I'd Start A Savings Account For This: "Modernist Cuisine: The Art of Science and Cooking"

It’s really more science textbook than cookbook. I don’t even own a third of the equipment I would need to execute the recipes.
Publish date:
October 28, 2013
cooking, books, science, modernist cuisine, cookbooks, molecular gastronomy

I spend a lot of money on food and drink.

“WHAT? NOOOO,” I hear you all collectively gasping. I will hem and haw over a 15-dollar shirt from H&M, but I will plunk down the same amount for a pour of 20-year-old bourbon without hesitation. I’ll do it with a really stupid smile on my face, too. It makes no sense; it’s just how I’m wired.

I will also spend many money dollars on books about food. My most recent food-book purchase was "Edible Selby" which, at less than 30 dollars, is a bargain (I think).

This book is so pretty and so interesting and it comes with stickers that I will never use. I want to stick them on everything and on nothing, and my indecision will cause them to remain safely behind the hardcover until the adhesive dries and they peel up and blow away.

Picking out a new cookbook is not a process I take lightly. “Do I want another book on baking? This one is ONLY about cookies, and I don’t have a cookie book. Ooh, here’s one on fermenting! What kind of underachiever doesn't make her own cheese and sauerkraut?” is just a sample of my inner monologue while I tarry in the cookbook section of Barnes & Noble. I can’t even talk about the chef biographies.

Then it will catch my eye. Again. A book so beautiful, so seductive, and so wildly impractical that I can’t help but want it. “Book” isn’t even the right word; it’s a multi-volume tome of culinary knowledge.

It’s "Modernist Cuisine: The Art of Science and Cooking", and I just really really want it.

It’s really more science textbook than cookbook. It’s pedantic. It’s not accessible. I don’t even own a third of the equipment I would need to execute the recipes.

All that just makes me want it more. It’s only a matter of time before I buy a liquid nitrogen tank anyway.

It’s also really pretentious and full of itself (like me!). If you are able to wade through the scientific prose, you find highly opinionated and controversial gems such as “Saturated fat isn't associated with heart disease anywhere, in any large study.”


Oh yeah, did I mention it’s around $400, depending on where you buy it?

There is no logical reason for me to purchase this book. I have no way of using it. I will never own a centrifuge and I can’t use the one at work for food (not that I've seriously considered it or anything).

But the heart wants what it wants.

There is an “at home” version, and the reviews are good, but because I wear a pair of ridiculous lab glasses during the day, I feel like I need the more scholarly of the two. I’ll probably end up with both of them.

So I guess I better start saving. I obviously need this in my life and won’t be satisfied until it’s on my bookshelf.

She will be mine. Oh yes, she will be mine.