I was wandering in my favorite Bookstore in NYC, Mc Nally Jackson, and my eyes suddenly focused on an intriguing cover. I reached the colorful book, touched it, opened it, leafed through it… and sat down on one of the convenient chairs bestrewed all over the store. I was caught in The flavor Thesaurus, written by the British author Niki Segnit.
It is all about flavors and pairings, taste and association. Why some ingredients get along together, why some should never meet. How and when some matches became traditional in culinary history, or in some parts of the world… The Flavor Thesaurus is the first book to examine what goes with what, pair by pair. Segnit gathered 99 popular ingredients and suggests classic and less well known flavor matches for each. 980 entries in all, and 200 recipes or suggestions as a great bonus.
From classic pairings (pork + apple, lamb + apricot, cucumber + dill) to contemporary favorites (chocolate + chili, lobster + vanilla, goat’s cheese + beetroot) as well as more surprising (and appealing!) couples (egg + ginger, lemon + beef, blueberry + mushroom, watermelon + oyster…) : I was not able to leave my copy during the last two days, annotating it, circling here and there the matches I would experiment in pastries this coming season.
And even if the pistachio is not among the list (however being mentioned twice, as an ice cream flavor), Pistache thanks you in advance for your wonderful work, dear Ms Segnit.
The Flavor Thesaurus, Niki Segnit, Bloomsbury publishers, 27 dollars.