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The Flavor Equation

The Science of Great Cooking Explained + More Than 100 Essential Recipes


Chronicle Books
Available: 10/27/20
8.3 x 10.3 · 352 pages
CDN $53.00 · cl

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Nik Sharma

illustrated by Matteo Riva

foreword by Christopher Kimball

Go beyond recipes in this groundbreaking and bestselling guide to elevating elemental ingredients to make delicious dishes that hit all the right notes, every time. From Nik Sharma, superstar scientist, food blogger, and author of the buzz-generating Season cookbook.

The Flavor Equation deserves space on the shelf right next to Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat as a titan of the how-and-why brigade."- The New Yorker

Aroma, texture, sound, emotion-these are just a few of the elements that play into our perceptions of flavor. In a completely unique and accessible way, Nik Sharma takes readers on an in-depth exploration into the science of taste and demonstrates how to convert approachable spices, herbs, and commonplace pantry items into tasty, simple dishes.

With more than 100 recipes paired with illustrations, anecdotes, and Sharma's evocative, trademark food photography and styling, The Flavor Equation is a knockout volume that provides inspiration and essential knowledge to both home cooks and seasoned chefs.

Recipes, divided into seven sections, include:- Brightness: Lemon-Lime Mintade
- Bitterness: Chocolate Miso Bread Pudding
- Saltiness: Roasted Tomato and Tamarind Soup
- Sweetness: Honey Turmeric Chicken Kebabs with Pineapple
- Savoriness: Blistered Shishito Peppers with Bonito Flakes
- Fieriness: Chicken Lollipops
- Richness: Coconut Milk Cake

A cookbook that offers a new way of looking at food, this is the perfect gift or self-purchase for home cooks who are interested in the science of food and flavor.

CRITICAL ACCLAIM: Named one of the Best Fall Cookbooks upon its release by The New York Times, Eater, Epicurious, Food & Wine, Forbes, Saveur, Serious Eats, The Smithsonian, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, CNN Travel, The Kitchn, Chowhound, and NPR. Winner of The Guild of U.K. Food Writers (General Cookbook) and finalist for the 2021 IACP Cookbook Award.

HAILED BY CULINARY SUPERSTARS: Yotam Ottolenghi calls The Flavor Equation "deep and illuminating, fresh and highly informative . . . a most brilliant achievement." J. Kenji Lopez-Alt proclaims it "a beautiful and intelligent book." Nigella Lawson calls it "original, thought-provoking, and illuminating. It is a book that will change the way you think about food and cooking, and will help to make all your other cookbooks make sense."

FOR BEGINNERS & SEASONED HOME COOKS: The science of flavor is made accessible to every reader in these pages, with more in-depth information offered in a comprehensive appendix. Sharma dives deep into the most basic of our pantry items-salts, oils, sugars, vinegars, citrus, peppers, and more-artfully explaining the science behind why each flavor component works.

Perfect for:- Home cooks who want to learn more about food and flavor
- Those interested in the science of food
- Birthday, holiday, housewarming, or graduation gift for food enthusiasts
- Readers of Lucky Peach, Serious Eats, Indian-Ish, and Koreatown
- Add it to the shelf with cookbooks like The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science ; Ottolenghi Flavor: A Cookbook ; Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking ; and On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen


Nik Sharma is the author, photographer, and recipe developer behind Nik Sharma Cooks/A Brown Table and The Flavor Files newsletter and the recipient of an IACP Trailblazer Award. He has appeared on Chef's Secrets: The Science of Cooking (PBS), The Road to Cooking, and the upcoming series Confluence (PBS). Nik's work has garnered multiple awards from Saveur, Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, and the American Food Journalism Awards. His first book, Season, was a James Beard and IACP awards finalist. His second cookbook, The Flavor Equation, was a James Beard Award, IACP Award, and British Guild of Food Writers Award finalist and winner of the silver medal at The German Academy of Gastronomy. Nik's latest cookbook, Veg-table, debuted in October 2023. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.