Recipes are filled with sensory directions related to taste, appearance, texture, and smell, but less often to the sounds of food cooking. While cooking and eating, whether at home or in a restaurant, are recognized as sonic experiences, we are rarely specifically instructed to “listen in.” Some scholars argue that such skills cannot be written into recipes, but rather must be passed on in practice. While I largely agree with this claim, I was challenged to find exceptions in cookbooks. In this essay, I discuss some of the few but delightful examples of sonic instruction in recipes. I conclude that while sounds are rare in cookbooks, as these examples show, listening is a skill that provides valuable information in the kitchen.

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