The encyclopedia of flavors. Cook Book
Surely many, including myself, have ever stopped making a recipe because the mixture of flavors did not convince us, we did not want to risk if we did not like that combination and the truth is that maybe we missed a pairing that was going to surprise us.
The flavor combinations are very subjective, it is clear that what one likes the other does not and especially when we talk about food where all our senses are alert, but still I needed to know different mixtures and apply them to my recipes. That is why when I saw this work that I present to you today, "The encyclopedia of flavors", I knew that although it is not a typical cookbook, it was my book.
Its author Niki Segnit, recounts in a very pleasant way how she realized that although she had been cooking for more than twenty years, she did not consider herself a cook, only as she describes herself a simple copier of instructions from her cookbooks, which according to the author denoted a great lack of self-confidence.
He saw then that he needed a manual that dealt with different combinations of flavors and ingredients, and understand why a flavor combines well with one and not the other, their common aspects and their differences, but that book never found it, that's when then she timidly began to write one herself.
He began by collecting a list of flavors, 99 to be more exact, leaving many in the way so as not to make the work so extensive and eliminating, except for potatoes, the most common carbohydrates as well as the most common seasonings, since more or less she considers them compatible with everything.
Then he divided the flavors into sixteen categories, such as floral, citrus, marine and earthy, among others, and within these the different flavors are covered and classified, flavors that even belonging to disparate categories tend to have some qualities in common and are related to those. of the adjacent family, so that the author develops a 360-degree spectrum that she calls the wheel of flavors and that is very useful to have a general idea of what we can mix at a glance.
Thus, traveling this circumference, one flavor leads us to another, family after family. The author acknowledges that this wheel that she has made may have some limitations depending on the flavor we are facing, since there are many ingredients that could be included in different categories even depending on whether they are raw or cooked.
The work progresses by exposing a series of combinations between two flavors, with an impressive number of 4851 possible pairs, many times the author associating them with a specific dish since she attaches almost 500 recipes but explained in a brief and concise way, not as we are usually used to. in a cookbook. And it is that here Niki Segnit does not want to give us an instruction book but what she wants is that each one can develop as someone says their own dish.
In short, an interesting gastronomic bedside book to experience for ourselves in our kitchen. And as its author reminds us, it will allow us with the mixtures of flavors to acquire the confidence that many times we lack to act on our own.
And it is that according to her following the instructions of a recipe is like a parrot repeating phrases from a book, however, acquiring knowledge about how flavors combine is like learning a language, since it allows us to express ourselves freely and improvise, as well as to cook a dish. however we want to cook it.
The encyclopedia of flavors
Niki Segnit Editorial Debate cocina ISBN 978-84-9992-013-9 Price 26.90 euros