Wow! Now that is a mouthful! But do not be put off by the title. Described as an "empowerment tool" in laymans' terms this book deep dives into ingredients and suggests pairings. I am a self taught cook and while certain ingredients I know from experience pair well I have found when I want to create or tweak a recipe my knowledge is lacking.
For the I usually use X ingredient in this recipe and X ingredient is no where to be found in the kitchen and it is midnight ... now what? Before you cruise on over to google this book will have your answer! For the I love this dish, but I'd love to tweak it - but with ??? Sweet, savory, herbs or spices this book will have a wealth of ideas.
Organization Of The Book
Clean, clear, concise and to the point! The book is organized by ingredient first which makes looking for pairing so much quicker and easier. The related tips, suggestion and stories regarding that specific ingredient are then included in the same area. Very reader friendly and intuitive.
The Tips and The Stories
The book is full of gems of stories from renowned chefs as well as useful culinary tips that any chef or cook can appreciate and use. The stories bring the reader into the lives of the chefs at different phases of their career in different locales and restaurants.
The Holy Grail Of Pairings
While the book is full of possible and/or suggested pairings there are a few designated pairing denoted with caps and bold letters which are the "holy grail" to use the authors' words. These pairing have received the most votes by the panel of experts.
This is very helpful if you are not in the mood to do major recipe tweaking, are time challenged or prefer to begin recipe creating with the tried and true to build upon. I find it is easy to build flavors by beginning with pairings that will work when using ingredients for the first time.
The intent of the book is to spark your creativity and be a helpful resource; the book succeeds on both levels and I can see why this book was named on the Th Best Cookbooks in the World of the last 100 years list.
The Flavor Bible also won a James Beard award in 2009, yes that James Beard award! Not a chef, not a restaurant, a book!
I highly recommend The Flavor Bible! I consider this book a must and wish I had found it earlier in my recipe tweaking career. A great gift for anyone who likes to cook with a little creativity!
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