How to Unlock Flavor in 50 of our Favorite Ingredients The Editors at America’s Test Kitchen, Guy Crosby America’s Test Kitchen, Hardcover $40 (504pp) 978-1-940352-45-9
In its authoritative Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines and successful public television cooking shows, America’s Test Kitchen has long been the go-to source for explaining the science underlying the preparation of the tasty things that we make in our home kitchens. In this latest of ATK’S top-notch publications, the mysteries of how to bring out the best flavors of fifty common kitchen ingredients are detailed in trademark fashion: well illustrated, often with a witty aside, and listing the Test Kitchen’s various experiments, including the flops.
There are several recipes and variations for each of the fifty ingredients, with discussions on why the recipes work, and “takeaway” and “practical science” sections for truly passionate kitchen geeks who dig chemical and physiological explanations about why these flavors deepen. America’s Test Kitchens do all the hard work, slogging through multiple cooking trials and analyzing esoteric publications like Chemosensory Perception so we don’t have to.
Some of the featured ingredients are surprising choices; one doesn’t normally think of cornmeal, tofu, butter, or cauliflower as being particularly flavorful. Nonetheless, ATK finds the perfect techniques, and explains how to select and store the best-quality ingredients to highlight subtle flavors and make each of the Fab 50 stars of this book shine in each recipe.