Aroma by Mandy Aftel
The Magic of Essential Oils in Foods and Fragrance

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A New Way of Thinking About Food and Fragrance

Turn a brilliant natural perfumer loose in a chef's kitchen and you get vanilla perfume, saffron, ginger, and blood orange bath salts, and a cucumber mist. Turn a brilliant chef loose in a perfumer's pantry and you get rose-infused steamed bass, peach-jasmine sorbet, and scores of other startlingly original recipes using floral and herbal aromas.

Aroma permeates every cuisine, from ancient to modern, in every culture and at every level, but what this pioneering cookbook, by chef Daniel Patterson and perfumer Mandy Aftel, makes evident is that aroma, not taste, is our primary experience of food. Without aroma there is no flavor. By focusing on aroma, we intensify all aspects of food, and immeasurably enhance the experience of cooking and eating.

While many cookbooks include some discussion of the use of aromatics in cooking, none concentrates on this essential link, where a few drops of a fragrant essence can make commonplace dishes memorable and good dishes great. Both the food recipes and the fragrance recipes in Aroma are powerfully alluring, whether it's a coffee cologne or an orange flower custard. Cumin vinaigrettes and lemon verbena mists waft off the page. Lavender makes a grilled steak sizzle while white ruffle makes for a haunting perfume.

Explicit information on ingredients, equipment, and terms and techniques complements one fragrance recipe and three food recipes for nearly thirty ingredients—lime, mint, green tea, black pepper, vanilla, and ginger, among others. This seminal work will open your senses to the aromatic, even sensual, dimension of food and fragrance.

About Mandy Aftel

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Mandy Aftel, founder of Aftelier, creates one-of-a-kind perfumes for individuals & private labels. She is also a counselor who specializes in working with artists & writers. She is the author of three previous books. She lives in Berkeley, California. Daniel Patterson opened a new restaurant in San Francisco in June 2004. Named one of America's Best New Chefs by Food & Wine, Patterson previously was chef-owner of Elisabeth Daniel (Best New Restaurant in the United States--James Beard Foundation) and Babette's. He lives in San Francisco.
Published June 1, 2004 by Artisan. 216 pages
Genres: Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Cooking. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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The use of essential oils in place of the actual materials in food seems unnecessarily complicated (e.g., the suggestion that readers "add a few drops of cinnamon essential oil to melted butter, then use that butter to make cinnamon toast").

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