Book Review: “What Einstein Told His Cook”

As a mother of two young children, I rarely have the time, unless I’m half-asleep anyway, to read a book. It may take me a month or two to finish, but slow and steady is better than nothing at all! A few months ago I came across a book at a used book stand in my neighborhood titled, “What Einstein Told His Cook.” It piqued my interest, not only as a foodie at heart, but also my allure to the world of science.

I was expecting the language to be a bit dry at times, but I was pleasantly surprised how well the author, Robert L. Wolke, imparted such humor into complicated matters of food chemistry. It made me stop and think how much more I would have loved high school chemistry had I had the opportunity to work with a more enthusiastic and witty personality! But I suppose that goes with any subject in school, no?

“What Einstein Told His Cook,” delves into subjects, such as the process of refining sugar (you may be surprised to learn that “raw” sugar sold in organic and health sections of most supermarkets, really is still refined), the most efficient way in which to squeeze the most juice out of a lemon, and why you can’t use a liquid measuring cup to accurately measure dry ingredients.  There are some wonderful recipes dispersed throughout the book, ranging from a champagne gelatin dessert and homemade gravlax, to an autumn mushroom pie and ricotta fritters.

By all means, if you are interested in learning why various chemicals in your kitchen react in certain ways, or are simply curious to know how your microwave works to heat food on a molecular level, this book is a must-read. I know I enjoyed it!

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