Kate Colquhoun, The Sunday Times
An eclectic combination of dictionary, recipe book, travelogue and memoir…Erudite and inspiring, practical and fun, it will make you salivate, laugh, take issue and feel vindicated…Segnit does for flavour what Lucca Turin achieved for scent in Perfumes: The A-Z Guide, but her book should come with a warning: open these pages at the peril of being late for your next appointment. If you care about these things – or even just want to care – you’ll need at least three copies: one each for the kitchen, bathroom and bedside table. The Flavour Thesaurus is a deceptively simple little masterpiece, set to take its place by McGee on Food and Cooking as a household Bible.
The books I value most are those I return to again and again. Such has been the case with The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit (Bloomsbury). It has intrigued, inspired, amused and occasionally infuriated me all year, and will for years to come.
Yotam Ottolenghi, The best cookbooks of all time
Pulling off the trick of being delightful and informative is pretty rare, I find. I love Niki’s style of writing – packed with knowledge and information, but conveyed with such a lightness of touch. This is full of ideas for those who don’t want a prescriptive approach to recipes.
Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian
This superb book…is not so much a cookbook as an inventory of human inspiration. Or, indeed, even of divine inspiration….As you cannot write with scientific objectivity about taste without risking dullness, the best approach is anecdotal, and this is where Segnit’s book is elevated beyond mere usefulness to delight…Even if you know your 4,851 flavour pairings backwards to the point of ennui, or, conversely, have no intention whatsoever of cooking anything in your life, this is still a book that can be read for pleasure alone. It is as if she has made up her mind to do with her prose what her book invites us to do: to make combinations which both surprise and work…everything here is just right.
William Skidelsky, The Observer
A marvellous idea…One of the delights of Segnit’s book is the way it combines an air of empirical exactitude with something more loose-limbed and poetic…Segnit is blessed with an ear for figurative language…At the same time, she doesn’t stint on the science…throughout the book displays impressive learning.
Kate Winslet, Harper’s Bazaar
I’m a huge fan of cookery recipes, and I heartily recommend The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit. It lists more than 4,000 possible combinations of 99 flavours, with lots of recipes to inspire you.
Ruby Tandoh, The Happy Foodie
My most recent find is Niki Segnit’s incredible The Flavour Thesaurus. By explaining flavour combinations, why they work and how they’re best put to use, Segnit cleared the path for me to break free of the hackneyed old classics and develop interesting pairings of my own. It’s quickly become my cooking bible, the first thing I consult when I’m unsure of myself; the last word on any subject.
Elisabeth Luard, The Scotsman
My own must-have of the year is Niki Segnit’s witty, idiosyncratic Flavour Thesaurus: a neat, near-pocket-sized compendium of what-works-with-what with attitude – cumin is fabulous with carrot and beetroot with chocolate is yucky… my feelings exactly.
Fuchsia Dunlop, Financial Times
Wittily written and peppered with fascinating facts and cooking suggestions. With its wide range of sources and inspirations, it has the air of an old-fashioned miscellany. A fun and often eyebrow-raising read.
Atul Kochhar, The Times
The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit is my favourite book. It has all the elements that allow one to pair the right flavours without making a mess. This book guides one’s imagination and creativity to hugely successful results. Follow this book and you will impress your guests like never before.
John Torode, Daily Mail Weekend Magazine
Every cook should own a copy of Niki Segnit’s brilliant book The Flavour Thesaurus, which explains why certain foods work well together. With 200 recipe ideas, and 99 ingredients with classic and unusual flavour matches for each, this book will revolutionise your cooking.
Fiona Beckett, Decanter
Endearingly quirky…erudite, original and funny.
Ian Tucker, Observer Food Monthly, The 25 Best Cookbooks of 2010
Something different for your pal with a fridge-full of cookbooks. A forensic yet fun exploration of flavour combinations and why they work, from the usual (lamb and mint) to the unlikely (watermelon and oyster).
This is a genius new approach to cooking; it lists 99 ingredients and the best possible things each goes with. Have some beetroot in your fridge? Look up its entry and find not just the obvious goat’s cheese, but also orange, dill, anchovy, coconut, chocolate… Forget formal recipes, it’s about experimenting once you know what works together. This will change the lives of both the gleefully imaginative and the trepidatious cook.
Tim Hayward, Times Literary Supplement
Most [of the entries] are garnished with Segnit’s sharp observations, and many are little personal essays of informative and inspiring erudition…The Flavour Thesaurus entertains, informs and, most importantly, inspires.
If your food obsession is ready to move to the next level, you need The Flavour Thesaurus … it investigates why certain flavours work so well together (lamb and mint for instance), offers more quirky combos and is the perfect manual for experimental cooks. Anyone for black pudding and chocolate?
The Flavour Thesaurus…contains more than 150 recipes subtly interwoven into Niki Segnit’s compelling prose exploring the world of flavour… This imaginative and beautiful little book deserves a place on the shelves of every serious home cook.
Pork and apple, lamb with apricot, chocolate and chilli. When it comes to food there are pairings that are made in heaven and there are flavours that won’t go together, however much a chef tries to push the boundaries. Niki Segnit’s The Flavour Thesaurus is a compendium of all possible taste partnerships, how they work together and why. We can’t wait to test out some of the suggestions, such as goat’s cheese and garlic pizza.
Homes & Gardens
Talented cooks know how to put together different flavours in a way that excites the palate. With Niki Segnit’s fascinating book The Flavour Thesaurus, we can all take cooking to the next level. This fascinating manual explores appealing combinations, from classic pairings such as pork and apple to the more unusual marriage of beef and lemon.
The Independent 50 Best Cookbooks
This is an anti-recipe book…Once you crack its Roget’s Thesaurus organisation, which leads you to thousands of flavour combinations, you’ll stumble across so many wonderful suggestions.
Liz Hoggard, Evening Standard
For culinary geeks, the new bible is Niki Segnit’s The Flavour Thesaurus, an exquisite guide to flavour combining where she takes 99 popular kitchen ingredients and explains why they work…But she also adds anecdotes about her life that bring the recipes alive…the book is wonderfully poetic.
A Little Bird
Niki Segnit’s is a culinary guide to what goes with what. If that sounds a bit drab, don’t be fooled. The book is a revelation, whether you are interested in food or not. It is packed with history, literary references, lore, wonderful recipes and personal anecdotes – and is informed by both scholarly knowledge and scrupulous research, all of which it wears lightly. Some of it is very funny. Look up Apple and Blackberry for a laugh; Beef and Liver for a Saul Bellow hit, Pea and Rosemary for a delicious soup recipe or Parsnip and Banana for a little history. Those are just random pickings. Heston Blumenthal has decreed that all his staff must read it. And Segnit is about to start a food column for The Times on the back of it. A fantastic book. A great present too.
Gareth Groves, Bibendum Times
This is a fabulous book: original, witty, insightful and useful…what stops it becoming merely a dry, reference book for food geeks (although the latter will love it) and turns it into something all together more pleasurable is Segnit’s delicious prose…In amongst the humour and anecdotes, you’ll find plenty of robust history and science. Segnit has clearly done her research. Her gift is to present it in a way that informs and educates whilst making you smile and your belly rumble…Wonderful stuff. Buy the book.
Aram Bakshian, The Wall Street Journal
To savor “The Flavor Thesaurus” fully it helps to think of its author, Niki Segnit, as a culinary marriage broker. An imaginative but practical matchmaker, she has a gift for pairing sometimes lackluster ingredients in a way that brings out the best in them and makes them more appealing as a couple than they ever were as loners…Even experienced home cooks will find much that is new and challenging here…[Niki Segnit] shares an eloquent vocabulary with us in this delicious book.
Regina Schrambling, Epicurious
The smartest, most original compendium I’ve come across in donkey’s years. It’s not a formulaic collection of recipes with variations but a rich and witty and erudite collection of suggestions for arranged marriages of the very best kind: food on food…the kitchen equivalent of Match.com.
Stella Parks, Serious Eats
Don’t imagine this thesaurus as a dry reference text; trust me, Segnit is a riot…The Flavor Thesaurus is a brilliant refresher for those of us who may have learned…classic flavour pairings in culinary school, but also a delightful crash course for home cooks and bakers still learning the ins and outs of layering flavors in a dish. It’s the only book I keep in my kitchen.
Amy Guth, Chicago Tribune
With utmost respect for classic pairings, Segnit boldly considers the chemistry and harmony of flavor and, ventures into unusual combinations for a perfect reference for the aspiring foodie.
Martha Stewart’s Whole Living
The cure for dinner ennui…a cheekily erudite, endlessly fascinating master list of flavor pairings both familiar and surprising…the entries get you dreaming of both exotic feasts and after-work comfort foods.
For new cooks and old hands in the kitchen, this book is a must-have and a must-read. Not only are the flavor combinations and recipes offered useful, but Niki Segnit’s descriptions of each and every one are delightful to read. It’s a combination between a bedtime read and a kitchen companion.
Polly Campbell, Cincinnati Enquirer
One of the most fascinating food books I’ve come across in a long time.
Fascinating…a smart new reference for what goes with what, along with pithy explanations for why.
Ginny Wolter, Library Journal
[Segnit’s] intuitive approach produces a cozy collection of description, anecdotes, and recipes within the flavor combination entries…Segnit’s intimate style makes the book enjoyable as well as useful. This handy little guide will be a wonderful addition for cooks trying to expand their repertoire.
Mark Petruska, Sacramento Book Review
An extremely informative and useful encyclopedia for the kitchen…Brown bag lunch moms and foodies alike will find The Flavor Thesaurus an indispensable reference for years to come.
Marie-Claire Digby, Irish Times
A really clever concept…This quirky book is great to dip into for occasional inspiration and education, as well as broadening your culinary repertoire.
John Lethlean, The Australian
The Flavour Thesaurus is unlike any other food book I’ve seen…Ms Segnit has a delightful turn of phrase…But there is so much substance to go with her style…[The Flavour Thesaurus] could lead to some rather interesting lateral cooking experiments. Strap yourself in. No pictures required.
Nathalie Atkinson, The National Post (Canada)
How I wish I had thought of this book. Segnit offers nearly 1000 combinations around individual entries for 99 different flavours. But the taste profiles and pairings aren’t the best part. The mix of science, anthropology and adventuresomeness is. Both an indispensable reference book and bedtime reading for sweet foodster dreams.
Anne Kingston, Macleans Magazine (Canada)
The Flavour Thesaurus passes the great-food-book litmus test: it’s equally at home on a kitchen or a bedside table. Segnit’s playful prose is witty and erudite, her research, inventive.
Theyiesinuo Keditsu, Morung Express (India)
Those who love reading will agree that every once in a while serendipity brings us in contact with a book, so ingenious, so well written that nothing short of memorizing passages can do it justice. The Flavour Thesaurus is one such book…a thrilling read.
Umapagan Ampikaipakan, The New Straits Times (Malaysia)
Segnit has crafted an absolute wonder of a book….With The Flavour Thesaurus, Segnit has written what is, hands down, one of the most exciting books to grace the cookery section in a very long time. It is unique. It is novel. It is unprecedented. It is a how-to guide. It is a pop-history of the food we eat. It is less of a recipe book as it is a nudge in the right direction. On what goes with what. On why one flavour works with another. On what to do with that globe artichoke that’s been lying in your crisper for the last week.