The Flavor Thesaurus

A Compendium of Pairings, Recipes and Ideas for the Creative Cook
The Flavor Thesaurus: A Compendium of Pairings, Recipes and Ideas for the Creative Cook. Bloomsbury, dist. by Macmillan. Dec. 2010. c.400p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781596916043. $27. COOKING
Like Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg's The Flavor Bible, this volume aims to encourage cooks to be creative in the kitchen. While Page and Dornenburg used a panel of experts, Segnit, who's worked with companies such as Coca-Cola and Cadbury to develop products and flavors, relied on personal experience. Her intuitive approach produces a cozy collection of description, anecdotes, and recipes within the flavor combination entries. In an introduction, she describes what inspired the book (a cooking rut); the methodology used to group flavors into families such as citrusy, meaty, and earthy; and the subjective nature of classifying flavors. The main text is made up of descriptions of combinations and the elements of each (e.g., nutty, sweet) as well as how the two flavors interact with each other (enhance, blunt, complement, etc.). Segnit's intimate style makes the book enjoyable as well as useful.
VERDICT This handy little guide will be a wonderful addition for cooks trying to expand their repertoire.

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