person team at The Cooking Lab have achieved astounding new flavors and textures by using tools such as water baths, homogenizers, centrifuges, and ingredients such as hydrocolloids, emulsifiers, and enzymes. It is a work destined to reinvent cooking..."

Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking

by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, Maxime Bilet 
Pub. Date: March 2011
Publisher: Cooking Lab, The
Format: Hardcover , 2400pp
ISBN-13: 9780982761007
ISBN: 0982761007
Edition Description: 6-Volume Set

Available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

21 March 2011

New York University - Feature: From Zero to 55,000

An item of interest for food historians, "From Zero to 55,000: How NYU Amassed the Largest Collection of Food Books in America":

"Tucked away on the third floor of Bobst lies what many would consider a hidden gem: the Fales Library, the primary repository of rare books and special collections at NYU. In addition to its impressive holdings in literature, American history, and downtown NYC art, Fales houses an extensive food studies collection that ranges from cookbooks featuring every cuisine imaginable to the personal papers of some of the most influential figures in American food culture. And thanks to a recent gift of some 21,000 books and other food related materials from the private library of restaurateur George Lang, the food studies collection at Fales is now the largest of its kind in the country."

New York University - Feature: From Zero to 55,000

20 March 2011

Quinoa’s Global Success Creates Quandary in Bolivia - NYTimes.com

Quinoa, which I have highlighted in several blogs over the years, is catching on in the food world; good and bad, but read the article:

"Now demand for quinoa (pronounced KEE-no-ah) is soaring in rich countries, as American and European consumers discover the “lost crop” of the Incas. The surge has helped raise farmers’ incomes here in one of the hemisphere’s poorest countries. But there has been a notable trade-off: Fewer Bolivians can now afford it, hastening their embrace of cheaper, processed foods and raising fears of malnutrition in a country that has long struggled with it. "

Quinoa’s Global Success Creates Quandary in Bolivia - NYTimes.com

From Wikipedia:

"Quinoa was of great nutritional importance in pre-Columbian Andean civilizations, being secondary only to the potato, and was followed in importance by maize. In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (12%–18%). Unlike wheat or rice (which are low in lysine), and like oats, quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods.[10] It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration manned spaceflights."

01 March 2011

Coconut Oil - From Villain to Health Food - A Good Appetite - NYTimes.com

I am ambivalent about all the health claims for coconut oil: lowered cholesterol, weight loss, et. al. -- no, I don't trust the claims, mostly from manufacturers. But I'll let you read the article and decide for yourself, and give your opinion! I do believe that if you are at risk of high cholesterol or high blood pressure, you should stay away from coconut oil, at least until definitive studies prove otherwise:

Image: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

"...The last time I checked, coconut oil was supposed to be the devil himself in liquid form, with more poisonous artery-clogging, cholesterol-raising, heart-attack-causing saturated fat than butter, lard or beef tallow..."

Coconut Oil - From Villain to Health Food - A Good Appetite - NYTimes.com