- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (1 May 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0544809963
- ISBN-13: 978-0544809963
- Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 2.6 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 1.2 Kg
- Customer Reviews: 198 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Flavor Matrix: The Art and Science of Pairing Common Ingredients to Create Extraordinary Dishes Hardcover – 1 May 2018
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--Smithsonian Magazine "Do chicken, mushrooms, and strawberries go together? What about banana and chili sauce? In 2012, James Briscione the Director of Culinary Development at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York had the opportunity to work with IBM's supercomputer Watson. Drawing on a wealth of data, the computer would generate a list of ingredients, often ones you wouldn't think would go together, for the chefs to make a dish with. The results were surprisingly good. But, as Briscione points out, few people have access to Watson. Briscione took the ideas from his time with the supercomputer and offers a scientific look at how flavors break down and pair up. Using a modified color wheel for foods like brassicas and crustaceans, he reveals unexpected pairings, offering recipes to prove his case."
--Food & Wine, "The 18 Spring Cookbooks We're Most Excited About" "Unlock[s] a whole world of information about why flavors work together...Full of detailed infographics, this book also includes Briscione's original recipes."
--Epicurious, "Spring 2018 Cookbook Preview: The 37 New Cookbooks to Buy This Spring" "A fascinating collection of matrices that break down the best flavor combinations to make main ingredients shine...Visually, this book is stunning, like a science text for foodies, with a particularly helpful introduction...[The Flavor Matrix] is a treat for gourmands and food science geeks."
--Library Journal "Briscione, director of culinary research at the Institute of Culinary Education, along with cowriter and wife Parkhurst, will delight food nerds with this scientific exploration of flavor profiles of common ingredients...Professional chefs and home cooks who enjoy experimentation will welcome this insightful new approach."
--Publishers Weekly "Flavor pairing is a fundamental building block of what separates the cook from the chef. The Flavor Matrix will help you think like a chef."
--Madeline Puckette, co-author of Wine Folly "A gifted and creative chef, James Briscione puts the algorithms of taste to use in this wonderfully researched new book. The Flavor Matrix uses science to expand our universe of possible ingredient combinations, and in the process points the way to the future of cooking."
--Frank Stitt, author of Frank Stitt's Southern Table and Bottega Favorita "This comprehensive book is a great tool for any student looking to strengthen his or her knowledge of ingredients, flavors, and textures. The opportunity to study and understand the science of these elements is a great advantage to today's generation of cooks. They should all make use of it!"
--Daniel Boulud, author of Letters to a Young Chef and Daniel: My French Cuisine "The Flavor Matrix isn't just a high quality cookbook filled with delicious recipes and insights. It is that. But more importantly, it's sure to be a requirement for the professional and passionate home cook alike."
--Richard Blais, author of Try This At Home and So Good "The Flavor Matrix is full of interesting insights into the way chefs build dynamic relationships between ingredients. Whether professional chefs or home cooks, we can all use these diagrams as a starting point for endless creativity."
--Michael Anthony, author of The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook and V is for Vegetables "We may be decades away from unraveling exactly how flavor works, but in the meantime, Briscione has given anyone who cooks an approachable source of vivid inspiration and delightful recipes."
--Ali Bouzari, author of Ingredient
About the Author
From the Publisher
James Briscione Explains The Flavor Matrix
What is The Flavor Matrix?
The Flavor Matrix is an innovative new guide to understanding flavor, ingredient pairing and cooking. It’s based on 58 unique matrices which create a unique visual representation of flavor for given ingredients or ingredient categories. Each flavor matrix will help readers better understand flavor in common foods, but how it is constructed and how pair flavors with that ingredient.
What inspired the concept of The Flavor Matrix?
Six years ago, at The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in NYC, a team from IBM came to ICE with the idea that their Watson technology could help people be more creative. They specific wanted to test a new system that could help Chefs create. I was a skeptical but willing subject. I spent the next four years working with the Watson team to help shape IBM’s Chef Watson. One of the things that Watson helped to reveal was the critical role aromatic compounds (the chemical structures in food) played in both creating flavor and influencing which ingredients paired well together. One I began to understand this ‘chemistry of flavor’ I was fascinated and wanted to explore it further.
How did you analyze the chemical makeup of ingredients in order to discover compatibility?
Examining the the individual compounds responsible for flavor in food was the first step in our research. I relied heavily on the Volatile Compounds in Food (VCF) database which compiles and creates an index of the known compounds in foods. It’s an incredible complex process- something as small as a strawberry has over 400 unique compounds that are responsible for its flavor.
We then had to go through the database to compare ingredients. Finding out the number of compounds two ingredients shared would indicate how strong of a pairing those ingredients would be. This process required over 4000 separate calculations (by hand) to collect the data that would ultimately be translated into the matrices.
What were some of the most surprising flavor pairings you discovered?
- Strawberry and Mushroom.
- Blueberry and Horseradish.
- Clam and Melon.
- Tomato and Coconut.
- Coffee and Carrot.
- Avocado and Cocoa.
What are some of your favorite recipes from The Flavor Matrix?
I loved it when we stumbled upon a pairing that was truly unique and could be fit into a familiar setting, I think the chicken and mushroom burger with strawberry ketchup is the best example of this. Other favorite include chocolate mousse with beet meringue and sweet pea, pork and coconut tacos.
Egg whites are composed of about 90 percent water, 10 percent protein, and trace amounts of fat and nutrients, while egg yolks contain a variety of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids and a range of vitamins and minerals. The hue of the egg yolk is determined by its concentration of lutein, a carotenoid derived from the laying hen’s diet. The color of an egg’s shell is determined solely by the breed of the animal that produces it. When raw, eggs have little or no flavor, but when they are cooked they release sulfur compounds, which gives them their distinctive flavor. The longer eggs are cooked, the more sulfur compounds they release—which is why hard-boiled eggs (which are usually cooked for too long at a too-high temperature) can have such a strong sulfur odor.
- Best Pairings:
Citrus, cream, cheese, mushroom, truffle, beef, chicken, roasted/smoked meats, seafood, asparagus.
- Surprise Pairings:
Vanilla, carrot, rhubarb.
Mayonnaise, vegetable purées, cream, butter; in baking: applesauce.
Cane syrup is produced from freshly pressed sugar cane juice that has been boiled so water evaporates and sugar caramelizes. In this cooking process, the syrup develops deep, roasted notes. As the syrup undergoes successive boilings, it becomes darker, eventually developing the slightly sulfurous and bitter flavor characteristic of blackstrap molasses. Maple syrup is the result of a similar production process: The sap of maple trees is carefully boiled to evaporate water, but the boil is stopped before any caramelization occurs. Similar syrups are made from juiced sorghum (sorghum syrup), date palm sap (palm syrup/sugar), and coconut sap (coconut syrup/sugar). These syrups can be used as a more flavorful alternative to plain sugar or corn syrup.
- Main Subtypes:
Cane syrup, molasses, sorghum syrup, maple syrup.
- Best Pairings:
Port wine, tamarind, sherry vinegar, apple, grain, orange.
- Surprise Pairings:
Garlic, fish, olive.
Any syrup may be substituted for another.
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Top international reviews
Once you understand how flavours work together then cooking will become so much easier and fun.
But.... the index is bafflingly terrible. Instead of listing all the ingredients that are mentioned in the book and providing the page numbers they appear on--like in every other cookbook ever written--the index here is essentially a reprint of the table of contents.
My dill is growing really well this year and I want to find ingredients that pair well with dill. With this current edition of the Flavour Matrix, I'd have to pore through each ingredient matrix until I found dill. Hopefully for the next edition of the book the publisher springs for a proper index.
So, I realize that The Flavour Matrix can help our Gathering of the Scots volunteers- first , to pair different foods to create a dish for a course- eg salad or main meat course ,then, to match the flavour proflle of the whisky. Let me know if this makes sense. John Lang, Perth-Andover, NB, Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org
Very easy to read.