eBook - 2013
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Michael Pollan, the bestselling author of The Omnivore's Dilemma , Food Rules, and How to Change Your Mind , explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen in Cooked .

Now a docu-series streaming on Netflix, starring Pollan as he explores how cooking transforms food and shapes our world. Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney exectuve produces the four-part series based on Pollan's book, and each episode will focus on a different natural element: fire, water, air, and earth.

In Cooked, Pollan discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements--fire, water, air, and earth--to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer.

Each section of Cooked tracks Pollan's effort to master a single classic recipe using one of the four elements. A North Carolina barbecue pit master tutors him in the primal magic of fire; a Chez Panisse-trained cook schools him in the art of braising; a celebrated baker teaches him how air transforms grain and water into a fragrant loaf of bread; and finally, several mad-genius "fermentos" (a tribe that includes brewers, cheese makers, and all kinds of picklers) reveal how fungi and bacteria can perform the most amazing alchemies of all. The reader learns alongside Pollan, but the lessons move beyond the practical to become an investigation of how cooking involves us in a web of social and ecological relationships. Cooking, above all, connects us.

The effects of not cooking are similarly far reaching. Relying upon corporations to process our food means we consume large quantities of fat, sugar, and salt; disrupt an essential link to the natural world; and weaken our relationships with family and friends. In fact, Cooked argues, taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable. Reclaiming cooking as an act of enjoyment and self-reliance, learning to perform the magic of these everyday transformations, opens the door to a more nourishing life.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Group, c2013.
ISBN: 9781101605462
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 electronic text.
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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JCLAshleyF May 31, 2017

I loved this book. Pollan chronicles his exploration into food as he throws himself in wholeheartedly. He explores our modern and historical relationship with food in an compelling story. I couldn't wait to put down the book and try making some bread of my own.

Apr 04, 2017

If you enjoyed the book, try the video! I came across it first (Netflix) and have watched several times. Finding more detail re history and effects on man's evolution in the book, but Michael's unique storytelling personality comes across in the video. Perhaps it's also available in the library's collection?

Apr 27, 2016

Cooked. A Natural History of Transformation --- by --- Michael Pollan.
This is not Michael Pollan’s first attempt at making natural history inspiring and thought provoking. In just over 400 pages the author takes us on a lively journey that investigates, fire, cooking, baking and fermenting and their relation to our cuisines and our palettes. Where did these methods of food preparation come from and what is their consequence to humanity. As always this calls for a healthy dose on the author’s part. As always, author Pollan has written a book combining philosophy, natural history and considerable insight: thought provoking, well written and often entertaining.

Aug 25, 2015

This was the first thing I've read by Michael Pollan and I was absolutely AMAZED!! Very witty and wonderfully written. Great facts and well tied together. Strong emphasis on cooking and all that is eating!! I was wonderfully surprised at this read! Great! Great!! Great!!!

Jul 02, 2014

Nice review ksoles. Thanks.

Perhaps he talks about BBQ so much because he has a brother in law in the BBQ business? But that brother in law is Jewish so I don't know why he kept choosing to write about pigs?

I've liked Pollan since reading his Harper's article on opium poppies.

Jul 02, 2014

A mostly interesting look at the histories and types of ways that humans process foods before consuming them. ( the pre-digestion that allows humans to consume the widest variety ). Well written as always with the authors personality at the fore front. Worth reading, especially if you are a fan of the author.

Jun 16, 2014

Fabulous writing, as always. Like Harold McGee, but even more so, Pollan makes the science of food understandable and entertaining.

modis01 Dec 18, 2013

Fun to read! Pollan personally experiments with different forms of cooking and takes us as the readers with him.

MaxineML Dec 06, 2013

A great read!

As per usual Michael Pollan is in fine form in this book - Cooked is an indepth look at 4 different cooking techniques, and the science, the history, the health and the spirit behind them.

I enjoyed chapter 1 (Fire) on BBQ-ing, but felt it went on a bit too long. Chapter 2 on braising (cooking with water) was a bit thin on the history and the science, that might be because of the topic or because cooking with water has often been considered a 'female' form of cooking and thus has less official documentation than other forms of cooking. Or it may have just been the idea itself - cooking with water can be easy (boiling a veggie) or complex (a many layered stew) - this was the chapter I felt had the least to say.

Chapter 3 and 4 (baking and fermentation) were really where Pollan shines as a writer.
And if this doesn't get you interested in baking your own bread or trying your hand at making kimchee I don't know what will.

An inspirational book from a wonderful food writer! Highly recommended.

Nov 21, 2013

I am a better cook because I read this book and finally, I have learned how to make bread that is good.

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