I think this may be the first cookbook reviewed on FT Books, but The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science is not really a cookbook, or is a lot more than a cookbook, depending on how you look at it. The author, the descendant of a family of scientists, decided mid-way through his undergraduate career at MIT that cooking was a better fit for him than working in a biology lab, and the book revels in experiments with classic cooking principles, along with many recipes but surprisingly few for 900 pages. If you’ve ever wondered why hard-boiled eggs are sometimes difficult to peel, whether the sine function is useful to cut meat, and how salt matters for cooking beans, this is the book for you, regardless of the recipes themselves. My only puzzlement is that the author fails to cover desserts. That’s a horrible omission, or perhaps, volume II.