A $625 Cookbook ... That Might Even Be Worth It

Julie Ryan Evans

Modernist CuisineI love cookbooks and could read them for hours on end -- I find them inspiring, soothing, and hopeful -- and have more than 100, easily. But when I read about a cookbook that retails for $625, I thought no way; no cookbook could be worth that. Until I read more about it ...

It's titled Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, and it's crazy cool.

Spearheaded by Nathan Myhrvold, former CTO of Microsoft, it uses science to create some of the most fascinating food you've ever seen.

From Amazon.com:

"The authors and their 20-person team at The Cooking Lab have achieved astounding new flavors and textures by using tools such as water baths, homogenizers, centrifuges, and ingredients such as hydrocolloids, emulsifiers, and enzymes. It is a work destined to reinvent cooking."

I have no idea what any of that means, but it sounds so impressive. I want to serve "silky-smooth pistachio cream made from nothing more than the nuts" and learn to "encase a mussel in a gelled sphere of its own sweet and briny juice" ... even though I don't care for mussels.

And beyond the wow factor, it promises some great cooking education as well on topics like:

  • How low-cost pots and pans can perform better than expensive ones
  • Why baking is mostly a drying process
  • Why deep-fried food tastes best and browns better when the oil is older

Instead of a traditional cookbook, it's actually a 2,200-page set of five volumes, and if you pre-order now (it's set for release December 1), it's available for the bargain price of $421.87.

That's still much too much for me to seriously consider buying it, but oh how I would like to get my hands on it for a long reading session.

Would you ever spend $600 on a cookbook?

Image via amazon.com

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