A most excellent book

bookcover
bookcover

So for the past few weeks I’ve been reading Molecular Gastronomy by Hervé This (pronounced ‘teese’). It consists of 101 short essays where a wide variety of cooking-related concepts are explained with science. The book was a gift from Eve, and it’s a testament to how well she knows me, since two of my favorite activities are cooking and explaining things with science.

I’m only about half done with the book (reading collections of short works from cover to cover is another one of my favorite activities), but I felt like I had to write about this book now because IT HAS CHANGED KEANU REEVES’S LIFE. According to the internet:

After reading the tome, Reeves has been spending his spare time experimenting with recipes.

“I’m dabbling in it and looking at becoming a chef. [Hervé This] is fantastic. I didn’t really cook before but this book may be changing my life.”

My first reaction was disbelief. I’m sure Mr. Reeves is a great guy, but I’ll admit that I didn’t picture him getting through a book that contains the term “glutamate receptors.” But even if we accept that Keanu has truly been inspired by this book, this kind of situation is exactly why the phrase “don’t quit your day job” exists.

The career ambitions of Keanu Reeves aside, Molecular Gastronomy strikes a respectable balance between science and interestingness. Some of the articles don’t really discuss the “who cares” aspect–how to utilize the scientific explanations to improve your everyday cooking–but overall the book paints a great picture of what’s going on inside your food.