Cookbooks I Love: The Flavor Bible

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Okay, so The Flavor Bible isn’t actually a cookbook, but rather a cooking reference. A James Beard award-winning cooking reference!

Despite it not being a recipe book, it’s the “cookbook” I use most often, which is why it’s the second title I’m sharing with you in my Cookbooks I Love series.

How the book is used:

Say you have some kiwis, and you’d like to make some sort of fruit tart with them but you don’t know what other flavors to add. I mean, there are some pretty obvious flavor combinations that most cooks know about, like tomato + basil + mozzarella, but how about for kiwis? Strawberry kiwi is a common flavor, but what else goes well with kiwis?

You flip to “k” in the book and find Kiwi Fruit, and it tells you all of the complimentary flavors for kiwi. Check it out:

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You’ll notice: It tells you the season, taste, weight, volume, recommended cooking technique, and a list of all the ingredients that are flavor affinities for kiwi. The ingredients that are bolded are especially complimentary to kiwis, like coconut, honey, lemon, lime, oranges, papaya, and strawberries.

Some of the ingredients in the book also tell you ingredients that DON’T go well with the item you’ve looked up, and there are also suggestions for combinations of 3-4 ingredients that go beautifully well together. For example, above you’ll see that for Kale, a combination of kale + garlic + olive oil + red wine vinegar is recommended, as well as kale + onions + salt + smoked sausage. It’s great for ideas!

Who the book is for:

This is an idea book, so it’s good for people who are more comfortable in the kitchen and want to try experimenting with different flavor combinations. If you’re someone who currently just follows recipes to the letter and doesn’t like experimenting, this book isn’t for you.

People ask me all the time how I come up with my recipes, and a lot of the time I’ll start with some ingredients and use this book to jog my memory with some ideas for complimentary flavors that I can add. I find it to be so useful and hope that for those who want to experiment, that you’ll have some fun with it too.

Here’s the link to the Flavor Bible on Amazon! Happy cooking!