My Hubbs loves unusual foods. He is super-sensitive to smells and has a high appreciation for a stinky Blue Cheese or a good nose on a wine. This makes him so much fun to cook for – the less conventional, the better!
For his birthday I gave him a book called the Flavor Bible, which I knew he would enjoy. The book is divided up in alphabetical order by any type of ingredient you could imagine, and it gets pretty specific. For example, under L, you will find separate entries for:
Lettuce, Bitter Greens
Whew- I never considered that all those types of lettuces had different flavors! The authors have taken each ingredient and described its taste, its weight, and other characteristics, and then they lists of flavors that pair well with the entry. The flavor combinations are ranked by how well the flavors combine, the best of the combinations being designated as the “Holy Grail” pairings, and are quite familiar. (Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter – no surprise there)
Its been fun to find new ways of cooking common ingredients by looking them up and seeing what the book has to say. They put together food combinations together that I never would have considered like recommending pineapple with rosemary, lavender with ice cream, and highly recommending chicken with cinnamon. Sounds like I’ve got some kitchen experimenting to do.