Wednesday, May 24, 2023

The Flavour Thesaurus, More Flavours - Niki Segnit

It's been a busy week at work since getting back from holiday, and almost busier at home. I managed to finally finish a jumper just as the weather got far too hot to wear it, so roll on autumn, and good intentions to finish some of the books I've started have stalled somewhat. Oh well. 

I've been excited about Niki Segnit's second flavour thesaurus for a while now. I had an advance review copy, but it was too advanced to have an index so when it came into the shop I bought a copy. It's signed and the cover unfolds to become a poster of the flavour wheel so I have no regrets (unless it's that some branches apparently had tea towels and we didn't - I really like a tea towel). 

There's not much to say about this book except that it's excellent. Its genius is in its relative simplicity. There is the occasional recipe but mostly it's flavour pairings - this time plant-led, and generally with a  range of context. Find yourself with a packet of kale and no inspiration - this is what you need to transform it into something interesting - well and maybe some passionfruit to make a vinaigrette, honestly a combination I would never have considered on my own, but which makes sense now I think about it. 

The simplicity is relative because the depth of knowledge and research to be able to put all these things together is awe-inspiring to me. The other thing about Niki Segnit's approach here that really works for me, and which is also deceptively simple is only using 2 main flavours. Again, this isn't an easy thing to do, but it's a godsend if you want to wine match and with food looking set to stay expensive this favours the stripped-back approach that I'm currently embracing.

So yes, it's an excellent book, get it if you can. 

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