About the Book

The Flavour Thesaurus UK Edition

The Flavour Thesaurus UK Edition

Winner of the André Simon Award 2010 

Winner of the Jeremy Round Award for Best First Book at the Guild of Food Writers Awards 2011  

Shortlisted for the Tesco Food and Drink Book of the Year at the Galaxy National Book Awards 2010  

Winner of Best Jacket / Cover Design at the British Book Design and Production Awards 2010  

Winner of Best Translated Reference Book at the Swedish Måltidsakademien Food Writing Awards 2012

Ever wondered why one flavour works with another? Or lacked inspiration for what to do with a bundle of beetroot? The Flavour Thesaurus is the first book to examine what goes with what, pair by pair. 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.   

Beautifully packaged, The Flavour Thesaurus is not only a highly useful, and covetable, reference book that will immeasurably improve your cooking – it’s the sort of book that might keep you up at night reading.

In addition to the UK and US editions The Flavour Thesaurus has been (or is being) translated into 12 languages

41 Responses to About the Book

  1. Bhanu Rana says:

    Niki, I purchased your book this Christmas and just had to comment on how utterly brilliant it is!!!
    Personally, I hate cookbooks because I love cooking experimentally, and The Flavour Thesaurus just guides me in the right direction to make some truly epic meals.

    I am a great fan of all meats, so was delighted to read of new things to do that I had never even thought of such as Lamb & Anchovy, what a great combination!
    Even though your book only contains pairing of flavours it is very easy to dig a little deeper through it and find other combinable flavours to make a great meal.

    I hope this is not the end of your research in the field and look forward to hearing of your adventures in a future edition.

    Sincerely
    Bhanu Rana

    PS – Do you have any more book signings coming up in the UK?

    • Niki Segnit says:

      Dear Bhanu

      Thank you very much for your kind comments – they’re much appreciated. Don’t know if you’re in or near London, but on Thursday Jan 20th (at 7pm) I’m doing a talk and signing at a bookshop called Woolfson & Tay in Bermondsey. See http://bit.ly/hHVbh4 for more details.

      Best wishes

      Niki

  2. Florence says:

    Dear Niki,

    I am Belgian and was in London this week-end where I discovered your book. I may say that the beautiful cover that attracted me first (pay my best regards to your graphic designer) and then the idea and the texts thrilled me.
    I am planning to buy other copies for my friends and I see that you have edited a UK and US version. I would like to know what the difference is.
    Do you also plan to translate it into French? It should be an excellent idea and a real success I think!

    Thanks and best regards,

    Florence

    • Niki Segnit says:

      Dear Florence
      Thank you and I’m very glad you’re enjoying the book. The differences between the UK and US texts are slight and are mainly a matter of spellings, vocabulary (aubergine / eggplant) and cultural reference. There will be a French version, out this autumn, and a Dutch version published by Podium in April.
      Best wishes
      Niki

  3. Gemma says:

    Niki
    I love love love your book. You’re a funny girl. And your recipe for prostitute pasta (putanesca; i’m funny too) finally got my mother to eat my cooking.
    Thanks.

  4. Di Wingfield says:

    Niki
    my daughter is studying Patisserie – does the book cover flavours that would work well together in this area of cooking?

    • Niki Segnit says:

      Dear Di
      The book covers classic, contemporary and unusual flavour pairings, many of which will be useful for a pastry student.
      Hope that’s some help
      Best wishes
      Niki

  5. Amelia says:

    I am oh so excited to purchase a copy, I’m from New Zealand and a little stumped as to where I could find it here? I would rather by locally before Amazon, but most definitely will head in that direction if I’m lost for ops, I WANT IT ASAP :) not into waiting for freight

    x

  6. Linus Sebastian says:

    Hi Niki,

    This book seems like the perfect fit for an iPad / iPhone app — any plans for the future?

    Cheers,
    _Linus

    • Niki Segnit says:

      Dear Linus
      Thanks for your interest. Nothing planned for the very near future…but watch this space.
      Best wishes
      Niki

  7. Maria Sisci says:

    Dear Niki,

    I bought your book in August and it’s been such a great summer read. I’m a passionate amateur cook and your book has been so inspiring. Love not only the suggested pairings of ingredients and recipes but also your style of writing and your little anecdotes that made it so entertaining to read. Please continue writing, I look forward to your future books :)

    Cheers,

    Maria

    • Niki Segnit says:

      Dear Maria
      Thank you very much. I’m delighted you enjoyed it. I write a regular column in The Times if you’d like to read more.
      Best wishes
      Niki

  8. Rayni Thomas says:

    Niki,
    I’m completely blown away by your book – it is exactly what I didn’t know I was looking for!
    I specialise in cocktail making, and I have to say that this has become my new Bible for coming up with some new, different ideas. I’m always interested in doing something a little different, and the flavour combinations in your book have been complete golden gems! Very popular with the clientele. Many thanks!
    Ray

    • Niki Segnit says:

      Dear Ray
      Thank you very much. It’s exactly what I didn’t know I always wanted to write. Whereabouts is your bar?
      Best wishes
      Niki

  9. Hi I am a food blogger and discovered your book a few months ago and I have to say I have never come accross a book relating to food that allows you to really prove that there is no limit to creativity. I know for certain that I will be using the tips in your book as insiration going forward with my recipes. You have opened up a whole new section of my brain! Thank you!

  10. MARYLINE says:

    do you plan a french translation ?
    thanks for your answer

  11. Nico S. says:

    Dear Niki,

    Just ordered your book after reading it at a friends house. Mouthwatering and excellent stuff. Are you also looking at wine pairings or something of a wine thesaurus, on the same level and with as much fun as the Flavour Thesaurus?

  12. Lisa says:

    Hi Niki,

    Whats the difference between the first UK edition published 21st June 2010 and the second due 24th April 2012 please?

    Thanks, Lisa

    • Niki Segnit says:

      Dear Lisa
      The one due on the 24th April is the new US, not UK, Flavor-without-a-u edition, and differs from the original US version in that it now has the colour-wheel cover design.
      Best wishes
      Niki

  13. Shivangi Walke says:

    Dear Niki,
    Just came across your book which looks great.
    Your thesaurus can really lend itself to an ipad app. Is this something I can wait for in the near future as an alternative to the book.
    Thanks
    Shivangi

  14. Zoé Perrenoud says:

    Hi Niki,
    I just love the way you wrote this book, but most of all I love your recipe for artichoke and pancetta rigatoni (it is served often, even when relationships are not in danger). I cannot thank you enough for that one!!
    Best wishes,
    Zoé

    • Niki Segnit says:

      Dear Zoé
      Thanks so much for your very nice comment. The truth about that recipe is that I described it to my husband – many years after the break-up with the boyfriend in the story – and he recreated it exactly as I remembered it. So it’s good, as you say, for functional relationships too…
      Best wishes
      Niki

  15. CHRISTOPHER PRITCHARD IN TROPICAL QUEENSLAND says:

    Hi Niki – I was scanning the net when my name came up on your site. I thought I already sent a message re Thesaurus. I noticed silver beet and spinach not recognised on your list. It grows like sugar cane here in the tropics. Whats your take . Chris Pritchard

  16. Carrie says:

    Hi Niki,

    I’d been looking for a book of flavour pairings for some new things to try in the kitchen and happened upon your book at the library. I was delighted to find that it was not only a great resource on flavour combinations and new approaches to familiar ingredients, it’s also charmingly well-written and an absolute pleasure to read! (I was a little dismayed, however, when I flipped to my pet flavour combination of beets and chocolate to see what you’d said about it and found that you hated it! If you come to Vancouver Island for a book signing, I’ll be sure to bring some of my ginger-beet fudge brownies to see if I can’t change your mind). The book is full of delicious surprises, both in content and in style, and the concept of it is genius – short little bites of exquisitely vivid food writing, like juicy morsels of food for the reader’s soul. This is a book I’d keep on my coffee table to graze on again and again for a little reading pleasure, and also a book I’d actually take into my kitchen and cook out of. I renewed it as many times as I could and was very sorry to finally have to return it to the library yesterday; I already miss it and I plan to buy my own copy as soon as possible. I grabbed this book looking for a few new ideas, but what I got was inspiration. Thank you so much for writing this!

    One thing I’ll say though – the only thing that would make this book more perfect is some luscious pictures to go with the luscious words. Something to consider for potential future editions?

    Cheers, and thanks again for writing such a lovely little book.

    Carrie

    • Niki Segnit says:

      Dear Carrie
      If only I was coming to Vancouver Island. I could do with a holiday.
      I was never keen on the book having pictures. Firstly, because it’s a reference book and the all-type layout seemed right. Secondly, because I wanted to leave the reader free to conjure their own images. The Flavour Thesaurus is the start point for ideas and recipes, as opposed to a typical recipe book that shows idealised endpoints. While I enjoy great food photography, I have to say that many of my favourite food books don’t have pictures – Nigel Slater’s Real Fast Food, Nigella Lawson’s How To Eat and all my Penguin editions by Elizabeth David, Jane Grigson and Lindsay Bareham. I imagine you’re acquainted with most of these too. Conceivably they’re as good as they are because the writer had no pictures to fall back on, and so had to make the words work harder…
      Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me.
      Best regards
      Niki

  17. Chet Hansra says:

    Hi,

    Is it possible to receive a JPEG of the flavour thesaurus wheel?… It’s a work of part!

    Thanks

  18. stephane says:

    Hello,

    As a Pastry Chef &Cook I just wanted to thank you again for this delicious book.A must have and for anyone that wants to push the boundaries further ….without headaches!

    Bon appetit!

  19. Mocophec says:

    What an amazing book! It gives cooks an incredible opportunity to create new dishes. Thanks a lot for your work Niki. Everyone who loves cooking has to have a copy of it!

  20. Erman Girgin says:

    Dear Niki,

    I literally loved your book, enjoyed your pairings and ideas about them. Perfect for innovative cooks! Thanks for your great effort on this genius book! I have a blog on the science of cooking and I’m covering some important works there. I also would like to share some of your pairings and ideas in my blog for my Turkish readers! So, I wanted to get your permission before I start. Thanks for your respond.

    Cheers,
    Erman

    • Niki Segnit says:

      Dear Erman
      Thanks so much for your kind comments – I’m always delighted to hear when readers have enjoyed the book. And yes, assuming you’d just want to use a few short quotes, then please do go ahead and write about it in your blog. Any longer excepts would need to be cleared with my publisher, but I doubt that’s your intention.
      With all best wishes
      Niki

      • Erman Girgin says:

        Hi Niki,

        Thanks for your quick response. I’m planning to use some of your pairings and ideas as a basis and blend them with what I think about those flavours and connect them with related recipes. It won’t be long and exact quotes, just for your information.

        Best wishes,
        Erman

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