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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Published June 1, 2004
Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Cooking.