Author(s): Jennifer McLagan
"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. In this deep and fascinating exploration of bitter through science, culture, history, and 120 deliciously idiosyncratic recipes, award-winning author Jennifer McLagan makes a case for this misunderstood flavor. Biologically-speaking, the taste of something bitter--unlike sweet, which can indicate a nutrient-rich food, and salty, which indicates the presence of needed minerals--can signify a poison, so an appreciation for bitterness must develop with age and experience. Bitter is a known appetite stimulant and is often just the thing to add dimension and balance to a dish. 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, even in North America, bitter is making inroads with increased interest in cocktail bitters, craft beers, and artisanal coffee; and consumption of bitter salad greens and chocolate is growing. In the capable hands of McLagan, bitterness will emerge from the shadows of the culinary underworld and get its deserved place in the spotlight"--
JENNIFER MCLAGAN is an Australian-born cook and food writer with a taste for the eccentric. Having worked in prestigious kitchens from Melbourne to London, including Prue Leith's highly regarded restaurant, she now presents at various festivals and writes regularly for magazines such as Food & Drink and Fine Cooking. Her first two books, BONES and FAT, were multi-award winning with FAT being named the Beard Foundation's Cookbook of the Year 2009. Jennifer now resides both in Paris and Toronto with her husband.