Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I Think I Like This Book Already

Diseased walnut leaf, inverse color
I'm only two chapters' deep* into Mary Roach's new book Gulp, yet I'll certainly enjoy the remaining 300-odd pages. How do I know? Here's an excerpt, from p. 28 (emphasis mine):
"A quick word about chemicals and flavors. All flavors in nature are chemicals. That's what food is. Organic, vine-ripened, processed and unprocessed, vegetable and animal, all of it chemicals. The characteristic aroma of fresh pineapple? Ethyl 3-(methylthio)propanoate, with a supporting cast of lactones, hydrocarbons, and aldehydes. The delicate essence of just-sliced cucumber? 2E,6Z-Nonadienal. The telltale perfume of the ripe Bartlett pear? Alkyl (2E,4Z)-2,4-decadienoates."

Cheers, Mary. I can't wait to read the rest!

Note: Neurotic Psych and Science News have also written reviews; I'll round up my thoughts better after I finish the book.

*So far, only one tiny sticking point: Roach refers to "oxidating" beer (p. 25), a term that I believe has been largely supplanted by "oxidizing" to refer to interaction of food chemicals with molecular oxygen. I've even grabbed the NGram:

No comments:

Post a Comment