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What Einstein Told His Cook - Kitchen Science Explained Paperback – 31 Oct 2008

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Product Description


Wolke…is one of the great demystifiers of science information…wonderful at answering those vexing food questions you always wondered about but never got around to investigating yourself. — BusinessWeek

The author…breathes fun and fact into his work, making this book a good choice for any cook. — Chicago Tribune

About the Author

Robert L. Wolke, a professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, received his doctorate in chemistry from Cornell University. He lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his wife, noted food writer Marlene Parrish.

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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 179 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting information, but not particularly useful. 31 July 2009
By Jade S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be fun and interesting to read, but it wasn't very useful. I was hoping for something along the lines of "On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee, but this book is actually more of an entertaining trivia book rather than having a lot of useful information that will help you become a better cook.

Yes, there is some useful information in the book. But it's not organized very well, so it's hard to find information about something specific. It's also not a comprehensive guide like "On Food and Cooking", it's just bits and pieces of trivia thrown together mostly haphazardly. The book is organized into sections, but the sections don't make it as easy to find specific information as they should.

I found this book to be relatively entertaining, but it wasn't what I hoped it would be at all. Buy this for purely entertainment value, but don't look at it as any type of culinary reference. You will learn some stuff, but probably not as much practical information as you would like.

I have both volumes of this set, and they are both similar in entertainment value versus usefulness.
120 of 124 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What Mr. Wizard asked his cook. 5 November 2008
By Dinubabear - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I might have liked this book better if I read it before I read On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee. But I read that one first and enjoyed the technical explanations. Some of the same questions are explored in both books, and in McGee's book you will get a detailed explanation suitable for a college student. This book you will get an explanation suitable for about 7th grade. It's more like Mr. Wizard or Bill Nye asked these questions instead of Einstein. If you want easier reading and simple answers, this book is for you. But I felt it was dumbed down compared to McGee's book.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for a someone without base scientific knowledge. 22 August 2016
By I Promise I'm Not a Snake - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think this is probably better suited for middle school / high school students or as an entry point for adults that aren't already science enthusiasts. Wolke's subjects are interesting to me, but his explanations are just at a surface level and the language is reduced down enough that I feel like I'm not getting much out of it. I'm keeping the book around, though, for my son when he's old enough to be interested.
5.0 out of 5 stars better. Yes 4 August 2016
By S. Campbell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You'll be able to use a lot of the information here to make your cooking and hence your life, better. Yes, it's worth keeping on your cookbook shelf and useful for baffling the kids with culinary science questions they can't answer.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Kitchen Reference 6 February 2004
By Nottingham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Howard Hillman's "Kitchen Science" and Robert Wolke's "What Einstein Told His Cook" are two books of largely similar information. Their titles foreshadow their different writing styles.
Both are very informative and worthy of keeping as a reference. Hillman uses a question and answer format and is direct and succinct. Wolke also uses the question/answer format, but he has more lively style, and the lengthier answers are rendered with much wit and humor. For the efficiency-mined reader, Hillman's book gives more bang. Wolke's book gives more reading pleasure.
Interestingly, they sometimes disagree. Hillman says that most alcohol added to dishes while cooking is lost due to evaporation, while Wolke maintains, with a more nuanced explanation, that the anywhere from 4 to 49 % of the added alcohol might remain...
Take your pick. I enjoyed both.