an ode to flavor – and a book giveaway! September 13, 2010

0316118400 This week marks the birthday of something pretty important to me. No…it’s not a relationship…or a pet. It’s a book. It’s the volume in my (ridiculous) cookbook collection I turn to most – The Flavor Bible. The brainchild of Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, it’s the definitive text on combining flavors. Any time I’m presented with a random ingredient in a CSA or I’m stumped as to how to pair items I have left in the house, I turn to The Flavor Bible. It’s an incredible work – a wonderful mix of recipes, quotes and palate information.

As a thank you for being a rabid fan of The Flavor Bible, they’ve sent me a copy of it’s cookbook soul-mate – What to Drink With What You Eat. Only having had it a few days, I’ve started perusing it and taking it all in. This book covers ground that likely befuddles many home cooks – the tricky waters of pairing food and wine. Karen and Andrew have applied the same philosophies as shown in the The Flavor Bible to making those pairings – lists by food and the most complimentary wines and then vice versa. What should you cook to drink with that leftover bottle of Torrentes that someone brought to a party? It’s in there.

I feel so strongly that everyone should have a copy of The Flavor Bible that, as a way of celebrating it’s birthday, I’m giving away a copy of to one of my readers. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me about your favorite flavors. One winner (U.S. residents only, please) will be randomly drawn on the book’s birthday – Thursday, September 16th  2010- and will be sent a copy. Please leave one comment per person – multiple entries will be deleted. Make sure when you leave a comment that you include an email address either in your log-in or the comment itself – I have to be able to get in touch with you somehow! :) Good luck, everyone!

UPDATE: This giveaway is closed – a winner was drawn at 5:30 PM on Thursday. Congrats to Brooke from Shutterboo for winning…and thanks to everyone else for taking part.


Angela@spinachtiger Sep 13, 2010 12:09 pm

Immediately I thought of chocolate and orange. Another favorite is nutmeg and vanilla. I also love satsuma with tarragon. These are a few. Thanks for the give away. This is a book that has been on my “wish” list a long time.

Elizabeth Sep 13, 2010 12:09 pm

I already own The Flavour Bible so count me out for the giveaway, but I just had to say ditto! This b far the best cookbook I own, a true food lover’s book and I can’t wait to read What to Drink With What You Eat, sounds amazing!

Lisa Sep 13, 2010 12:09 pm

Lemongrass, ginger, and Thai basil………

Sarah Pearse Sep 13, 2010 12:09 pm

Oh there are so many – I am a sucker for sweet heat – be it habanero/pineapple at the king of pops or the sweet heat of Atlanta greek yogurt or the cayanne/brown sugar pecans at Trader’s…

Dacia Sep 13, 2010 12:09 pm

I would love to get a copy of this book! My favorite flavors in the kitchen are cumin and smoked paprika. I love toasting cumin seeds and then grinding them–you get the most amazing flavor that way.

Tony Sep 13, 2010 12:09 pm

I have to say that one of my favorite flavors is balsamic vinegar. You can make dressings, sauces and marinades. The aged balsamic is thick, robust and needs nothing to improve the flavors. The classic Caprese is simple and has extraordinary flavors or just drizzle the balsamic over vanilla ice cream.

Sarah E Sep 13, 2010 01:09 pm

I like sweet-savory combinations like chocolate covered pretzels, cream cheese with pepper jelly, and blue cheese with honey. Mmmmmmmm.

Brooke Sep 13, 2010 01:09 pm

Cinnamon and nutmeg – I feel like Christmas is in my mouth when it comes to these two and I love that feeling.

Melissa Irvin Sep 13, 2010 01:09 pm

I enjoy rosemary, garlic, and cumin! And I LOVE to cook. Would love to add this wonderful book to my resources!

Julie Sep 13, 2010 01:09 pm

Whatever flavor is created by caramelizing onions is my favorite!

Tessa K. Sep 13, 2010 01:09 pm

I am a big fan of so many flavors it is hard to narrow it to just one combination – so I picked two: Salt and vinegar; and Chocolate and Hazelnut. But really, I love the combination of flavors in most Indian food, and in most Mediterranean food. I lean heavily towards the savory side of flavors, though, with some definite exceptions, as evidenced by the second of my favorite flavor combinations.

Allison Sep 13, 2010 01:09 pm

I love anything with fresh citrus! It can be in a savory or sweet dish, and makes for great cocktails :-)

Shawna Mertens Sep 13, 2010 01:09 pm

Definitely has to be dill and cucumbers. So refreshing!

Stephanie Sep 13, 2010 01:09 pm

I have now fallen in love with citric acid (sour patch kids coating…I love salt with lemons and grapefruits. Also, cream cheese with sweet spicy pepper jelly, yum!

Jessica Sep 13, 2010 01:09 pm

Almond, saffron, jasmine, apricot, lime, cream.
I love light tasting flavors. Those accented by creamy are all the more awesome!

Vicki Sep 13, 2010 02:09 pm

I can’t pick a favorite! Raspberry stands out, though.

KarenMarie Sep 13, 2010 02:09 pm

I really love onion, garlic and oregano. Mmmm, the smell of this combination reminds me of my childhood home.

Lynn Sep 13, 2010 02:09 pm

I love to make a salad dressing combo of olive oil, dijon mustard and lemon juice. Those are favorite flavors.

Emily R Sep 13, 2010 02:09 pm

You can’t go wrong with cilantro and jalapeno as far as I’m concerned…

Julia C Sep 13, 2010 02:09 pm

I like anything that has mustard (especially grainy mustard) as a main ingredient

Brit Sep 13, 2010 02:09 pm

I love ginger, with anything, almost. I’d love to find out what else I can use it with and stretch my imagination. Sep 13, 2010 02:09 pm

shoyu (soy sauce) and lemon!

Anne Sep 13, 2010 02:09 pm

Cumin, cumin, cumin!

annakristina28 Sep 13, 2010 03:09 pm

carmel + salt barely beats out cheese in general, particularly gouda or colby jack in a nice pasta dish or on a humble grilled cheese sandwich!

heather Sep 13, 2010 03:09 pm

the warming spice blends of india. cardamom, ginger, turmeric, cumin, chilli pepper. you name it, i love it.

amy donovan Sep 13, 2010 03:09 pm

olive oil, fresh lemon, balsamic vinegar + fresh basil are just a few of my favorites. + actually, all four of those work pretty well together. :)

Jason King Sep 13, 2010 03:09 pm

Basil is a favorite of mine. I grow half a dozen different kinds just for the sake of variety.
I love cilantro and for the longest time couldn’t understand why so many people don’t like it. Turns out there is a common gene difference that causes some people to get soapy taste when eating cilantro. Glad I don’t have that gene but at least now I understand why they don’t like cilantro heavy salsa.

Amanda Sanders Sep 13, 2010 03:09 pm

Lemon. Fresh apricots. A perfect mature cheddar. European butter. Not necessarily together!

Liz Prosnick Sep 13, 2010 04:09 pm

There is one particular combo that will always and forever stick out in my mind. While vacationing in Mexico with my Dad and Sister during spring break my sophomore year in highschool, I got to enjoy a fresh mango. Being from northern minnesota, this was a true and rare thing. The guy selling them on the beach put them on a stick, peeled them, made little bite sized slices and then squeezed a lime over it and sprinkled it with salt. I had never tasted anything so amazing. I still think of sunshine and salty sea breeze everytime I eat a mango.

Chris Sep 13, 2010 04:09 pm

Chicken pot pie–the roux, the chicken, the sherry–it’s been my own little taste of heaven since I was a little boy.

Roberta Sep 13, 2010 04:09 pm

Chocolate & orange or chocolate & raspberry are my 2 faves.

Lisa~~ Sep 13, 2010 04:09 pm

Cherry and almond or balsamic vinegar and goat cheese. I’ve heard great things about this book and would love to win!

Jessica Jones Sep 13, 2010 05:09 pm

Lemon. I am a total sucker for anything with lemon in it. Almond is a close second, and then chocolate (which I will experiment with everything). Just had my wisdom teeth out this morning, so I’ve got a lot of lemon Jell-O and pudding ready to go, and will be so, so happy when I can really cook again.

Northside Food Sep 13, 2010 05:09 pm

So many options, but I think I really enjoy dark chocolate with raspberry the most. Dark chocolate with any kind of fruit is excellent, but something about that combo makes my mouth water.

Jess Sep 13, 2010 05:09 pm

For anything sweet – cinnamon and sugar, could eat this on ANYTHING. For something more savory – off the type of my head is garlic, rosemary and lemon. Yum.

B Sep 13, 2010 06:09 pm

The grown up in me loves basil with anything. Or cumin with anything.
The child in me loves peanut butter and marshmallow fluff (fluffernutter!). :)

Palila Sep 13, 2010 06:09 pm

Lemon + tarragon. I don’t get to eat that combo as much as I’d like (husband isn’t a tarragon fan), but I love it on nearly anything when he’s out of town!

Renee G Sep 13, 2010 10:09 pm

I must be an equal opportunity eater. I love lemon, basil, vanilla, jalapeno, salt, cheddar, all fruits and most vegetables.

Joan B. Sep 13, 2010 10:09 pm

I love arlic, onion, lemon, orange, jalapeno, cumin, cinnamon, and vanilla to name a few.

grace Sep 13, 2010 11:09 pm

this one’s easy–CINNAMON! also coconut and caramel.
and on the savory side, cilantro. i guess i have a thing for c’s. :)

Chris Smith Sep 14, 2010 05:09 am

I really like vanilla. Vanilla adds the subtle but distinct tastes in banana bread, cinnamon roll icing, chocolate chip cookies, and other great “feel good” foods.

paige c Sep 14, 2010 05:09 am

garlic and onions all day long. what would food be without these two?

Savi Sep 14, 2010 06:09 am

Basically anything with garlic tastes good to me!

Andi Sep 14, 2010 06:09 am

I love spicy/sweet combos, like spiced sugared pecans, an salty/sour, like a perfect avocado half with lime juice and sea salt.

Tina Sep 14, 2010 07:09 am

Sweet and salty – chocolate covered pretzels. Or I had a salty rye bread once that was delish. Have never found a recipe to do it justice.

Bonnie Sep 14, 2010 07:09 am

My favorite flavors are cloves and cinnamon especially if they are with pumpkin or gingerbread!

Roxane G. Sep 14, 2010 08:09 am

Lately I’m loving Moroccan and Indian spices. Especially with a hint of fall in the air, they just warm me up!

Cyn Sep 14, 2010 09:09 am

Right now I am visiting my parents and I am enjoying the South Indian flavors of spice and coconut milk.

Cristy G Sep 14, 2010 09:09 am

I love garlic and chocolate. Preferably not together!

GeorgieCakes Sep 14, 2010 09:09 am

It’s so incredibly hard to pick any one flavor as a favorite when you love to cook. One of my biggest cooking blunders is adding way to many spices. As crazy as this may sound I love adding fresh vanilla beans, lemon & orange zest, cloves into my main dishes, such as, pastichio a Greek lasagna.

Heather @CeliacFamily Sep 14, 2010 09:09 am

Both books look wonderful. If I don’t win them, I’m going to have to buy them. And, maybe some for Christmas gifts, too! My favorite flavors depend on my mood. Right now, a little stressed, I’m craving chocolate and cinnamon.

Sunchowder Sep 14, 2010 09:09 am

I adore fresh lemon zest, juice. I love to combine those with both sweet and savory dishes.

Sean P. Sep 14, 2010 09:09 am

Cool stuff!
There’s a lot of flavors I like but lately I’ve been enjoying black bean sauce with cilantro and cumin + chili powder.
Thanks for holding the giveaway Tami!

Donna Capozzi Speaks Sep 14, 2010 09:09 am

What else would we love in Appalachia but Tom Ka soup — stock, lime zest, ginger, coconut, lemongrass and…fish sauce!

SueDS Sep 14, 2010 10:09 am

A good sweet butter and salt mixture is one that my tastebuds “remembered” for days after eating it. Also, I make a sauce that is poured over chicken and baked that includes teriyaki and powdered spicy mustard. Once it cooks down into the chicken (and has chicken stock added it to), the taste is amazing. At least for those of us with simple tastebuds! :)

Jes Sep 14, 2010 10:09 am

Hot chilis for sure–I love the nuance behind each different pepper. I’m going to have to find What to Drink with What You Eat–it sounds amazing!

Tracey Wolf Jenkins Sep 14, 2010 10:09 am

Hmmm, the list could go on and on, but some personal favs (a bit all over the place) are chipolte, lime, cumin, cilantro, basil, jalapeno, cardamom, ginger, coconut milk, lemongrass, salt, mint and I always triple the amount of garlic a recipe calls for.

Livia Sep 14, 2010 10:09 am

I like toasty/smokey flavors – they can appear anywhere, and then just bring a smile to my face and make me wiggle deeper into my chair and savour whatever the food is a little bit more slowly.

Jessie Sep 14, 2010 10:09 am

Sweet and savory is one of my favorite food combinations…bacon wrapped pineapple bites and chocolate covered pretzels come to mind! Yum

Shila Soni Sep 14, 2010 11:09 am

Hmm tomato and basil is a classic!

AtlantaWineGuy Sep 14, 2010 11:09 am

– teriyaki, ginger and honey
– dark chocolate with blackberries
– dark chocolate with sea salt
– whatever flavor makes Coca Cola taste so good
– pink lady apples dipped in warm caramel
– the flavor of A1 steak sauce
– brown sugar, onion powder and chili powder with a touch of salt
Oh so many great flavors. Cheers!

TheMasalaWala Sep 14, 2010 11:09 am

Well, it is difficult to narrow down there are so many wonderful combinations! One combination I love is spinach with nutmeg.

Ken Sep 14, 2010 11:09 am

I don’t know if I have a favorite flavor per se, but I keep cubes of frozen pesto and chicken stock in the freezer, and a quality champagne vinegar on hand along with a creamy dijon. One or more of those ingredients ensures that you can always turn out a great sauce or dressing as long as you have staples such as butter, olive oil, whole milk, etc. around.

Susan B Sep 14, 2010 11:09 am

Love the smokiness of cumin combined with the freshness of lime.
Almond butter and chocolate!
Ginger, cilantro, soy, fish sauce-as a marinade.
Oh, I could go on! Haven’t heard of the book but it sounds great.

Paula - bell'alimento Sep 14, 2010 12:09 pm

Nutella and strawberry are the first combination that came to mind : )

Margaret Sep 14, 2010 12:09 pm

So many choices: chocolate and peanut butter, basil and anything, good balsamic vinegar, cumin, real vanilla… I could go on and on.

Susan Billie Taylor Sep 14, 2010 12:09 pm

My favorite flavor right now is beef, orange, and fresh ginger. These flavors compliment one another so well. I’d love to have this cookbook!

Moke Sep 14, 2010 12:09 pm

Chocolate and Salt- Yum!

Jenna Sep 14, 2010 01:09 pm

My absolute fave flavor combination is almond and coffee. Love an almond latte or a dark chocolate bar with espresso and almonds.

Sarah Sep 14, 2010 01:09 pm

cinnamon goes well in everything!

Christine Heller Sep 14, 2010 01:09 pm

It’s hard to narrow down! I love the flavors of ponzu, garlic, Thai basil, cilantro (and coriander), various citrus, galangal, cumin, and garam masala.

Amelia Sep 14, 2010 01:09 pm

Has to be anything with mint or cinnamon.

Jen Sep 14, 2010 01:09 pm

I’d say my favorite flavor combination is probably lavender + honey! I had a wonderful lavender/honey ice cream at a farmers market a couple years ago and I’ve been obsessed ever since. Also ginger is a wonderful flavor that I’m loving more and more recently. In absolutely everything! Sweet or savory, it doesn’t matter.

Meredith D Sep 14, 2010 01:09 pm

I’ll have to say… sesame. Mmmm. In a general sense, I prefer the Umami category.

Sarah Sep 14, 2010 02:09 pm

Cinnamon and nutmeg!

dawn Sep 14, 2010 02:09 pm

The flavors of sweet, salty, sour, spicy while enjoying dinner with family and friends, drinking fun drinks, wine, beer, being messy, loving the flavors in my mouth and not wanting to brush my teeth before bed

Frank Sep 14, 2010 02:09 pm

I’m a big fan of the curry. All colors, and pretty hot. Also chocolate, of course, and preferably dark.

Keish Sep 14, 2010 03:09 pm

Cinnamon and ancho chili powder – it’s amazingly tasty on practically any meat. Add cumin and you have a party!

Liesal Sep 14, 2010 04:09 pm

Cinnamon is one of my favorite flavors. And so is sage-it reminds me of home and Thanksgiving because we always make stuffing with fresh sage.

Amanda Sep 14, 2010 07:09 pm

I love anything with a butter flavor. Butter on anything and cheeses with a butter like texture, like Brie or Camembert.

ant Sep 15, 2010 08:09 am

Limes, cinnamon, chili.

Mike Stock Sep 15, 2010 08:09 am

Crisp but not dried out pork and a quick cooked applesauce. Those are my favorites today…

Jody Sep 15, 2010 12:09 pm

Favorite flavors…. coffee (no cream, no sugar), dark chocolate, green curry, lemon. Just not all together!

kelly rowe Sep 15, 2010 12:09 pm

Anything spicy, like Hatch chiles, sambal, sweet chili sauce, chipotles, etc. And lately I’ve really been getting into Middle Eastern spices, star anise, cardamom, foenugreek (sp?), etc. I think it’s going to take a LONG time for me to get tired of these flavors and smells. =0) Sep 15, 2010 01:09 pm

Sauteed mushrooms with a little garlic. My husband hates mushroorms, and I’ve missed them ever since we met!

Laura Sep 15, 2010 03:09 pm

I love rosemary, ginger, cardamom and star anise. I will sneak lavender into improbable recipes, and one of my most favorite things and fondest flavor memories is rose-petal ice cream. This sounds like a fascinating book, would love to read it and use its wisdom.

Liz Sep 15, 2010 04:09 pm

I love cumin, especially combined with lemon and garlic, but basil is probably my favorite and most-used herb.

TNLocavore Sep 15, 2010 05:09 pm

I have ‘What to Drink With What You Eat’ and I love the book. I would love to win a copy of this book because I’ve wanted one for a while now. My latest favorite flavor combo has been Cambozola – I love the faint sweetness of it with the incredible savoriness of the blue cheese. I’ve been eating it with figs & honey and tonight we had it with Benton’s prosciutto.

Susy Sep 15, 2010 05:09 pm

chocolate & sea salt… Throw in some really good olive oil, & I’m really in trouble!

Chrissy Sep 15, 2010 05:09 pm

Yummy! Love spicy and sweet and salty!!
~Thanks for the chance to win

JoVonn Sep 15, 2010 05:09 pm

I love sweet and salty so all if the salted desserts out there are right up my alley. I also like curry.

Strawberry CAKE Sep 15, 2010 05:09 pm

I do not have this book. So I would love a copy. Savory..I love curries, mole sauces, basil, cilantro and lime. Sweet caramel and of course chocolate and Oh Yeh! Strawberries!

Bree Sep 15, 2010 06:09 pm

Plain and simple-salt. Salt on watermelons, oranges, tomatoes, homemade roasted pumpkin seeds,etc…you get the idea.

elizabeth Sep 15, 2010 07:09 pm

my favorite flavor right now is cinnamon and nutmeg as i gear up for fall!

Will Sep 15, 2010 07:09 pm

Tough question, there are so many to choose from. I’d probably have to say garlic & onion, or cayenne & smoked paprika.

leya320 Sep 16, 2010 10:09 am

I love cardamom, molasses and ginger. All together or as stand-out flavors themselves. Two of my all-time favorite recipes are for a moist cardamom cake with yogurt, or a triple ginger cookie (ground, chrystallized and fresh ginger)…. mmmmmmm…..

Karen Sep 16, 2010 01:09 pm

Thai basil and almond are my all-time favorites. YUM! Happy birthday, Flavor Bible!

JenB Sep 16, 2010 02:09 pm

Is coffee ice cream a flavor? That’s my fave.

mara Sep 16, 2010 02:09 pm

it’d decadent, but peanut butter and chocolate get me every time.

Heike Sellers Sep 16, 2010 02:09 pm

The book sounds fantastic as everything boils down to flavor, if a single one or a combination. I’d love to learn more about pairing flavors.

alicia Sep 16, 2010 02:09 pm

cilantro! garlic! and whatever makes PHO taste that way!!

lackofintellect Sep 16, 2010 02:09 pm

Any fresh herbs are my favorite, but I if had to pick one it would be rosemary.

Ann Marie Sep 16, 2010 06:09 pm

Really good Vietnamese cinnamon is wonderful; the flavor can be both spicy and sweet !

Caitlin Sep 17, 2010 12:09 pm

thats hard, but first thought is basil and tomato and mozzarella! love it!