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Musings by Leah Jorgensen

The Flavor Bible: An Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity

Cooking Gluten Free Doesn’t Have To Be Yucky.

Eating well takes some creativity.  While a large part of culinary creativity may be summoned at once by imagination, it is more important to understand how flavors work – or don’t work – together.  Once you begin to get a sense of how flavors work together, you won’t ever have to follow recipes again (of course, unless you want to).  You can stir up some amazing tastes while going with the flow.   That is when cooking stops feeling like a chore and evolves into a passion – and in some cases, an obsession!

Part of learning how to cook gluten free and retain flavor in foods that would otherwise go bland, I have relied on The Flavor Bible for inspiration and enlightenment.

The book is divided into three parts:  1 – Flavor = Taste + Mouthfeel + Aroma + “The X Factor”: Learning to recognize the language of food; 2 – Great Cooking = Maximizing Flavor + Pleasure by Tapping Body + Heart + Mind + Spirit: Communicating via the language of food; and, 3 – Flavor Matchmaking: The Charts

Part 3 is my favorite section, because this is where the flavor categories are listed alphabetically.  An example is the pomelo (p. 271).  Here’s what The Flavor Bible mentions about pomelos:  

Pomelos (see also Grapefruit)
Taste:  sour, sweet
Weight:  light
Volume:  loud
Techniques:  broil, raw

avocado
chicken
chili powder
coconut
crab
fish
fish sauce
ginger, pickled
lemongrass
maple
onions
peanuts
pomegranate
salads
salt
scallops
shrimp
spinach

Flavor Affinities:
pomelo + pickled ginger + fish
pomelo + salt + chili powder

Now you have several options for what to do with those lovely pomelos you picked up at the farmer’s market.  Exotic and exciting!

The Flavor Bible is a James Beard Foundation Book Award Winner, and it makes perfect sense.  It’s arguably the most important food book to have in your kitchen library.

I have used this book on a number of occasions to match up ingredients for some of the best dishes I have ever conjured up – all gluten free, of course.  The book is for everyone – whether you hate to cook and need to learn the basics, or you love to cook but need a little inspiration.  I am especially advocating it for people with food restrictions who have either lost their confidence in the kitchen, or have become deflated by the challenges of having to rethink their cooking ways.

I especially dedicate this post to my sister, who admits she hates to cook and is now confronted with cooking gluten free for her family (she’s getting tested and her infant son is showing possible signs for celiac disease).  Kim, if you don’t pick up a copy of this book, I’ll drop one in the mail to you. I know this book will rouse for you a newfound love for cooking.  Your son will thank you!!  xoxo, your little sis

 

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