"NOVA Science NOW" is a new offshoot of the long running PBS science series NOVE, produced by WBGH in Boston. Each of the 54-minute shows is divided into four or more segments, but the episode has one umbrella topic. I wasn't aware of the show until I received this DVD but, if the others are like this one, I'm already a fan.
The photo of a cricket (yep, an insect) on a fork which graces the cover may be a bit misleading. Yes, there is a five minute section where a chef actually fries a cricket as an appetizer, but what things we can eat is only a small segment of this show. I'll try to give you an idea of what's here but not spoil the surprises you'll find by watching it.
First off, the series is hosted by a guy named David Hogue. I'm never heard of him before but he is funny, in a satirical way. He's an "everyman" just like you and me, who is curious. And it's his curiosity that draws us in.
Thought it would have been nice if this DVD was released by early November, in time for Thanksgiving, I still learned why some roast turkeys and bread cube stuffing tastes better than others - and how to make it. (For this segment Hogue visits the set of another PBS show, "America's Test Kitchen" (even PBS is not above cross promoting its series). The next section "Why Do We Cook?" explains why humans are the only animals who cook. And there's a fascinating section on digestion. Be aware that this section includes a scene of a python swallowing a rat - not for the squeamish - but ends with an experiment that had me rolling on the floor laughing. Next up is an explanation of how we taste, in which I was able to discover WHY I can't tolerate jalapenos when my best friends down then easily. The last section centers on Nathan Myhrvold, former chief technology officer for Microsoft who decided to examine how to make amazingly delicious food using "scientific" cooking methods and authored the HUGE book titled "Modernist Cuisine", the 2400-page, $600, cookbook. He takes food prep to a whole new level.
In the less-than-an-hour I spent watching this DVD I learned a lot of useful facts and anyone who watches The Food Channel will probably get a lot out of this DVD as well. Yes, it's science - and there are a few (very few) technical terms used - but it is, mostly because of Hogue, a lot of fun to watch.
There is a scene selection menu but no bonus features in the DVD.
I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.