I listened to this on my drive to work for a few weeks and I loved it. It felt like I was back in college, listening to a wonderful lecture series on the history of cooking and how humans have manipulated ingredients to create food.
Like In Defense of Food, Cooked is a mix of microhistories, anecdotes and a dash of politics (but just a dash). Less preachy than In Defense of Food, this book focuses on baking (bread), cooking with fire (BBQ), and fermentation (plants, dairy and alcohol). But within these three activities, Pollan finds a wealth of cultural and historical things to discuss. You will finish this this book full of random factoids about all the foods you eat and the science and stories behind them.
Be warned, you will find yourself craving some delicious barbecue, cheese, and beer before this book is through!
I highly recommend this in audiobook format, though it is a great read too. But Pollan’s conversational tone helps the hours on the road fly by. It would be a good listen for teens/young adults who will enjoy hearing those bits of history you never get in school.