Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation

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Amazon Price: £4.99 (as of August 21, 2017 1:39 am – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Also available on amazon.com for £4.99 (as of August 5, 2017 7:14 am – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

A uniquely enjoyable quest to understand the transformative magic of cooking – from Michael Pollan, bestselling author of In Defence of Food

In a culture of celebrity chefs and food reality shows, in countries which are crammed with fresh ingredients flown in from every corner of the Earth, we nonetheless year-on-year wade ever deeper into a great swamp of processed foods. The more we watch food on television, the less food we actually prepare and cook.

Michael Pollan's marvellous new book is a clarion-call for the virtues and values of proper cooking – an essential, defining human activity which sits at the heart of our cultures, shapes family life and is in itself hugely enjoyable. Pollan recreates the transformative fundamentals of how we cook, building from the most basic principles: cooking with fire, cooking with water, cooking with air and cooking with earth.

Cooked is an extremely funny and surprising plea to Pollan's readers to take control of their own fates and revel again in what should be a lifetime's engagement with the almost magical activity of making food. And it is, of course, about so much more – how cooking can transform both how we think about ourselves and about our families and friends.

Reviews:

'Pollan's book is many things, among them a memoir of learning to master the absolute basics of culinary creation: fire, water, air and earth. As Pollan chats with cheesemaking nuns and discovers Walt Whitman's views on composting, he reminds us that cooking used to be all about connection – with the world around us, with other times and cultures, and with those we cook for … this book [is] both approachable and rewarding' Hephzibah Anderson, Prospect

About the author:

Michael Pollan is the author of Second Nature, A Place of My Own, The Botany of Desire, The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defence of Food and Food Rules. He lives in California.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 669 KB
  • Print Length: 451 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (23 April 2013)
  • Sold by:  Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AM7E4P8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Enabled
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled

Customer Reviews

Cooking philosophy at its best

19 people found this helpful.
 on 4 June 2013
By Charles Lowe
This is a book about much more than cooking that is so gripping that it’s hard to put down: hard to believe, but true. Michael Pollan has a great writing style that moves between the particular of the process he is discussing and the general of how this fits into the world as we know it…and explains how we are as we are. In between he tells great stories with lovely anecdotes that make every page memorable. The concept of ‘hand taste’, as described by his Korean kimchi-making teacher, which ends the book was the most moving story of all, and really helped me understand why cooking is so important to me.

A Foodie Manifesto; Eloquent and Profound

5 people found this helpful.
 on 28 December 2014
By Richard Bagshaw
As a foodie, I was dimly aware of Michael Pollan, including his famous adage, ‘eat food, not too much, mostly plants,’ before picking up Cooked, but had read none of his previous works. I was therefore somewhat surprised by its content. Cooked was billed as a treatise on the science underlying cooking; an exploration of the everyday miracles which occur when one takes a heap of raw and mostly unpalatable ingredients, and transfigures them into a delicious meal. Whilst this theme is present, however, it is surprisingly marginal. Cooked is nothing less than a magisterial overview of food and cooking in human culture; ranging across its mythic and evolutionary significance to the ills of the modern-day food industry. It is a hugely ambitious work, and largely a successful one.

Well written and packed with interesting ideas and theories – recommended

 on 24 November 2015
By P. Haynes
I don’t usually bother with book reviews, as it’s so down to personal taste, but this is a thoroughly good book – well written and packed with interesting ideas and theories. I learnt far more than I ever expected to from a book that I thought was ‘just’ about cooking.

Long—But Well Worth The Read! So Important.

8 people found this helpful.
 on 6 March 2014
By Jay Gilbertson
Cooked

MMMMMMMMMMMMMM

 on 14 November 2013
By Vitosha M
I have reviewed a number of cookbooks for Amazon Vine, some have been very good and some very poor. This book is very hard to put into any category as it is not a run of the mill cookbook. The book is not a traditional cookbook with lots of recipes and beautiful pictures. It does not have a plethora of recipes, which can be used for all occasions. What this is, is a book that contains a cooking philosophy and looks at cooking with Fire, Water and Air and Earth. I am sorry but I did not like the way it is written, which bored the pants off me. I am happy to learn how to use these means of cooking properly, but the book is written in such a dull way. I am sure some will find what the author has to say, very interesting…..but I did not.

Fascinating and engaging

27 people found this helpful.
 on 21 May 2013
By Pardo
I think I’ve heard the author on the radio once and was aware of his “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” maxim but I’ve not read any of his earlier work – having read Cooked, I will be looking out for them. This book is brilliant – filled with fascinating detail on the chemical and biological transformation of raw ingredients into wholesome, digestible, flavourful food, it spans the whole history of humanity to tell how we have evolved in response to the way we prepare food, and how many micro-organisms that aid that process have co-evolved with us.

the importance of cooking to life

8 people found this helpful.
 on 26 September 2013
By Purpleheart
‘At a certain point in the late middle of my life I made the unexpected but happy discovery that the answer to several of the questions that most occupied me was in fact one and the same. Cook.’

Great

 on 27 November 2013
By Kindle Customer
Another one of those books which fulfills a need in me for cookbooks that read like novels. Just a joy to read, makes your mouth water in parts, and is fascinating too. A great book for anyone who loves food, food, food.

Read it, and be amazed!

5 people found this helpful.
 on 15 May 2013
By Apollo 11
Cooked is an admirable stab at having the reader reconnect with food through, of all things, cooking. At times laboured, but never less than spirited and well researched, Cooked – as Pollan’s somewhat exhaustive introduction sets up — is a wake-up call on the fact that too many of us don’t eat cooked food, but the engineered result of food processing. And while it would be possible to come away after 10 pages with the feeling Cooked is going to be some paean to ‘the good old days’, Pollan then sets out to remind the reader of the magic that is cooking.

Transforming nature into culture

3 people found this helpful.
 on 3 June 2013
By Eleanor
In “Cooked” Michael Pollan, author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”, embarks on an investigation into the various ways humans transform the products of nature into food. Taking as a starting point the elements fire, water, air, and earth, Pollan focuses on ‘grilling with fire, cooking with liquid, baking bread, and fermenting all sorts of things’.

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