this. book. is. awesome.
the actual science behind cooking, eating, tasting - 'molecular gastronomy' is the term they use. Described in staggering amounts of depth and detail (I'm wishing I could remember more organic chemistry from school now, although there's a fairly comprehensive primer in the appendix), it's 100% fascinating.
I actually, genuinely, understand the concept of carbon-based life now, for one thing.
! (he bought it for me as part of a no-paypal subscription deal)