5 Cookbooks for Dweebs and Nerds

Put on your pocket protectors, tape your glasses back together, and pretend you're still a virgin. Cooking for Geeks, a new cookbook by Jeff Potter, is probably the best science-meets-the-kitchen book to come out. Ever. If topics like "Initializing the Kitchen," "Functional Grouping," and "E Numbers: The Dewey Decimal System of Food Additives" don't get you excited, how about interviews with people like Mythbusters' Adam Savage about food myths and Harold McGee on food mysteries?

One of the reasons it might be such a unique cookbook is that it wasn't put out by a cookbook publisher. O'Reilly Media is behind it, a company that publishes books on C++ programming, JavaScript, and server administration. But I swear, Cooking for Geeks is not boring. It lays out the how and whys of everything from basics like cooking eggs to using modern molecular gastronomy ingredients like agar to make "rum screwdriver gel" (a.k.a. ├╝ber Jell-O shots) and transglutaminase to bond together bacon and scallops. People with short attention spans needn't worry: It doesn't read like either a cookbook or a textbook. Instead, it's a mix of recipes, interviews, charts, graphs, tables, and factoids that keeps you turning pages.

Now, if only there was a Dungeons & Dragons cookbook in the wings. Hold up, there is. In fact, it looks like all the good dork-themed cookbooks have already been done. Four more to geek out on:

 

Wookiee Cookies: A Star Wars Cookbook (Tusken Raider Taters, Yoda Soda)

 

 

 

 

Hellbent for Cooking: The Heavy Metal Cookbook (Candied Sweetbreads on a Bed of Seared Heart, Viking Testicle cocktail)

 

 

The Star Trek Cookbook (Klingon Blood Pie, Antarian Glow Water)

 

 

 

 

The Lord of the Rings Cookbook ("all of the meals eaten by Bilbo and the dwarves on their journey to Erebor")