‘The Flavor Bible’ by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg

No cookbook ever printed has embodied the saying “flavor is the spice of life” more than Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg’s 2008 best-seller, The Flavor Bible. If you’ve ever gotten bored of your own cooking — chicken breast again?! — then this is the book for you.

Rather than simply presenting you with a bunch of recipes to follow, The Flavor Bible is all about becoming more intuitive with flavor combinations and seasonings so you can coax deliciousness out of pretty much anything.

The book’s official webpage has this to say:

THE FLAVOR BIBLE is your guide to hundreds of ingredients along with the herbs, spices, and other seasonings that will allow you to coax the greatest possible flavor and pleasure from them. This astonishing reference distills the combined experience of dozens of America’s most innovative culinarians, representing [numerous celebrated restaurants].

You’ll learn to:

  • explore the individual roles played by the four basic tastes — salty, sour, bitter and sweet and how to bring them into harmony;
  • work more intuitively and effectively with ingredients by discovering which flavors have the strongest affinities for one another;
  • brighten flavors through the use of acids from vinegars to citrus juices to herbs and spices such as kaffir lime and sumac;
  • deepen or intensify flavors through the layering of specific ingredients or techniques; and
  • balance the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of cooking and serving an extraordinary meal.

The book is indexed into an alphabetical list of ingredients that you can peruse and cross-reference to discover compatible flavor combos that can be employed for the rest of your home cooking life. There are also plenty of quotes and little essays by all kinds of chefs throughout that will further inspire you in your culinary advenures (and hopefully, experimentation).

Get the cookbook in these formats: