A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous Flavor, With Recipes

Book - 2014 | First edition.
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The champion of uncelebrated foods including fat, offal, and bones, Jennifer McLagan turns her attention to a fascinating, underappreciated, and trending topic: bitterness.

What do coffee, IPA beer, dark chocolate, and radicchio all have in common? They're bitter. While some culinary cultures, such as in Italy and parts of Asia, have an inherent appreciation for bitter flavors (think Campari and Chinese bitter melon), little attention has been given to bitterness in North America: we're much more likely to reach for salty or sweet. However, with a surge in the popularity of craft beers; dark chocolate; coffee; greens like arugula, dandelion, radicchio, and frisée; high-quality olive oil; and cocktails made with Campari and absinthe--all foods and drinks with elements of bitterness--bitter is finally getting its due.

In this deep and fascinating exploration of bitter through science, culture, history, and 100 deliciously idiosyncratic recipes--like Cardoon Beef Tagine, White Asparagus with Blood Orange Sauce, and Campari Granita--award-winning author Jennifer McLagan makes a case for this misunderstood flavor and explains how adding a touch of bitter to a dish creates an exciting taste dimension that will bring your cooking to life.
Publisher: Berkeley, Calif. : Ten Speed Press, [2014]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781607745167
Branch Call Number: 664.07 MCL
Characteristics: 263 pages :,color illustrations


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Nov 20, 2017

Bitter, which received a James Beard award for food writing in 2015, takes a dark but colorful journey through the varieties of bitter tastes that different world cultures have prized. With pages that alternate succulent photography, highly creative recipes, and short essays on specific foods, aspects of taste and the experience of food through all of our senses, and culinary histories, McLagan explores the universe of bitterness: wild greens (separate from arugula and Brussels sprouts) to grapefruits and walnuts, coffees to bitter spirits and Amari, even cardoons and celery. The final chapter delves into the "forbidden" bitter flavors of tobacco and, of course, chocolate. Expect your lips to pucker and your taste buds to water as you peruse this otherworldly compendium.

Aug 14, 2015

Honestly, only two recipes got my attention. Unimaginative .

May 02, 2015

My only complaint about this otherwise outstanding book is that most of the information pages are laid out in white font on a celadon green background, which doesn't provide enough contrast to be easily read.

lib_apart Nov 22, 2014

lib_apart Nov 13, 2014

Like the flavor profile of bitter foods, this book works on many levels. The recipes range from simple to complex and hold to the author's mission of using bitter tastes to create a well-rounded dish. Jennifer McLagan draws from international influences and little known sources of bitterness, and intersperses this work with interesting tidbits about taste and the history of these bitter plants.

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