A unique treasury of flavour combinations, offering endless diversion and inspiration for the creative cook.
In this lively and exceptionally enjoyable book, Niki Segnit takes 160 popular ingredients and explores all the ways they might be combined in the kitchen. She has scoured thousands of recipes in countless recipe books, talked to dozens of food technologists and chefs, and visited hundreds of restaurants - all in her quest for flavour pairings. The result is a unique book that is full of quirky observations, practical information (hundreds of recipes are embedded in the narrative) and good jokes. Here are a couple of randomly chosen entries: Celery and Dill: Like a couple of spry septuagenarians who still bother to find the right necklace for their frock, wear silver shoes to the theatre and are more than capable of a waspish, flirty conversation if given the attention they deserve. Come alive in the red-blooded company of beef, or more workaday tinned tuna, but left to their own devices can make a thrifty but classy soup. Coriander Leaf and Peanut: Substitute coriander and peanut for basil and pine nuts and you have a delicious Vietnamese-style take on pesto. Process a large bunch of coriander leaf with a tbsp ground nut oil, a tsp fish sauce, maybe a few mint leaves if you have them, some chilli and a squeeze of lime. Add half a handful of ground peanuts. Toss through warm noodles - egg or rice - and serve with more peanuts scattered on top. Beautifully packaged, THE FLAVOUR THESAURUS is not only a highly useful, and covetable, reference book that will immeasurably improve your cooking - it's the sort of book that might keep you up at night reading.
Niki Segnit was inspired to write The Flavour Thesaurus when she noticed how dependent she was on recipes. Her background is in marketing, specialising in food and drink, and she has worked with many famous brands of confectionery, snacks, baby foods, condiments, dairy products, hard liquors and soft drinks. She is a writes a column for The Times and lives in central London with her husband.
'A deceptively simple little masterpiece' Sunday Times 'An exquisite guide to combining flavours' Observer 'An original and inspiring resource' Heston Blumenthal 'It has intrigued, inspired, amused and occasionally infuriated me all year, and will for years to come' Nigel Slater, Observer Books of the Year
Short-listed for Galaxy National Book Awards: Tesco Food & Drink Book of the Year 2010
Niki Segnit was inspired to write The Flavour Thesaurus when she noticed how dependent she was on recipes. As she says: 'Following the instructions in a recipe is like parroting pre-formed sentences from a phrasebook. Forming an understanding of how flavours work together, on the other hand, is like learning the language; it allows you to express yourself freely, to improvise, to find appropriate substitutions for ingredients, to cook a dish the way you fancy cooking it.' What Niki felt she needed was a manual, a primer to help her understand how and why one flavour might go with another, their points in common and their differences - something, in fact, like a thesaurus of flavours. But no such book existed, so she decided to put one together herself...The result is a compendium of flavour pairings which offers endless diversion and inspiration. In this lively, easy to follow and exceptionally enjoyable book, Niki Segnit takes 99 popular ingredients and explores the ways they might be combined in the kitchen. She has scoured thousands of recipes in countless recipe books, talked to dozens of food technologists and chefs, and eaten in many restaurants - all in her quest for flavour pairings. The book follows the form of Roget's Thesaurus. The back section lists the ingredients alphabetically, and suggests classic and less well known flavour matches for each. The front section contains an entry for every flavour match listed in the back section and is organised into 16 flavour themes such as Bramble + Hedge, Green + Grassy, and Earthy. There are 980 entries in all...It examines classic pairings such as pork + apple, lamb + apricot, and cucumber + dill; contemporary favourites like chocolate & chilli, lobster + vanilla, and goat's cheese + beetroot; and interesting but unlikely-sounding couples including black pudding + chocolate, lemon + beef, blueberry + mushroom, and watermelon + oyster...Here are a couple of entries:..Lamb + Mint: The French say bof to the Brits' love of mint with lamb, and they might have a point when it comes to the brutally vinegary strains of mint sauce. In 1747 Hannah Glasse wrote that a roasted, skinned hindquarter of pork will eat like lamb if served with mint sauce, which must have more to do with the overpowering nature of the sauce than any true similarity between the meats. But mint as a partner for lamb should not be dismissed wholesale. Lamb has a natural affinity for herbal flavours and, like citrus, mint's cleansing properties serve the useful purpose of deodorising some of lamb's funkier notes. Consider, for example, the lamb and mint ravioli served at Mario Batali's Babbo restaurant in New York. Or sauce paloise, which is like Bearnaise but swaps the tarragon for mint and is served with roast or grilled lamb. And in Azerbaijan a minted soup called dusbara is served with teeny lamb-filled tortellini bobbing in it. It's most often garnished with soured cream and ga
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