The Bookshelf: The Flavor Bible

The Flavor Bible Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, authors of the JBF Award–winning cookbook, The Flavor Bible, give us some exciting flavor combinations and tell us why they work. Bacon and chocolate Why it works: The balance of tastes. Bacon provides the saltiness and the crunch, while chocolate adds a bittersweet quality and creaminess. Blueberries and mushrooms Why it works: Tradition. You can almost imagine the Italians as they foraged for blueberries and mushrooms, deciding that “if they grow together, they go together” before tossing them both into risotto. Vanilla with shellfish Why it works: It brings out sweet undertones. Vanilla enhances the savory-sweetness of lobster, scallops, and other shellfish. Miso and steak Why it works: Umami. Umami, the fifth taste, is known for its savory, mouth-filling quality. Marinate a steak in miso paste and the unusually savory steak will be one of the most delicious you’ve ever tasted. Saffron with stone fruits Why it works: It enhances floral qualities. When paired with stone fruits like peaches and plums, saffron, which comes from the crocus flower, enhances their delicate floral characteristics while bringing out its own floral qualities. Got your own favorite flavor combination? Share it with us in a comment!

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