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Jan 22, 2010 02:38 PM

Culinary Artistry vs The Flavour Bible

I just purchased The Flavour Bible (FB) by Andrew Dronernburg and Karen Page. I already own their earlier reference book Culinary Artistry (CA), which I love, and I was interested to hear from other 'hounds who own both how they feel they compare.

My feelings are that while Flavour Bible obviously offers a more detailed list of flavour pairings (chestnuts is an example I looked up in FB tonight - and there isn't even a listing for it in CA), I enjoyed browsing and reading CA more, for the sample menus and more quotes from chefs, which inspire me perhaps even more than charts of flavour pairings. I found there were hardly any sample menus or dish suggestions in FB.

Interestingly, the authors describe CA as a book expressing flavour trends in American cooking up until 1996, and FB as a guide to modern pairings from 2000 onwards. Now, I know I hardly have my fingers on the pulse of American trends, but surely flavour affinities have not radically changed since 1996? Sure, there may be one or two kooky new combos, but for the most part, isn't everyone still pairing tomatoes with basil and orange with chocolate? Did they really need to bring out a whole new book? Why not just update CA and maybe make it longer to incorporate more flavour affinities charts? Because I would rather have one than two books taking up precious cookbook space on my shelf, and would certainly be buying such a compendium for all my friends...

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