May 14, 2011
"Modernist Cuisine" — The Errata
Excerpts from Indrani Sen's April 29, 2011 New York Times story follow.
For those of us who don't have the $625 (or the upper-body strength) to buy "Modernist Cuisine"," the six-volume, 40-pound high-tech food encyclopedia released with great fanfare last month, the 12 pages of corrections and clarifications that went up on the book's Web site last week is worth a read for its own sake.
At times the errata read like science fiction — fleeting glimpses into the world of "beet flexicurd," "halibut cheek gel base" and "scallop mochi." It's a place where oysters, before they meet their demise, are fed sieved beet juice (and the juice should be strained through a 25-micron sieve, not a 500-micron one).
Although many of the more than 350-odd corrections are typos or small mistakes, some — a 10-minute difference in the cooking time of "French scrambled eggs" or a six-minute difference in the baking time of Pringles-style "restructured" potato chips — could affect the recipes' success.
Some of the notes seem like parody: "The recipe for Foie Gras Cherries should call for 0.6 g of xanthan gum," we are told. "The recipe should also call for 18 foie gras parfait spheres." And "the recipe for Sous Vide Pigeon Offal should call for 150 g of pigeon gizzards with a scaling of 150% and 50 g of rendered duck fat with a scaling of 50%."
Corrections are still coming in. The list released on April 21 included 331 pages with corrections on them, but the latest update, on April 26, lists 368 pages with corrections. Readers can e-mail additional corrections to email@example.com.
May 14, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink
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Nathan - you are a sloppy genius. 331 pages of errors? I've seen appeals dismissed because the attorney/law firm used 12 point Times Roman instead of the 13 point that the rules call for (the weasels were trying to sneak in an extra paragraph in a 32-page, double-spaced appeal).
When I buy a copy of the set - you can bet that I won't be spending $600+ for the original and an additional $100/yr for the "pocket-part" - the legal publishing industry has pioneered that marketing plan and I don't much care for it.
Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | May 14, 2011 5:09:18 PM
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