I enjoyed this as an audible book narrated by the author. His voice was pleasant to listen to and the book easily broke into short commute length sections as well as stood to a five hour drive while still holding my interest. I really like audible books and it is a bonus when the author themself reads well. I do plan to check out the library hardback to make some notes; times, temperatures, volumes, etc..
The book is broken into the four methods Mr. Pollan believes represent humanity's main methods of "cooking" food. He briefly discusses the historical significance of each method as well as that of cooking in general, likening it to a external stomach making room for mankind to dedicate more resources to brain power...or something like that.
GRILLING, COOKING WITH FIRE
Perhaps our first food transformation. Along with historical tidbits we are treated to an overview of the whole hog barbecue of North Carolina fame and a pork shoulder translation for home use.
BRAISING, POT OR HOME COOKING
This cooking method is said to have come later in history, needing both a pot and a fire to perform. The lovely braise node explains the process in much the same way as Mr. Pollan. He also brings in the history of indoor vs outdoor cooking and ties in some observations on gender.
BAKING WITH HOT AIR
Here, in addition to discussions of yeasts and methods Mr. Pollan discusses the whole grain issue and does a marvelous job of breaking it down, pun intended.
Although baking bread also involves yeast in this chapter yeastie and other small beasties provide the methods of food transformation and do not typically involve heat. Pickling, making beers and wines, cheese making are all covered in some detail.
This book is not only helpful to improve ones actual cooking but also provides interest tidbits to cogitate on just for the fun of knowing. I recommend the book and especially the audio version.