10 Reasons To Own the New Vegetarian Flavor Bible

The award-winning author of the Flavor Bible will visit Powell's on Oct 30 to present her definitive guide to meat-free flavor.

By Tuck Woodstock October 7, 2014

Legendary food writing duo Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg are back with a vegetarian version of their celebrated classic cookbook, The Flavor Bible. Clocking in at 576 pages, the epic new veg tome includes history lessons, cooking techniques, nutrition guides, recipes, and detailed flavor profiles of hundreds of plant-based foods. Not convinced? Here’s ten reasons to pick up the Vegetarian Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity with Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, and More, Based on the Wisdom of Leading American Chefs (out October 14 from Little, Brown and Company; $40)

  1. Author Karen Page includes extensive interview snippets with two top Portland chefs: Aaron Woo of Natural Selection and Aaron Adams (formerly) of Portobello. The book also namedrops local plant-based eats like Blossoming Lotus, Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ, Sweetpea Baking, Petunia’s Pies & Pastries, and Heidi Ho Veganics, as well as the Oregonian’s vegan food writer, Grant Butler.
  2. Not vegetarian? No worries, this book is for omnivores! Noting that more than 47% of Americans are aiming to decrease their meat consumption (compared to only 7% who never eat meat), the Vegetarian Flavor Bible is written with "flexitarians" in mind.  
  3. Struggling to clean out your pantry? The flavor index’s thousands upon thousands of creative pairings for every conceivable ingredient will help you finally use up those old bottles of pistachio oil, pomegranate molasses, and palm shortening.
  4. The original Flavor Bible won a highly prestigious James Beard Award for best book, putting the authors on par with James Beard award-winning Portland chefs including Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker, Le Pigeon’s Gabriel Rucker, Beast’s Naomi Pomeroy, Greg Higgins of Higgins Restaurant, Vitaly Paley of Paley’s Place, and Ken Forkish of Ken’s Artisan Bakery (to name a few). 
  5. Page makes it easy to curb any animal-based food craving with a comprehensive craving cheat sheet. The list includes suggestions and substitutes ranging from the obvious (sub tempeh bacon for the pork-based kind) to the ingenious (other bacon alternatives include crisply fried provolone cheese, portobello mushrooms, and tofu marinated in liquid smoke, maple syrup, and nutritional yeast).
  6. An array of vegetable-centric tasting menus from the world’s best restaurants will leave you counting your frequent flyer miles and salivating over dishes like cauliflower cromesquis, sunchoke ravioli, red pepper cheesecake and molasses poached pear. 
  7. But where do veg*ns get their protein? Page tackles this question before the book even begins, penning a thoughtful and thorough introduction that outlines the basics of plant-based nutrition.
  8. The book’s extremely extensive timeline of vegetarian history is sure to fascinate readers of all diets; the section includes the origins of modern staples like peanut butter, breakfast cereal, farmers markets, soy milk, and even the word “vegan.”
  9. If you’ve ever wondered why anyone would voluntarily pass up bacon burgers and pepperoni pizza, wonder no longer! While never preachy, Page makes a strong case for vegetarianism, enumerating the many nutritional, economic, ethical, environmental, and even gastronomic reasons why many foodies—including top culinary trendsetters—are choosing plants over animal products.
  10.  Boost your hipster cred by being among the first to peruse this instant classic. Page and Dornenburg’s previous works, including Becoming a Chef, Culinary Artistry, The Flavor Bible, and What To Drink With What You Eat, have become essential tomes in any culinary library; this new work will surely become a staple as well. 

Sold? Head to Powell's City of Books at 7:30 pm on October 30 to pick up a copy and meet award-winning author Karen Page. 

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