Bitter: A Taste of the World’s Most Dangerous Flavor, with Recipes
by Jennifer McLagan
love grapefruit, gin and tonic, unsweetened tea, a lot of things that my friends and family don’t particularly like. I was really excited to see this book and was not disappointed. If your looking to branch out into food that has that bitter notes, this is your book. There are some really great recipes in here and the histories of the ingredients are wonderful. There are super simple recipes to get started and more complicated ones too.
What do coffee, IPA beer, dark chocolate, and radicchio all have in common? They’re bitter. While some culinary cultures, such as in Italy and parts of Asia, have an inherent appreciation for bitter flavors (think Campari and Chinese bitter melon), little attention has been given to bitterness in North America: we’re much more likely to reach for salty or sweet. However, with a surge in the popularity of craft beers; dark chocolate; coffee; greens like arugula, dandelion, radicchio, and frisée; high-quality olive oil; and cocktails made with Campari and absinthe—all foods and drinks with elements of bitterness—bitter is finally getting its due.
In this deep and fascinating exploration of bitter through science, culture, history, and 100 deliciously idiosyncratic recipes—like Cardoon Beef Tagine, White Asparagus with Blood Orange Sauce, and Campari Granita—award-winning author Jennifer McLagan makes a case for this misunderstood flavor and explains how adding a touch of bitter to a dish creates an exciting taste dimension that will bring your cooking to life.