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Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation - Michael Pollan
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
by: (author)
3.13 75
In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession... show more
In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer. In the course of his journey, he discovers that the cook occupies a special place in the world, standing squarely between nature and culture. Both realms are transformed by cooking, and so, in the process, is the cook. Each section of Cooked tracks Pollan’s effort to master a single classic recipe using one of the four elements. A North Carolina barbecue pit master tutors him in the primal magic of fire; a Chez Panisse–trained cook schools him in the art of braising; a celebrated baker teaches him how air transforms grain and water into a fragrant loaf of bread; and finally, several mad-genius “fermentos” (a tribe that includes brewers, cheese makers, and all kinds of picklers) reveal how fungi and bacteria can perform the most amazing alchemies of all. The reader learns alongside Pollan, but the lessons move beyond the practical to become an investigation of how cooking involves us in a web of social and ecological relationships: with plants and animals, the soil, farmers, our history and culture, and, of course, the people our cooking nourishes and delights. Cooking, above all, connects us. The effects of not cooking are similarly far reaching. Relying upon corporations to process our food means we consume large quantities of fat, sugar, and salt; disrupt an essential link to the natural world; and weaken our relationships with family and friends. In fact, Cooked argues, taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable. Reclaiming cooking as an act of enjoyment and self-reliance, learning to perform the magic of these everyday transformations, opens the door to a more nourishing life.
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Format: hardcover
ISBN: 9781594204210 (1594204217)
Publisher: Penguin
Pages no: 468
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
Hipster Ariel's Literary Grotto
Hipster Ariel's Literary Grotto rated it
3.5 Really Good
I enjoyed reading this. It was pretty clear he did his research, especially when he was citing anthropological academic literature. I would have liked if he had continued using more academic papers because some of his statements seemed to require some major academic backing. Reading about his culi...
a reading life
a reading life rated it
4.0 Cooked
More than 75% of the food we (husband and I) eat is home-cooked, and we grow a few vegetables and herbs and have a few fruit trees. We aren’t health freaks but we are keen on healthy eating. So, much of this book was simply interesting without being anything of an epiphany. The author’s relating o...
Crystal Starr Light, Raging Snarky Stormtrooper Pony
Crystal Starr Light, Raging Snarky Stormtrooper Pony rated it
3.5 It was okay...I guess...
Bullet Review:I didn't like it as much as The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. And that's really what it boils down to in a sentence. Since I rated TOD 4 stars, this gets 3 stars to differentiate (though it ranks better than the other 3 stars it's grouped with - damned rating sys...
Wanda's Book Reviews
Wanda's Book Reviews rated it
4.0 Cooked / Michael Pollan
In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of ...
lisa's reviews
lisa's reviews rated it
2.0
I am not the biggest fan of Michael Pollan, but when I heard him talking about this book on NPR I was intrigued. Still, after looking through it and attempting to read every chapter I just couldn't recommend it. (Unless you are already a fan of Pollan, in which case he probably doesn't come off as...
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