Table of Contents
   Introductionp. xiii
   Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
   Sweet Talkp. 3
      What is raw sugar?
      Is refined white sugar unhealthful?
      How can you soften hardened brown sugar?
      What are treacle, sorghum, and sulphured molasses?
      What's the difference between cane sugar and beet sugar?
      How do you dissolve two cups of sugar in one cup of water?
      What does "caramelize" mean?
      How are starches and sugars related?
      How do they get corn syrup from corn?
      What is Dutch process cocoa?
      Why does chocolate melt in the mouth?
      How do they make white chocolate? ... and more
   The Salt of the Earthp. 39
      What are all those special salts and tenderizers in the supermarket?
      What are salt substitutes?
      Why do we add salt to the water for boiling pasta?
      What's so special about sea salt?
      Kosher salt?
      Freshly ground salt?
      Can a potato remove the excess salt from over-salted soup?
      Why do recipes tell you to use unsalted butter and then add salt? ... and more
   The Fat of the Landp. 65
      What's the difference between a fat and a fatty acid?
      Why are oils only partially hydrogenated?
      Why do we clarify butter?
      How do they make corn oil?
      How do the various cooking oils compare?
      What can you do with used cooking oil?
      How do nonstick cooking sprays work?
      What noodles contain fat?
      Is heavy cream really lighter than light cream? ... and more
   Chemicals in the Kitchenp. 93
      What do home water filters do?
      What's the difference between baking powder and baking soda?
      Is aluminum dangerous?
      What is baking ammonia?
      Sour salt?
      Cream of tartar?
      Artificial vanilla?
      Why is there "no calcium" in cream cheese?
      Why does lasagne dissolve metal?
      How is vinegar made?
      Are green potatoes poisonous?
      How is lye used in our foods? ... and more
   Turf and Surfp. 124
      Is a rare steak bloody?
      What makes ground beef brown?
      Is prime rib prime beef?
      Why is the meat near the bone "sweetest?"
      What do bones contribute to a stock?
      What's the best way to skim fat from a stock?
      How do they make all those different hams?
      How does brining work?
      How long is "overnight"?
      What makes gravy lumpy and greasy?
      Why does fish cook so quickly?
      Why does fish smell fishy?
      What is surimi?
      Are oysters on the half-shell alive?
      Should lobsters be boiled or steamed? ... and more
   Fire and Icep. 177
      What is a calorie?
      How is cooking different at high altitudes?
      Why does water boil?
      Why does it take so long to reduce a stock?
      What do the Btu ratings of ranges mean?
      Does the alcohol boil off when you cook with wine?
      Can you really fry an egg on the sidewalk?
      Is charcoal or gas better for grilling?
      What's the best way to defrost foods?
      Why do bakers roll out their dough on marble?
      Can hot water freeze faster than cold water?
      Can eggs be frozen?
      What is freezer burn?
      Why does blowing on hot food cool it? ... and more
   Liquid Refreshmentp. 215
      Is coffee acid?
      Does espresso contain more caffeine than American coffee?
      How is coffee decaffeinated?
      What's the difference between a tea and a tisane?
      What makes soft drinks so acidic?
      Does belching contribute to global warming?
      Can soda go flat in an unopened bottle?
      How can you open a bottle of Champagne with aplomb?
      Why do some wines have plastic "corks"?
      What do you do with the wine cork when the waiter gives it to you?
      How much alcohol is there in various beverages? ... and more
   Those Mysterious Microwavesp. 250
      How do microwaves make heat?
      Why does microwaved food have to stand for a while?
      Why do microwave ovens cook so much faster than conventional ovens?
      Why mustn't one put metal in a microwave oven?
      Can the microwaves leak out of the box and cook the cook?
      What makes a container "microwave safe"?
      Why do some "microwave safe" containers still get hot in the oven?
      Is it dangerous to heat water in a microwave oven?
      Do microwaves change the molecular structure of food?
      Do microwaves destroy the nutrients in food?
      Why does microwave-cooked food cool off faster than food cooked in a conventional oven? ... and more
   Tools and Technologyp. 269
      Why doesn't anything stick to nonstick cookware?
      What's the "best" kind of frying pan?
      Does a magnetic rack affect the sharpness of your knives?
      What's the difference between a pastry brush and a basting brush?
      How can you get the most juice out of a lemon or lime?
      What's wrong with washing mushrooms?
      Does tarnish affect the properties of a copper frying pan?
      What's the easiest way to clean silverware?
      Why are there separate measuring cups for liquids and solids?
      How do "instant-read" thermometers work?
      How do pressure cookers work?
      How do induction-heated ranges and light ovens work?
      Why do crackers have those little holes in them?
      What are the pros and cons of food irradiation?
      What are all those special compartments in your refrigerator? ... and more
   Further Readingp. 321
   Glossaryp. 325
   Indexp. 331