I have to admit that I was a bit biased when it came to The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. I’ve been using The Flavor Bible for years. It quickly became a well used kitchen tool. I have come to trust Karen and Andrew’s insight completely. So when I heard that there was a second version, a vegetarian edition, I knew that I would love it. I just knew.
And I was right. It’s phenomenal. I use it for everything from recipes for blog posts, to dinner party menus, to what to use to top our pizza. It’s definitely one of the most valuable kitchen tools that I have.
Every kitchen should come equipped with one.
What I Love About the Vegetarian Flavor Bible
Each letter is highlighted throughout the section, so it shows on the side of the book, making it easy to find what I’m looking for.
The Amount of Information
In the original Flavor Bible they have information about the season, taste, weight, tips, volume, and techniques. In the new Vegetarian Flavor Bible, they also provide guidance on flavor, nutritional information, cooking techniques, facts, botanical relatives, and more. It’s obvious that a lot of work went in to this book. The result of which is that food has become more understandable and accessible.
The Quantity of Ingredients
I have yet to look for an ingredient and not find it in this book. From goat cheese to spelt berries, burdock to ramps, kelp noodles to liquid smoke. You name it, and I’d guess that it’s in there.
(Since we don’t eat exclusively vegetarian, I have the older Flavor Bible to reference when I want to pair foods with meat.)
The Paring Suggestions
In both versions of the book, I’ve loved that they’ve gone beyond the extensive list of what to pair an ingredient with and have taken three or four ingredients and put them together. You really could just flip to a page, point to an ingredient, go down to the “Flavor Affinities” section, and plan your next dinner party accordingly. All they’ve left for you to do is prepare the food and do the dishes.
I’m a sucker for a great photo of food. While they’re plentiful in both, for some reason I forgot to notice them in the first book. Maybe it’s the white cover on the newer one that just feels so clean and lets the photo stand out. The photos on the interior pages seem to jump out at me too, maybe more noticeable because the front cover caught my eye from the get-go. In any case, whatever the reason, they’re beautiful, and I’m always happy to have a well photographed book as a part of my collection.
The Flavor Bible and The Vegetarian Flavor Bible have taught me so much over the years. Without them, I never would have thought to pair black pepper with apricots, cilantro with lentils and sweet potatoes, or apples with bulgur wheat. They’ve given me the confidence to try new things, expand my culinary horizons, and cook my heart out.