Ask HN: Cooking book/resource, expressed in terms of (Bio)Chemistry?
Most "Learn to Cook" books are targeted at general audiences, which is good enough most times but they mostly read like a list of rules without explaining why those rules exist. In fact many books I have come across hand-wave explanations with "...without going too deep into the science of it...". As someone trained and interested in sciences, I am more than willing to go deeper into the "science of it" and look at cooking from a chemical (and biological) standpoint. Are there any resources you know what cover Cooking like this? I do have a collection of various papers, etc. but I am looking for a book that unifies them and presents in a serialized/arranged narrative.

There are a few pop-sci books out there, but again they aren't really getting into the science of it for the most part.

[I understand the desire to have scientific knowledge and there are good resources in other comments.]

without explaining why those rules exist.

The explanation is that the rules make it taste good (or how it should taste or safe to eat or nutritious or in keeping with divine directives etc.).

Tasting good etc. is the reason for the recipe (and what tastes good etc. is literally a matter of taste or culture). Here scientific theory is post hoc. People cooked by many rules long before the coining of “bio-science.”

  • cpach
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  • 3 weeks ago
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I’m thinking maybe the five volumes of Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold et al would fit this bill. Haven’t read it myself but it seems very interesting.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modernist_Cuisine

Try these out - I cook 6-7 nights a week at home. Some really amazing things in Kenji's book. You may not find exactly what you are looking for in them, since well they read like books, not scientific papers.
I'll add the OG Good Eats by Alton Brown to your list
On Food and Cooking by McGee. Hands down, authoritative resource.
Most definitely. Worth it for the meat section alone.
Try looking up molecular gastronomy texts. Exactly what you're looking for.
  • aarvi
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  • 3 weeks ago
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Masala Labs: The Science of Indian Cooking by Krish Ashok.