Food science

Joined Apr 6, 2010
Even though I'm at the beginning of my culinary career, I'm very fascinated in the "why"'s of cooking. Example: Why does a fried tomato taste better then a pure tomato(to be specific what happens to the tomato itself when you cook it)...etc. I'm very interested in the science and in the in's and out of food. Can anyone recommend some good books or a decent place where I can start learning in this area?


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee.

Many people like Cookwise and Bakewise by Shirley Coriher, but I wasn't personally impressed. Nor have the appearances she's made on Real Simple impressed me either.
Joined Jul 17, 2009
This year, I took 9th grade chemistry and at the beginning of this school year, August 09, I

started cooking, and I got into the science of food.

Answer: frying foods in oil is obviously very hot and immediately water vapor is created inside the food( in this case tomato). The steam from inside leaves and keeps the oil out, unless you keep it in the oil to long. Although, some of the aroma molecules escape, more water escapes than aroma so you're left with a more intense tomato.

 Books to get  Some good books I got when I started food science were ones I found in the childrens section of a library. Then I got chemistry for beginners books, and then I got The Fat Duck cookbook by Heston Blumenthal for my birthday. It cost $150 I think, but it's  one of the best books you can get for food science. Part 1 tells his road to becoming a chef and working with different chemists, and I really learned a lot. Part 2 is recipes, where he reveals things like hot and iced tea, and ice cream that never melts. And part 3 is all science. You learn about different machines how food works, how the brain reacts with food etc. But no matter what, don't just get food science books, get basic chemistry books and you'll learn important things in cooking like osmosis. When I learned about osmosis, I made about 10 experiments in one week. I hope this helped.
Joined Jan 23, 2010
Zane, check out Heston Blumenthal's work, i've recently acquired his Fat Duck Cookbook in it there is a whole 3rd of the book dedicated entirely to the science of cookery
Joined Jul 17, 2009
I've read both and I think they're both really good books. And in my opinion, The Fat Duck Cookbook is better. I gained a lot more ouot of the Fat Duck Cookbook, not just the science of food, but ideas for different dishes.


  • phatch you are right.. this is a good book favorite chapter is 8 which talks about the flavorings from plants, herbs, spices, teas, and coffee.
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