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The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity

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The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg

The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg

Photo Courtesy of Pricegrabber

The Bottom Line

Mixologists have been using the flavor theories of chefs for years to create cocktails and this is especially apparent in many of the "culinary cocktails" that have dotted the cocktail scene as of late. For anyone with an interest in designing specialty cocktails, creating spectacular drink and food pairings or exploring the realms of flavors and taste in general, The Flavor Bible is the ultimate resource - a giant thesaurus of flavor that was created with expert advice and written by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.
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Pros

  • Useful information for the kitchen and the bar.
  • Complete flavor pairing information great for advanced mixologists.
  • Recommended pairings for many distilled spirits.
  • Great complimentary book for What to Drink with What You Eat.

Cons

  • Large and heavy, certainly not a pocket guide.

Description

  • The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs
  • Released September 2008
  • 380 pages, hardcover, color photographs
  • Written by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
  • Photographs by Barry Salzman
  • Published by Little Brown and Company

Guide Review - The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity

The Flavor Bible is a perfect compliment to Page and Dornenburg's What to Drink with What You Eat and is an essential reference book for anyone interested in advanced flavor pairing. It opens with a detailed examination of the theory of flavor and taste, dissecting the sweet, sour, bitter, aroma, mouthfeel and the "X" Factor (emotional and mental perception of taste). For anyone who studies drinks this section is essential to understand as it is the basis for the theory of why we like certain drinks and how we can create new drinks that push the limits of what we know.

Further into the value that mixologists can find in The Flavor Bible, the recommended flavor pairings include all of the base liquors and a few of the essential liqueurs such as amaretto. But we can take this farther into the drink world and find out what is best with strawberries, that bottle of cilantro-infused vodka or the new ginger liqueur. With almost every entry are a few "Flavor Affinities" - those pairings that are absolutely perfect like Scotch, ginger and lemon.

To understand flavor and how different flavors work with one another is essential for the advanced bartender and anyone interested in exploring new cocktails. The Flavor Bible is the best resource I've seen yet that takes the professional experience of taste to the next level of study.

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