Kitchenwise Cookbook Review

Kitchenwise Cookbook Review

Title: KitchenWise: Essential Food Science for Home Cooks
Author: Shirley O. Corriher
Published: November 3, 2020, Scribner
No. of Pages: 288
Cover Price: $25.00 Hardcover, $12.99 Kindle

Serious cooks like to know everything about what they are cooking, and also want to know why. Shirley O. Corriher, is the award-winning author of two previous books regarding food chemistry, and has released KitchenWise: Essential Food Science for Home Cooks . This excellent book is essential for anyone who cooks and wants to know why things turn out how they do.

According to Corriher, “KitchenWise’s goals are to enable you to spot bad recipes and know how to fix them, to know some science of taste and flavor so you can make a good dish taste great, and to allow you to consistently prepare wonderful, delicious, beautiful food. Bon appétit!” Is there anyone out there who doesn’t want to fulfill that same goal?

The book has an entire chapter on flavor – and the differences between flavor and taste. Most of us haven’t thought of it before, but it’s important when improving cooking skills. Corriher also lists the chemical aspects of flavors – sweet, bitter, sour, umami, and salt.

There is a box after each recipe with “What this recipe shows” and an explanation of what we need to know. Each recipe illustrates the facts about her points, i.e., “cheese triggers umami flavor receptors,” and “The high temperature caramelizes sugars on the vegetables’ surface for great flavors and rich browning.” She also addresses problems with ingredients and tells how to solve those problems.

The section on Freezing is very helpful, and there are baking hints for everyone. The Sauce chapter is also very helpful, and has already been utilized for some sauces at home, proving that her information has been tested and researched so that we don’t have to.

The one negative about this book is that there are no photographs. It would have been nice to see what the recipes are supposed to look like.

Although I’ve been a cook and caterer for over 40 years, this book has enough information that I can’t believe all of the new things I have learned. This is a book I will go back to often and will continue learning. It is an excellent source for all cooks, whether experienced or novice, and would be a good gift for beginning cooks. High recommended.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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