Gizmodo Reading Room: Food & Cooking

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Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol

by Iain Gately
I don't know what it says about the editor who recommended it, but this book covers the history of alcohol from "absinthe to Jay-Z's boycott of allegedly racist Cristal, from Mayan pulque to Pilsner Urquell." It appears to be one of those rare reads that's chock-full of information yet still one of the more entertaining reads you'll encounter. [Amazon; Kindle; Barnes and Noble; Nook]

Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking

by Michael Ruhlman
Michael Ruhlman was among our favorite guest contributes during Taste Test, our week-long celebration of all things edible and we adore the ratio-based cooking methods he describes in his book. Don't forget that there's also an iPhone app that could make a great kitchen companion to this text. [Amazon; Kindle; Barnes and Noble; Nook]



by David Chang
Our NYC-based staff has a a tiny, bit of an obsession with all things Momofuku, and it's tough to resist joining the craze. David Chang's Momofuku cookbook contains the secrets to some of the incredible fare of the restaurants as well as plenty of background to be both a good read and a great cookbook. [Amazon; Barnes and Noble]


Ad Hoc at Home

by Thomas Keller
One of our more food-obsessed editors recommended this book with a confession: He hasn't actually cooked anything from it, but instead just loves reading cookbooks. After laughing a bit, I actually understood his hobby, after all, books like Thomas Keller's are filled with facts, lil' tidbits of food trivia, and plenty of history. they make great reads for food-lovers, whether they're amateur chefs or not. [Amazon; Barnes and Noble]


Good Eats: The Early Years

by Alton Brown
Alton Brown was also among the incredible guest editors joining us during our food week and according to our Wilson Rothman, Brown's book of actual recipes covering his first 80 shows is long overdue. In true AB style, there's no shortage of explanation, advice and amaze-your-friends minutiae. Between trusting Rothman's judgment and reading the great posts by Brown, I know this book is a smart read. [Amazon; Barnes and Noble]


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Rosa, you shouldn't make fun of your food-obsessed editor. There are some REALLY interesting tidbits of trivia that can be found in cookbooks! :)

My fiancee loves cookbooks, and she was at an estate sale recently where she found a plethora of old books. In this was a cookbook dating back to the 1940's. It said to take care with the meats and try to use freshly slaughtered meat so as to cut back on bacteria and other diseases.

Kind of shows a good take on how far modern refrigeration has come in the past 70 years, from an icebox with a block of ice up to freon-free refrigerants. :)