“A perfect reference for the aspiring foodie.” –Chicago Tribune
Winner of the André Simon Award * Observer Best Books of the Year * Guild of Food Writers Best First Book Award
A complete guide to the 99 most essential ingredients and their numerous flavor combinations, offering inspiration for the cook who has everything.
Whether a flavor is defined by a "grassy" ingredient like dill, cucumber, or peas, or a "floral fruity" food like figs, roses, or blueberries, flavors can be combined in wildly imaginative ways. In this lively and original book, Niki Segnit identifies the 99 fundamental ingredients of food and examines what goes with what-revealing for the first time just how infinite are the possibilities in an everyday kitchen.
Segnit has scoured thousands of recipes in countless recipe books, talked to dozens of food technologists and chefs, and visited hundreds of restaurants-all in her quest to uncover the planet's essential pairings. Moving from Meaty to Cheesy, Earthy to Mustardy, and more, Segnit celebrates traditional pairings such as pork and apple and cucumber and dill; points us toward contemporary favorites like goat cheese and beet; and introduces us to unlikely but delicious matchings such as blueberry and mushroom. With nearly a thousand entries and 200 recipes, The Flavor Thesaurus is not only a highly useful and covetable reference book, but the sort of book that will keep you reading, laughing, and cooking for years to come.
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.
“An imaginative but practical matchmaker, [Segnit] has a gift for pairing sometimes lackluster ingredients in a way that brings out the best in them and makes them more appealing as a couple than they ever were as loners... She shares an eloquent vocabulary with us in this delicious book.” —Wall Street Journal
“Astonishing and totally addictive.” —Brian Eno
“The smartest, most original compendium I've come across in donkey's years. It's not a formulaic collection of recipes with variations but a rich and witty and erudite collection of suggestions for arranged marriages of the very best kind: food on food...it's the kitchen equivalent of Match.com.” —Epicurious
“The cure for dinner ennui...a cheekily erudite, endlessly fascinating master list of flavor pairings both familiar and surprising...the entries get you dreaming of both exotic feasts and after-work comfort foods.” —Whole Living
“It has intrigued, inspired, amused and occasionally infuriated me all year, and will for years to come.” —Observer, Best Books of the Year
“For new cooks and old hands in the kitchen, this book is a must-have and a must-read. Not only are the flavor combinations and recipes offered useful, but Niki Segnit's descriptions of each and every one are delightful to read. It's a combination between a bedtime read and a kitchen companion.” —GOOP
“With utmost respect for classic pairings, Segnit boldly considers the chemistry and harmony of flavor and, ventures into unusual combinations for a perfect reference for the aspiring foodie.” —Chicago Tribune