Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained (audiobook), by Robert L. Wolke (narrated by Sean Runnette)

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The concept behind this book is exactly the sort of thing that usually appeals to me. It's about the science of the kitchen. Things like "Why does meat turn brown when you cook it?" (Answer: The Maillard reaction. I totally knew that, y'all! Food Network FTW! Also, I just listened to Jenny Lawson's audiobook so I'll be saying y'all a lot. If you've listened to her book you'd know that my new word tick could have been much, much worse.) So I expected that this audiobook would be great for a nerdy foodie wannabe like me. I expected it to be kind of science-y but also interesting and mouth watering. I mean, it comes with a PDF of recipes. I was all set to LOVE it. 


Somewhere around what felt like the third hour of the section on sugars, I thought, "Should learning about candy be so painful?!" I don't know whether it was Sean Runnette's narration, which is a combination of fussy NPR voice and computerized robot informing me of the time after the beep, or whether it was the fact that a lot of the "science" sounded a lot more like cranky Andy Rooney rants (why do we call so many things "salt" when we're referring to a lot of different kinds of chemicals?), or whether it was the fact that the author uses the term "tech speak" after every fifty words, but this book was....oh, what's the word? Boring. Yeah, it was boring. I can't tell you how much it pains me to say that because I LOVE kitchen science. Like, LOVE it, as in I already knew about the Maillard reaction and I'm neither a cook nor a chemist. So yeah, I'm pretty easy to please in this genre. But this audiobook isn't a fun listening experience. Maybe stick to the actual book?

Again, it's not that the subject matter is boring. I really do find it interesting. But...not in this book.

Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from Edelweiss (Above the Tree Line). I was asked to write an honest review, though not necessarily a favourable one. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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