My new favourite book.
Niki Segnit wanted a book which would tell her what foods tasted good with each other. She was searching for something that would free her from over-dependence on recipes. But no such book existed and so she decided to write it herself.
She made a very good job of it.
She selected 99 foods (impossible to include every food) and divided them into categories on a wheel. Each category subtly blends into the next.
Niki Segnit has explored 4,851 flavour combinations in her book. Some are familiar; coffee and walnut, bacon and eggs, horseradish and beef, apple and blackberry, chocolate and cherry. Some are rather more unfamiliar; cauliflower and chocolate, strawberry and tomato, mushroom and mint, smoked fish and cherry.
This is a book for anyone interested in food and especially anyone who lacks the confidence to cook without recipes. I am sure The Flavour Thesaurus will be a valuable aid to more deliciousness in my kitchen .
This is also a book for anyone who likes good writing. Niki Segnit has an engaging and entertaining style. Her description of the currently popular beetroot and chocolate cake as tasting like 'a cheap chocolate cake that's been dropped in a flower bed' made me laugh with agreement. I wish I could write as well.
I will be taking it to bed with me tonight but not before trying a few dried apricots stuffed with lumps of goat's cheese. Apparently 'the sweet perfumed fruitiness of apricot emphasises the savouriness of the cheese, and the whole somehow recalls lamb.' Sounds good to me.