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572 of 596 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary book!, October 12, 2008
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This review is from: The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs (Hardcover)
I recently added this book to my cookbook collection, which numbers more than 1,000 volumes (probably more like 1200 but I'm still cataloging). It has immediately become one of my favorites (and definitely my #1 favorite in English). If you are a serious cook, love to read cookbooks like novels, and view recipes as suggestions rather than as requiring strict adherence to precise measurements, then this is the book for you! (Did I say I LOVE this book?)

I make all of the desserts for my husband's restaurant. If I snag some particularly luscious fruit and want to make it into a dessert, this is the book I reach for first. I don't WANT to be told how to make a fruit sorbet. I already know how. But I love having a list of suggested flavors and products that go with what I already have. It's like having an uber-creative friend at your side saying "hey, why not try THIS?"

And if you are not an experienced cook, this book provides invaluable guidance that a recipe book never could. It is wholly different from every food book I have ever read.

The book is clever, useful, and obviously the product of prodigious research. To the authors, I send my humble gratitude. You have made my life immeasurably easier, and my dishes far more interesting than ever before.

This book is a must-read if you love to eat or love to cook. I have already bought six copies and have given two as gifts. It's THAT good.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 11, 2009 3:29:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 11, 2009 3:47:31 PM PDT
In regards to the following review by "BJ" who writes: "The book is clever, useful, and obviously the product of prodigious research. To the authors, I send my humble gratitude. You have made my life immeasurably easier, and my dishes far more interesting than ever before. "

As a retired Philadelphia chef, I ask BJ: What does 'interesting' mean? I have the feeling that new for the sake of newness is what's selling these days and this saddens me because such new and "interesting" recipes are by and large ephemeral. My point is did you find the "dishes" delicious enough to stand the test of time? Some of my best and most sought after recipes are old standbys. Most Feinschmeckers (I refuse to use the ditzy word invented by Peter Kump, to wit: "Foodies") report that the most delectable and favorite meals along with specific recipes are based on memories of deliciousness and the specific occasion and location of the dining experience... not "what's happening now" food fads. American consumers are basically fickle. Thus marketing seems to be what is formating America' gustatory judgement.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2009 10:43:25 PM PST
Interesting. So your assertion is that, by and large, the preferences of American consumers are based on what is "new" rather than what is delicious? I would challenge that. I believe that the majority of the U.S. population prefers food that evokes latent pleasant memories, whether on a conscious or subconscious level. Something new might be an interesting adventure occasionally, but let's face it: an updated version of mom's meat loaf recipe is more likely to win popular approval than one for sauteed buffalo testicles with a star fruit and port wine reduction, now matter how well the latter is marketed.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 28, 2010 10:25:59 PM PDT
J. Lyson says:
Wow. A recipe for sauteed buffalo testicles with star fruit? Surely you jest. Cranberries in Reisling darling, Star fruit is way too mild. And what's wrong with new? Here's a new one for you. Macaroni and cheese topped with tator tots. A favorite recipe of mine. And how many recipes are there out there for it? To have any use for a new cookebook it needs to have new ideas. Lighten up and eat some balls.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2010 12:03:43 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2010 12:14:26 AM PDT
The Flavor Bible

Artimus While it is true that Authenticity (of recipes and faviorite thing to eat, judgement of the entire dining experience is a matter of personal preferences which often begin at home. These days TV seems to have warped many family mealtimes and skews the views and kinds of foods and favorite things to eat.

My advice is that we should use all six of our senses whan judging foods and recipes. Taste, Aroma, Sight (i.e.) Attractivness Texture, Sound [the crunch of an apple is important when judging it's epicurian character,) plus our 6th sense must also enter the equasion (i.e. Common Sense). In the final analysis, personal preferences are just that ..., they are quite personal. I recall an old addage that opionions are like rectums: everyone has one.

Furthermore , trying to change someones mind is more often than not to be an excercize in fruitility. Personal sensory preferences are especially just that: they are VERY personal.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 10, 2011 5:08:30 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2011 5:10:54 AM PST
@ Chef Fritz Blank: As James Peterson noted in his introduction to the latest edition of Sauces, Western cuisine has undergone more rapid change in the last 2 decades than at any other time in its history. Besides, your old tried and true recipes might work but they can't compete on a global culinary stage. Your grilled meat has to compete not only with Texas Barbecue, but also go up against Korean Barbecue as well. Your savory daube, can it go head to head against an Indonesian Rendang? Or your seafood soup, can it replace the craving for a Thai spiced seafood soup with coconut lemongrass broth?

Your old standby recipes might still work, but if that's all you've got, your food will be dull, as in uninteresting and unsatisfying.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2012 11:41:52 AM PDT
MLPSPQR says:
BRAVA !!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2014 9:52:10 AM PDT
I agree. People want more to tickle their pallets today. I find thamost over eaters crave something new. They often say. I want something but I can't put my finger on it. Try Thai or Jamaican foods or new spices for old receipes. Sounds like this book might help in this area.
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