The Flavour Thesaurus
The book follows the form of "Roget's Thesaurus". The back section lists, alphabetically, 99 popular ingredients, and suggests classic and less well known flavour matches for each. The front section contains an entry for every flavour match listed in the back section and is organised into 16 flavour themes such a Bramble & Hedge, Green & Grassy, and Earthy. There are 980 entries in all and 200 recipes or suggestions are embedded in the text. It covers classic pairings such as pork & apple, lamb & apricot, and cucumber & dill; contemporary favourites like chocolate & chilli, lobster & vanilla, and goat's cheese & beetroot; and interesting but unlikely-sounding couples including black pudding & chocolate, lemon & beef, blueberry & mushroom, and watermelon & oyster.
I haven't been asked to review this, I bought it with my own money and I suggest you do too.
If you have progressed from slavishly following recipe cards, or you want to, then this is the best book for the kitchen you must have. It inspires you to think and try, and is well written, like a conversation with a knowledgeable friend. Her demolition of the overrated beetroot and chocolate cake combination is worth the money alone.
My copy is already stained and grubby, never trust a cookbook that is clean and hasn't been propped open with weights alongside the mixing bowl and flour shaker.