Book Reviews

Book Review: Cooked.


Only a few people can write about food and food related subjects as well as the good professor Michael Pollan. He has written several books, the most famous being The Omnivore’s Dilemma, but this book is a must read, even if you are only remotely interested in food and cooking.

In this fascinating book, the author combines his journalistic skills with this ability to analyse everything related to food and food preparation.

While reading this highly informative book, you will learn about food and what happens when you expose it to heat, or ferment it.

He starts with simple premises of baking, ot BBQ etc, and expands outwards exploring a plethora of things history, chemistry, biology, evolution, desire, physics, modern food production, and even capitalism and its role in the human evolution.

The text also explores different culture and how each adapted to its natural environment.

M. Pollan states that cooking is a time consuming process, but not difficult, and thus clarifying the reasons of many North American women preferring the use of convenience or prepared food, or ordering food in, or dining out. He believes that North American women can cook as well as any if they are really interested and have the time to devote to it.

He also explores in four sections the importance of fire, and how it changed humans; water; air, and earth, while explaining the reasons for cooking to improve health, and his fascination by the act of food preparation. It is not only fur sustenance, but also everything related to the body’s functioning.

His formidable research skills help make this book so interesting that the reader feels compelled to turn age after page in an attempt to learn more.

One must look at COOKED not as a cookbook with recipes (although it contains a few), but as an addendum to his most famous oeuvre.

Highly recommended.

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