The Science of Food by Marty Jopson

Review published on October 13, 2017.

The Science of Food by Marty Jopson is a very, very interesting book indeed. I had never heard of the guy before, but apparently he is on television. The son of a cookery teacher, he has grown up with food in all its different guises. I have only really just begun to enjoy cooking for the fun of it, so this learning curve is welcome.

What actually goes into the meals we cook, and consume, how is it prepared, how is it cut up, what knife to use, why does it taste either good or bad, is it good for you, why is it good, or bad? These questions are all here, perhaps a tiny bit on the ‘boffin’ side of things, yet they are explained away very well indeed.

Pasteurisation is explained in principle, but why do we do this? How do bacteria either help or hinder us? The modern question of processed foods is analysed in depth, from Cheesy Wotsits to how chocolate is produced. Sweeteners, sugars, Brussels sprouts, they all get a mention.

The book is well written, well explained, but maybe a trifle too in depth as far as the real science is concerned. Not everybody understands proteins, myosin or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), although it is explained, a slight grounding in science is possibly needed to be honest. He may know this stuff as everyday knowledge, however, a lot of people do not, and that can become an uphill struggle to learn through reading.

It is a very good book though, fascinating in fact, as you glean all manner of factual evidence concerning how we, as a species, consume food, prepare food, invent food. I particularly enjoyed the piece on coffee.

Reg Seward 4/2

The Science of Food by Marty Jopson
Michael O’Mara 9781782438380 hbk Sep 2017

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