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Was Einstein seinem Koch erzählte (What Einstein Told His Cook #1)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  3,078 Ratings  ·  368 Reviews
Do you wish you understood the science of foods, but don't want to plow through dry technical books? What Einstein Told His Cook is like having a scientist at your side to answer your questions in plain, nontechnical terms. Chemistry professor and syndicated Washington Post food columnist Robert L. Wolke provides over 100 reliable and witty explanations, while debunking mi ...more
Published February 1st 2003 by Piper (first published 2002)
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Petra Eggs
Confession: this was a free dl and I only clicked on it because I misread it as "What Einstein told his Cock".

It's quite interesting though. I now know why tea made from microwaved water doesn't taste as good as water boiled in a kettle. It has quite a bit to do with nucleation sites. I understand what a nucleation site does (it gets molecules excited and they jump around when hot and boil over or am I still thinking of cocks here?) but I don't understand how they suddenly arise when they weren'
Mar 26, 2015 Carol. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of David Sedaris

Q: What book do you remember from your childhood as irritating?

When I was somewhere around seven years old, I was given Charlie Brown's Super Book of Questions and Answers about All Kinds of Animals ... from Snails to People!: Based on the Charles M. Schulz Characters.

Although I’ve never been a question-and-answer type of reader (the questions asked never seemed to be the ones I wanted to know more about), I eventually came to enjoy the book for its information bites and colorful pictures of f
Nov 22, 2015 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More superficial and less relevant *to me* than I'd hoped. 1In a way, it's a lot like a lot of similar 'debunking pseudo-science' books I frequently read, including, just this week, the latest from Dr. Joe Schwarz. Sometimes the light tone is just right, sometimes Wolke strains for humor and doesn't reach it. It's always clear and easy to read though.

I did use a lot of book darts to mark bits of note, so let's see what they point to:

A recipe for 'White Chocolate' Bars. Of course, white chocolate
HOLY FREAKING COW I LOVE THIS BOOK! This book took me about two months to read. Why? The reason it took so long to read is that each page or two has some interesting/truthful fact about cooking. I couldn't just read it in one setting. I would turn to the table of contents, scan a topic I was interested in at that very moment, then turn to the page, and read it. Each subject or fact was so fascinating and useful in my love for cooking, and wondering why certain things do certain things in the kit ...more
❂ Jennifer
4.5 stars. This one is an interesting, engaging and unique combination of reference, cookbook and almost an FAQ. I can definitely see myself coming back to this one again and again over time, and there are at least two recipes in here I'm eager to try (thank you to the author for including recipes that include a lot of egg-whites!).

Full review:
Tali Autovino
Sep 13, 2012 Tali Autovino rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I do believe I was hungry at the time of my choosing, because I picked What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained. I loved everything about this book except for that it ruined my appetite for various processed foods (not entirely a bad thing), however it was interesting to read about.

The author, Robert L. Wolke, is a chemistry professor who happens to take an interest in the molecular structures and production of foods, beverages, etc. He conducts experiments in his “laboratory,” als
Jul 02, 2009 Shelah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strictly speaking, What Einstein Told His Cook is more of a reference book than anything else. Wolke divides the book into sections like "Sweet Talk" (all about sugar) and "Salt of the Earth" and goes on to answer common questions about the topic at large. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I'm all about a good food book. And this is one, so even though I probably should have used it as a reference, I read it like a novel, from cover to cover. It was entertaining, and I le ...more
Jan 15, 2010 Ashvin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the author sounds like a bit of a pretentious douchbag once or twice, I enjoyed this book a lot. It's divided into very short sections, so it's great for the bathroom or very quick spurts. (Oh, no pun intended, yet I leave that in.) It's also nice as a second book by the bedside. For example, while I was trying to read "The Rest is Noise," which taxed my attention and brain too much, I would end the night with a few pages of this much lighter book.

It wasn't anything earth-shattering, b
Jan 16, 2016 Evalina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! Robert writes in such a lite and fun way. He's able to explain the chemistry of things that go on in the kitchen in a fun and relatable way. Made me laugh a few times and reminded me of the reasons as to why I love science. You may have heard of what you should and shouldn't do in the kitchen, or that you should avoid certain foods, but these critics don't seem to have a plausible reason as to why they should avoid or use alternative methods and foods. This book takes away the b ...more
AJ McEvoy
Dec 29, 2013 AJ McEvoy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not much to say, except that this is a fascinating, fabulous fusion of science & cooking. All the basics of cooking are much easier to remember if one understands the reasons behind standard kitchen techniques.
Sep 13, 2012 Tiffany rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

The book What Einstein Told His Cook Kitchen Science Explained the author Robert L. Wolke talks about a lot of things from the differences of sugar to the tools that are used in the kitchen. The author investigates things from questions that people have about cooking, and certain things used around the kitchen, he talks about the science people don’t really know about. For example, one of the questions was, “To sweeten my iced tea quickly, I added powdered sugar. But it turned into gummy lumps.
This book is interesting and well written, quite a page turner actually.

However, the structure of the work is to answer questions on various topics. For example, I read the Salt of the Earth Chapter, which features answers to questions such as:
- What are all those special salts and meat tenderizers in the supermarket?
- What are salt substitutes?
- Why add salt to the water when boiling pasta?
- Whats so special about sea salt? Kosher salt? Freshly ground salt?
- Can a potato remove the excess s
If I wasn't a food engineer, and knew nothing about (food) chemistry, I'd probably enjoy the book, but I couldn't stand to read more than a chapter - not only because of impatience with the lack of new information, but mainly because of technical errors, such as when the author explaif I wasn't a food engineer, and knew nothing about (food) chemistry, I'd probably enjoy the book, but I couldn't stand to read more a chapter - not only because of impatience with the lack of new information, but ma ...more
Kater Cheek
I think I must have read this book years and years ago and forgot to write a review, which tricked me into thinking I hadn't read it. It's a book about kitchen science. It's good reading for anyone who loves chemistry and cooking, and it's good fodder if you're the type of person who likes to argue with that annoying person in your life who picks up dieting advice from the media that flies in the face of common sense.
Wolke doesn't just explain what happens when you freeze an egg, or describe wh
Jan 07, 2009 Madhuri marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Wolke, a chemistry professor at the University of Pittsburgh, presents his topics in sort of a question / answer format. The articles themselves are short – easily consumed in one sitting (if you catch my drift) – but are topically consolidated into larger and more complete chapters. Wolke answers the posed questions in a very thorough and straightforward manner. He describes his topic in layman's terms, including scientific terminology in “techspeak” notes. For example:
“The most common use
Aug 09, 2015 Renee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author tries to answers questions about cooking, myths in the kitchen, chemistry of foods, misleading labels, the Zero calories, etc... and breaks it down through experiments and lots of chemistry & scientific information. A good book in general. I learned a bit & refreshed up on some other things. I gave this a 3 star because a lot of the information I already knew based on my history of reading, loving science, and taking advanced chemistry classes/college etc... but if you don't r ...more
Food columnist Robert Wolke puts forth this combination of questions he's fielded over the years about kitchen science. They're conveniently organized by common subject (all the microwave related questions together, all the alcohol questions together, etc.). Interesting book, if you care for knowing why certain things happen with your food or have always wondered just what the difference is between baking power and baking soda.
Mar 24, 2011 Sesana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, food, science
This will appeal to exactly the sort of person who loves Good Eats. Of course, if you're a faithful viewer of Good Eats, Alton Brown has already explained much of what is in this book to you already. But there's always more to learn, and there is indeed plenty in here that AB hasn't covered yet. And Wolke's tone is very similar to AB's tone on Good Eats. I mean all these comparisons as the absolute highest of praise, of course.
Amjad Al Taleb
Nov 28, 2014 Amjad Al Taleb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pop-science
Not very clear from the title... this is a science book :D
Honestly I thought I will learn how to cook in a scientific way, but this book went much deeper into the science behind what takes place in that part of our houses. I recommend this to anyone, even those who are not at all interested in cooking but would be intrigued to learn some everyday basic science.
Oct 19, 2008 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Q&A format and entertaining prose make this book great! For those into nutrition and food chemistry, some sections will be a review. But if you're a beginning cook, interested in science in the kitchen, or find yourself wondering about things like, "Why does vanilla extract smell so good and make food taste so good, yet taste so awful from the bottle?" - then this book is for you!
Mar 24, 2015 Aron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: preparing-food
I'm considering buying a copy of this to keep around for reference, because it explains so many common kitchen questions. I read it cover-to-cover like a novel, though, because that's what it felt like it was trying to be. A decent straddling of those two genres, but only great as the former.
Jason Gehring
Sep 01, 2008 Jason Gehring rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
while i learned most of this information in culinary school, this book was a nice refresher course, and offered some more in-depth knowledge about the chemistry behind cooking.
an excellent book written in a simplified, yet intelligent, and sometimes hilarious way.
Oct 24, 2013 Sue rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you've cooked for a decade or more, especially if yòùre in habit of reading cookbooks, you likeły know mòst of thîs. While well expłained, The science is largely high-schooł level. Did nòt enjòy "witty„ style. Best parts fòr me: microwave ovens, añd fòod irradiation.
Dec 21, 2014 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! It does an outstanding job of debunking a lot of food myths by giving a solid foundation of food science.
Aug 23, 2015 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting explanations of the science of various foods, cooking, and kitchen storage.
Joshua Widjanarko
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 06, 2017 Nicholas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The main theme of this book was to explain kitchen science and it was created by Robert L. Wolke. Robert L. Wolke has been described by many major publishing brands as Martha Stewart with a PhD. The context of the book and the purpose of this review was assigned by my Chemistry teacher Mr. Halkyard. The main thesis of the book was to explain kitchen science and a further and more meaningful way. This book was extremely interesting and really shows the science in some of the meals I make and eat ...more
Feb 06, 2017 Skyler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

What Einstein Told His Cook by Robert L. Wolke is a book about cooking science. Robert L. Wolfe is a professor of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and he is also a food columnist for the Washington Post. Wolfe wrote this book to explain the science of food in an understandable and nontechnical terms. I read this book because we were assigned this book for our chemistry class and it has shown me some interesting facts about food as well as the chemistry involved in cooking. I believe th

Feb 06, 2017 Terence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robert L. Wolke's book, What Einstein Told His Cook, explores the science of cooking and how all the foods work with each other. Robert L. Wolke is an American chemist and a professor at the University of Pittsburgh. My chemistry teacher assigned this book to me to read in order to understand the science behind cooking. I enjoy this book more than other chemistry books because it is about cooking which is one of my passions. I give a positive review to this book, because combining science and co ...more
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Robert L. Wolke is professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and a food columnist for The Washington Post. As an educator and lecturer, he enjoys a national reputation for his ability to make science understandable and enjoyable.
He is the author of Impact: Science on Society and Chemistry Explained, as well as dozens of scientific research papers. His latest book, the fourth
More about Robert L. Wolke...

Other Books in the Series

What Einstein Told His Cook (2 books)
  • What Einstein Told His Cook 2: The Sequel: Further Adventures in Kitchen Science (v. 2)

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“When the combined taste, smell, and textural stimuli reach the brain, they remain to be interpreted. Whether the overall sensation will be pleasant, repulsive, or somewhere in between will depend on individual physiological differences, on previous experience (“just like my mother used to make”), and on cultural habituation (haggis, anyone?).” 0 likes
“As a matter of fact, with heating, you can coax more than two pounds (5 cups!) of sugar to dissolve in a single cup of water.” 0 likes
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