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The Flavor Thesaurus: A Compendium of Pairings, Recipes and Ideas for the Creative Cook Hardcover – April 24, 2012


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The Flavor Thesaurus: A Compendium of Pairings, Recipes and Ideas for the Creative Cook + The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing + What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; Revised edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160819874X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608198740
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Niki Segnit's background is in marketing, specializing in food and drink, and she has worked with many famous brands of candy, snacks, baby foods, condiments, dairy products, hard liquors, and soft drinks. She lives in central London with her husband.

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Customer Reviews

It's a handy reference book and written very well.
Matthew O'Connor
The combination of artistic tool and cook book had me at the words 'Flavor Thesaurus'.
Amazon Customer
It offers great inspiration of the melding of flavors.
D. Kosik

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By S. Linkletter on October 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book wasn't at all what I expected, but after I accepted it for what it is I really began to enjoy it.

What I Didn't Like

Another reviewer found it to be like a dictionary in its definitions and details. I found it not at all like that. In fact, it is entirely subjective even by the author's own attestation. The "color wheel" of flavors I found to be useless. The copy without a seam from the binding is not even in color. Furthermore, the typeface on that copy is so small as to be unreadable for me without a magnifying glass. Aesthetics aside, the flavor wheel seems primarily presented to demonstrate that the author can cleverly devise a circular table of food flavors. There is nothing stemming from the wheel that will help you determine which flavors go together. It's not anything like an artist's color wheel, with those associated concepts.

What I Came To Enjoy

The author's rather creative idea was to compile a list of 99 foods and/or food types. The and/or is because some of the 99 are extremely well defined, such as "Lemon", while others are very general, such as "Hard Cheese". Regardless, those are how the author sees the universe of food, and as she says, it is her point of view from which she is writing.

Having defined the 99 foods, she set about to locate examples of each one occurring with the other 98. To this end she seems to have spent a rather inordinate amount of time in London pubs, but there are examples from other places and even from other countries. She wasn't able to locate an example for every pair, which is not surprising, although I suppose pubs are where you might find people who would try anything once so that particular bias is explained.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Cookie on December 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I happened upon this book without any "prior knowledge" in a local bookstore. I put it back on the shelf after a few flips thru but was drawn back to it when my head began to get around its premise and content - I did not leave without it. . I am not lackIng for cookbooks but have nothing like this- none of the other "Flavor" books compare to this author's creative approach to tweaking my creativity for uniquely good things from my kitchen.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Weaver on December 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Got this book on a whim -- mostly because I liked the title! Wow, am I glad I did! For anyone who has cooked strictly from recipes and would like to be more creative OR for anyone who wants more sophisticated results when searching for a recipe to match ingredients in the fridge OR for someone who just likes food writing. This is an unbelievably entertaining and useful book! Nearly 350 pages of good ideas and pithy comments -- I don't know how Ms. Segnit did it, but it's terrific all the way through!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Salenya on February 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My brother and his new wife are big fans of cooking, and both of them love learning together to make new recipes and to make old recipes better, so when I saw this book, I thought they would really appreciate the help!
Their number of 'experimental dishes' seems to have increased dramatically since giving them this book, and I am certain they are making good use out of it!!

I even hope to purchase it for myself in the near future!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a book snob - when I buy hardcover that is. This book is as gorgeous in it's design as in it's concept and piquant literary style. In my spare moments, I grab it and read random passages, just for a little food for thought and to increase my culinary bravery and know-how. It's part book, part recipe book, part essential creative kitchen tool. It's as entertaining as it is useful. Unlike a cookbook where you open it with the intention of cooking, this book mainly serves to inspire and ignite the imagination. When I do happen upon a recipe, though, I always rush to try it. The combination of artistic tool and cook book had me at the words 'Flavor Thesaurus'. Go Niki!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Martina Markus on February 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
fantastic concept and mind blowing ideas, I can not wait to start implememting and getting creative with fluffy flavours,thank you
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Nichol Jr. on September 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Incredible ideas for flavor combinations. Never would have considered a large number of the combos. Some of the pairings have recipes which make exploring that much easier and feasible.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Evelyn Shams on May 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book is a delight for the dedicated foodie (cook or consumer) who wants to understand flavours. While most cooking books provide photos and recipes that emphasise proportions and presentation, this book encourages exploring flavour combinations. And it transcends all cuisines and cooking styles.

I admire how the author gives you inspirational suggestions but doesn't prescribe proportions - you have to develop your own palate to find the right balance. My chocolate ganache tart now includes cardamon to add a wonderful fruity tone, and my almond and orange cake now includes cinnamon. There are some fabulous recipes that occasionally are included, but mostly there are pairing suggestions and tips that can be applied to your existing recipes.

A fabulous and sometimes funny read that will keep you entertained and inspired for years.
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