This book has changed the way I cook. As my daughter was researching a school project on food flavor combination, we came across The Flavor Bible, which was published in 2008. It lists nearly every edible food and all the foods and herbs that complement it. So, if I randomly opened the book up to…Honeydew, the flavor pairing are listed as:
Basil, blackberries, cardamom, Champagne, chiles, coconut milk, coriander, cream, cumin, figs, ginger, grapefruit, honey, lemon juice, lemon basil, lime, cantaloupe, mint, nectarines, peaches, red pepper flakes, pepper, prosciutto, ricotta cheese, salt, scallions, strawberries, sugar, tarragon, wine (sweet), yogurt.
Some of these pairs I knew from experience, but I didn’t know about chiles, cardamom or Champagne. I’m such a recipe follower and never really learned how to make up my own creations. Now with this amazing book, I am experimenting like never before.
The first 35 pages are filled with advice and musings from the world’s top chefs on how to experiment, prepare and get the most flavor out of your food. The next 340 pages are all flavor pairings and I find it fascinating and eye-opening. One thing I learned is to always season your food right from the start of cooking. If you only salt & pepper at the end, you’ve lost the chance to infuse deeper flavor into food. Wonderful!
This is not a book for learning how to cook. Instead, it’s more for cooks and aspiring chefs interested in taking their food to the next level. Now, when my daughter and I cook together, we consult the food bible to see what flavors we’ll add in today. Not only is that good for the food, but it’s even better that she and I are experimenting together.