Another investigation of kitchen science from the author of the encyclopedic and much-admired On Food and Cooking (1984), this one more a casual essay collection reflecting the directions taken by McGee's own curiosity. Here, he has more to say about the ""meat searing myth"" (it doesn't seal in the juices) and the browning reaction, and he considers other odd topics such as the ""unpuckering"" of persimmons; but much of this is driven by health concerns. Thus, he looks at the proportion of egg yolk required for hollandaise and Bernaise sauces and for mayonnaise, and devotes whole chapters to ""Fat and the Heart,"" ""Food and Cancer,"" and the connection, if any, between aluminum cooking pots and Alzheimer's disease. It's a little surprising to find McGee taking on these first two much-explored subjects, but he finds new ways to approach the first through ""a few quirks of our physiology [and of] animal fats""--and he organizes the second to emphasize the complex uncertainties of the prudent diet. In all, these alert and literate rambles make for a most engaging and quite enlightening companion to the indispensable On Food and Cooking.