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While buying the best quality ingredients and expanding our recipe repertoire is always at the forefront of most of our minds when we want to cook up something special at home, it's easy to overlook the founding principle of a memorable dish: flavour.
Mastering the building blocks of how to make a dish by understanding and applying some fundamental basics, like deciphering what taste is and how to balance flavours can be the key to taking an enjoyable dish to a standout dish.
Here are two new books that concentrate on just that. By navigating the finer points that make up flavour profiles should help unlock extra creativity and how to truly appreciate fine cooking.
Here they are:
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking
If you get easily sidetracked by fancy kitchen gadgets and exotic ingredients, it's time to get back to basics.
Here is the ultimate guide to what you really need to conquer the kitchen; and it's as simple as understanding four elements: salt, fat acid and heat.
Nosrat, who has been called "America's next great cooking teacher" by Alice Waters and taught Michael Pollan how to cook, is a more than competent teacher.
Available on Amazon
Flavor: The Science of Our Most Neglected Sense by Bob Holmes
For all you science geeks here is the fun fusion of food and applied science from New Scientist correspondent Holmes who has turned the kitchen into a laboratory.
Discover what flavour actually is in his insightful guide, and discover it's far more than just taste. Infact it helps us to detect what will supply carbohydrates (sweet), electrolytes (salt), and protein (umami) while avoiding poisons (bitter) and food that has gone bad (sour).
By enlisting chefs, psychologists, molecular gastronomists, flavourists and farmers and running through a number of experiments, Holmes makes the bite size information fun and approachable, and what's more claims that "almost anyone can get better at appreciating flavour."
Available here from Amazon.