For an inaugural review I’ve chosen a rather challenging cookbook … and to me, challenging is most fun. I first skimmed through Bitter when I came across it at our local library … what is this!? Looking for more, I decided to dig my heels in and get cookin’.
A Taste of the World’s Most Dangerous Flavor, with Recipes
The champion of uncelebrated foods including fat, offal, and bones, Jennifer McLagan turns her attention to a fascinating, underappreciated, and trending topic: bitterness.
What do coffee, IPA beer, dark chocolate, and radicchio all have in common? They’re bitter. While some culinary cultures, such as in Italy and parts of Asia, have an inherent appreciation for bitter flavors (think Campari and Chinese bitter melon), little attention has been given to bitterness in North America: we’re much more likely to reach for salty or sweet. However, with a surge in the popularity of craft beers; dark chocolate; coffee; greens like arugula, dandelion, radicchio, and frisée; high-quality olive oil; and cocktails made with Campari and absinthe—all foods and drinks with elements of bitterness—bitter is finally getting its due.
JENNIFER MCLAGAN is a chef and food stylist and writer who has worked in Toronto, London, and Paris as well as her native Australia. Her previous books, Bones (2005) and Fat (2007) were both widely acclaimed and each won Beard and IACP awards. Jennifer is a regular contributor to Fine Cooking and Food & Drink. She has lived in Toronto for more than thirty years with her sculptor husband, Haralds Gaikis, with whom she escapes to Paris as often as possible. On both sides of the Atlantic, Jennifer maintains friendly relations with her butchers, who put aside their best fat, bones, and odd bits for her.
— Ten Speed Press
My review of Bitter is in the works. Stay tuned!