Thanks to Ross Donald for recommending this book to me. The book’s author is Niki Segnit and was published in 2010 by Bloomsbury. The book consists of 99 popular ingredients all categorised under respective flavours. By linking all the flavours together, the author creates a circle which is then dissected into sections (like a pie chart, see below). Some of the paired flavours suggested are classical and familiar e.g. Lemon (Citrusy) matches with Oily fish (Marine), while others may seem a bit more bizarre and uncommon e.g. Black pudding (Meaty) with Chocolate (Roasted). The idea of the circle is each flavour heading generally pairs well with opposite headings on the chart or the flavours either side of them.
Under each pairing is a short description of the reason of why the two ingredients match. It may be a scientific fact, a historic note from the past, an idea from a great chef or simply an anecdote from the author’s own experiences. As flavour is subjective due to our preferences of what tastes good, this book may not appeal to everyone. However I personally believe the aim of the book is not to dictate the author’s ideas of what ingredients pairs best with each other. Yes she has personally tested and tried these combinations, so it is her mouth in writing. But it’s for us the readers to become more confident in the kitchen and encourages us to experiment with different flavours. Slowly creating a chain reaction of bulbs lighting up in your head when menu planning. I found this book has helped me become more creative when cooking and recommend it to any foodies out there.