Show 401, November 28, 2020: Harold McGee, food scientist & author with Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World’s Smells

Author Harodl McGeeHarold McGee is a leading expert on the science of food and cooking and the author of the beloved, bestselling culinary guides, On Food and Cooking and Keys to Good Cooking. Now, McGee is turning to the science of a long-overlooked dimension of our world—smell—in his thoughtful new book, NOSE DIVE: A Field Guide to the World’s Smells. NOSE DIVE is the product of over a decade of intensive research and is informed by the latest revelations in sensory biology and flavor chemistry. A work of astounding scholarship and originality, it is, perhaps, the ultimate guide to the smells of the world, from the ambrosial to the malodorous and everything in between.”

“Like McGee’s previous books, NOSE DIVE distills the science behind the smells and translates it, as only McGee can, into an accessible and entertaining guide. Incorporating the latest insights of biology and chemistry, and interwoven with personal observations, McGee reveals how our sense of smell has the power to expose invisible, intangible details of our material world and life, and trigger in us feelings that are the very essence of being alive.”

McGee lived in Los Angeles for a short time in the early 1970s. He recalls the smoggy aroma of Los Angeles. Harold later penned a 2016 piece for (the sadly departed) Lucky Peach’s Los Angeles issue titled “The Flavor of Smog.” It’s a good teaser for Nose Dive. It’s available for your perusal on the Home Page of Harold’s website,

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