Is there a food science book that is actually for everyone? Yes. Yes, there is: Harold McGee's magisterial On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. This is a marvel of a book, where a reader in search of some practical advice on souffle-making, may, on the way, encounter passages from Italo Calvino, Apicius, or the Koran, alongside a discussion of the qualities and chemistry of "ropy Scandinavian milks," or find out about Charlemagne's cheese-eating habits, or that "an egg is the sun's light refracted into life," or that the enzymes that cause chopped fruits and vegetables to turn brown can also help neutralize garlic breath (when phenolic compounds produced by the enzymes combine with stinky sulfhydryl groups, to form odorless molecules), and many other morsels, both trivial and profound. Much later, when you finally arrive at McGee's lucid passages on the physics of souffles, you feel fortified, but never over-stuffed, with knowledge. On Food and Cooking is generous and playful, scholarly but never didactic, as comprehensive as the world. It is a book that every curious human should own.