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The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs (LITTLE, BROWN A) Hardcover – September 1, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 5,899 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Dornenberg and Page's follow up to their award-winning What to Drink With What You Eat certainly compliments its predecessor (part of the intent), but works equally well as a standalone reference for cooks of all skill levels. An alphabetical index of flavors and ingredients, the book allows readers to search complimentary combinations for a particular ingredient (over 70 flavors go well with chickpeas; over 100 are listed for oranges), emphasizing the classics (chives with eggs, nutmeg with cream, sardines and olive oil, etc.). Entries for ingredients such as chicken, beets and lamb span multiple pages and feature menu items from chefs such as Grant Achatz of Alinea, Alred Portale of Gotham Bar and Grill and Le Bernardin's Eric Ripert. Regional tastes are well-represented in broad entries for classic German and English flavors, as well as the more fine-tuned flavors of, for example, northern France or West Africa. The listings, combinations and short essays from various chefs on different matches are meant to inspire rather than dictate-there are, in fact, no recipes included. Instead, the volume is meant as a jumping-off point for those comfortable in the kitchen and eager to explore; though experienced cooks and chefs will benefit most, novices will find themselves referring to this handsome volume again and again as their confidence grows. Color photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Creative, self-motivated cooks who don’t demand recipes’ precise prescriptions will cheer the publication of this guide to the kingdom of taste. Addressing the nature of flavor and its role in cooking, the authors have gathered creativity and wisdom from dozens of the world’s best chefs. Page and Dornenburg define the aesthetic of flavor as a combination of taste, mouthfeel, aroma, and a mysterious factor perceived by the other senses and by the diner’s emotions. They then break down in hundreds of tables how ingredients’ flavors relate to one another. For example, the table for apples notes their affinity for cinnamon, pork, rum, and nuts. They also list the most common ingredients of national cuisines. In some cases, they note clashes, such as oysters and tarragon. This is a valuable reference for all aspiring chefs and sets down in print what has often been believed inexpressible. --Mark Knoblauch

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Little, Brown & Co.; 1st edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 392 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0316118400
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0316118408
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 3.1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.05 x 1.55 x 10.45 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 5,899 ratings

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
5,899 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2018
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3.0 out of 5 stars Extreamly pretentious.
By jerry d on December 14, 2018
The book is well made the binding is stitched instead of the more common glued. It is made of good quality paper. It has lots of useful information and seems to be extensive but is lacking. On the surface it seems like useful information but It doesn't really say much. No explanation as to what things are such as, it is a type of spice, herb, grain, fruit, fish and such. No information on substitutions. And most importantly for a book about FLAVOR no explanation as to what things tastes like.

I am not a fan of the organization. It's one long list of everything in alphabetical order instead of being categorized. It does not cross reference it self. For anyone that has this book try and put together a dry rub with spices you're not familiar with using only thing book as reference. See if you can differentiate a protein you've never heard of from a grain you've never heard of using only this book.

The format is basically the ingredient's name, the season (harvest), taste, (one, possibly two words, such as sweet, nothing else more descriptive), weight ( i think this has something to do with how you feel after eating, but their explanation is some pretentious crap about wine, mind you not what type of wine goes with the ingredient but some other convoluted BS), volume (again some pretentious BS, instead of saying this thing has a delicate or say bold flavor profile they write it is soft or loud.). This is followed by a long list of other ingredients that it goes with. No explanation as to why things go together just that they do. So instead of say, listing things that go together because they have similar flavors then say a sublist of things that contrast each other and still work when paired. It's one long list with no explanation.

Not really sure who this book is written for. It is useful because it is extensive but it lacks basic information about ingredients that you may not be familiar with. If the ingredient is something you're familiar with then you know what it taste like and what it goes with, and if not this doesn't really say much out side of what it goes with, minus why they go together.

I think this book is intended for the types of cooks that spends more time polishing their pots and knives and admiring how pretty they are then using them. I was looking for a quick reference guide about ingredients and seasonings that I am not familiar including explanations of flavor profiles. I don't know, maybe to include the information that should be part of "The FLAVOR Bible" it would have to be a multi volume set.

I mean if I have to go online to find out that oregano has a slightly bitter, pungent flavor. This pungent flavor is composed of earthy/musty, green, hay and minty notes. The spice imparts a slightly astringent mouthfeel. As apposed to what is listed in the this book, weight (medium to heavy) volume (moderate to loud). That is the actual listing for oregano from the book. that is the entire entry, well that and about a page of thing it goes with as a list.
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Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on January 6, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on June 21, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a great book insofar as it goes and there is loads ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 16, 2017
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14 people found this helpful
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F. Duffy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource if you don't mind how American it is
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 6, 2016
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15 people found this helpful
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Mairead O'Shea
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspires one to be more creative with food
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 1, 2019
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2 people found this helpful
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Zara Mayo
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS BOOK IS A MASTERPIECE
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 13, 2019
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Superman
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for creative people
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 9, 2018
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