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Flavor Thesaurus, The Hardcover – May 1 2012


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Flavor Thesaurus, The + Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking + The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury US; Revised edition (May 1 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160819874X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608198740
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 3.3 x 21.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 581 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Niki Segnit's background is in marketing, specializing in food and drink, and she has worked with many famous brands of candy, snacks, baby foods, condiments, dairy products, hard liquors, and soft drinks. She lives in central London with her husband.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William Santo on Feb. 24 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a great cook book for the person who isn't fond of following recipes or you are looking to finish off that one ingredient that you have in your fridge. It give you great ideas on how to use specific flavors to make dishes instead of just how to make dishes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 28 reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
A Creative Effort Oct. 5 2013
By S. Linkletter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book wasn't at all what I expected, but after I accepted it for what it is I really began to enjoy it.

What I Didn't Like

Another reviewer found it to be like a dictionary in its definitions and details. I found it not at all like that. In fact, it is entirely subjective even by the author's own attestation. The "color wheel" of flavors I found to be useless. The copy without a seam from the binding is not even in color. Furthermore, the typeface on that copy is so small as to be unreadable for me without a magnifying glass. Aesthetics aside, the flavor wheel seems primarily presented to demonstrate that the author can cleverly devise a circular table of food flavors. There is nothing stemming from the wheel that will help you determine which flavors go together. It's not anything like an artist's color wheel, with those associated concepts.

What I Came To Enjoy

The author's rather creative idea was to compile a list of 99 foods and/or food types. The and/or is because some of the 99 are extremely well defined, such as "Lemon", while others are very general, such as "Hard Cheese". Regardless, those are how the author sees the universe of food, and as she says, it is her point of view from which she is writing.

Having defined the 99 foods, she set about to locate examples of each one occurring with the other 98. To this end she seems to have spent a rather inordinate amount of time in London pubs, but there are examples from other places and even from other countries. She wasn't able to locate an example for every pair, which is not surprising, although I suppose pubs are where you might find people who would try anything once so that particular bias is explained.

The sparkling thing about the book is the way in which she writes about the combinations, and the side stories that evolve from the descriptions. A description of a pair of foods might devolve into an almost totally irrelevant discussion of the old days in London pubs, or an explanation for why monks don't eat certain foods. There is some sharp, dry British humor at times, as well. It's that kind where the face is so straight that you know the speaker is either joking or insane, and either way is hysterically funny.

The content and quality of what was written in the book wooed me from my attitude of bitter disappointment over what I didn't find written there. I now very much enjoy reading this book. I just don't expect it to help me choose complementary "colors" of food.

I must add that the book is very well indexed. Even a stray mention of something not on her list of 99 foods, appearing in one of her side excursions, appears in the index. I very much appreciate not having to try to remember from which of the 99 foods the tangent arose, which referenced something I want to look up again.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Unlike my others Dec 9 2012
By Cookie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I happened upon this book without any "prior knowledge" in a local bookstore. I put it back on the shelf after a few flips thru but was drawn back to it when my head began to get around its premise and content - I did not leave without it. . I am not lackIng for cookbooks but have nothing like this- none of the other "Flavor" books compare to this author's creative approach to tweaking my creativity for uniquely good things from my kitchen.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Don't Even Think About It -- Just Buy It Now Dec 11 2012
By Pamela Weaver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Got this book on a whim -- mostly because I liked the title! Wow, am I glad I did! For anyone who has cooked strictly from recipes and would like to be more creative OR for anyone who wants more sophisticated results when searching for a recipe to match ingredients in the fridge OR for someone who just likes food writing. This is an unbelievably entertaining and useful book! Nearly 350 pages of good ideas and pithy comments -- I don't know how Ms. Segnit did it, but it's terrific all the way through!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great!! Feb. 26 2014
By Salenya - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My brother and his new wife are big fans of cooking, and both of them love learning together to make new recipes and to make old recipes better, so when I saw this book, I thought they would really appreciate the help!
Their number of 'experimental dishes' seems to have increased dramatically since giving them this book, and I am certain they are making good use out of it!!

I even hope to purchase it for myself in the near future!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
My absolute dream book May 8 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a book snob - when I buy hardcover that is. This book is as gorgeous in it's design as in it's concept and piquant literary style. In my spare moments, I grab it and read random passages, just for a little food for thought and to increase my culinary bravery and know-how. It's part book, part recipe book, part essential creative kitchen tool. It's as entertaining as it is useful. Unlike a cookbook where you open it with the intention of cooking, this book mainly serves to inspire and ignite the imagination. When I do happen upon a recipe, though, I always rush to try it. The combination of artistic tool and cook book had me at the words 'Flavor Thesaurus'. Go Niki!


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