Each chapter delves into one of seven flavor notes — brightness, bitterness, saltiness, sweetness, savoriness, fieriness and richness — with tips for using them to boost flavor and recipes illustrating how they interact. Tart tamarind offsets the bitterness of collards in a soup with chickpeas and lentils; ground cardamom amplifies the sweetness of coconut and semolina cookies; a sprinkle of bonito flakes on blistered shishito peppers offers a lesson in “umami synergism.”
With the mind of a scientist and the heart of a cook, Sharma explains these concepts in a way that compels us to get into the kitchen and start experimenting.
Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.
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