The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs, by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg is one of those books you plan to keep on your bookshelf alongside all of your other cookbooks, but it never makes it there. You take it with you into the family room to browse while watching television, then grab it on your way up to bed to read before you go to sleep. It makes its way down to the kitchen with you in the morning where you flip while sipping coffee, then remains there through each of your three meals as a source of inspiration. You even find yourself searching for the page listing “peanut butter” when making a simple PB&J sandwich. Yeah, it’s that inspirational.
I love cookbooks, but this is not a cookbook. It’s like the DNA where all cookbooks must come from. There are no recipes in the book. It is pure inspiration. Use this to revive the recipes you already make. You may find that a certain spice, herb or ingredient will enhance the dish and create something completely different. Use it to create new recipes that combine flavors you may have never thought of. If you love cooking, you will find this book is genius! It makes cooking so much fun!
The book consists of lists of ingredients, hundreds and hundreds of them, and describes their flavors and every possible combination. They go into details that you may have never considered, like the ingredient’s “essence,” or aspects that are associated with it, such as: seasonality, taste, weight, volume, etc. They list flavor affinities; flavors that work together so perfectly and are destined to marry. Every page is sprinkled with knowledge from some of America’s top chefs. They list so many combinations of dishes that they prepare in their own restaurants. It’s as if they are spilling secrets!
The Flavor Bible was originally published in 2008. I may be a little late to the game. I had read about it online a few months ago, so I ordered it from my local library. I actually sat in my car for a half hour in front of the library, unable to put it down. As soon as I got home, I knew I either needed to get my own copy, or the library was going to be adding me to their most wanted list! So, I ordered a book of my own from amazon.com; I’d never survive living as a felon. The book has yet to make its way onto my bookshelf.
Since this is my very first “Thing I Love,” I wanted to give away a copy of this book to one of you! When I contacted the authors, Karen and Andrew, to let them know how much I loved the book and about my plan, they immediately offered to provide the giveaway copy! They’ve been so sweet!
To enter, use the widget below. The giveaway ends February 15th, 2013 at 12:00am. The winner will be randomly selected and contacted by email. Best of luck!