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Salt and Bitter!

We’ll be talking about the dance of tastes and flavours, with Jennifer McLagan, acclaimed author of many cookbooks, including Bitter, Blood, and Odd Bits, and with Naomi Duguid, author of The Miracle of Salt and other books. Bitter gives a thrilling edge (think dark chocolate, radicchio, dark caramel). Salt brings out flavours, yet mutes bitter. Cooks use these powerful flavour tools in many ways – let's explore together!

Zoom Event Details

18th January 2023
5:00 pm GMT

Reading list

To help set the table we suggest that you dip into the Proceedings of the 1987 Oxford Food Symposium on Taste.

The opening paper (at page 9) by Alan Davidson, “Tastes, Aromas, Flavours” is an informative and very useful scene-setter, explaining the varied sensitivity of taste receptors on our tongues, and much more.

At page 119, “Taste” by Jenny Macarthur sets out many words for each of the five recognized tastes, among them salt and bitter.

A paper particularly related to Salt is “The Hedonistic Use of Salt” by Douglas Nelson at page 165.

Something you might have on your book shelf: Patience Gray’s Honey from a Weed. There’s a richly informative section on “Edible Weeds,” (followed by recipes) which delves into the wild gathered weeds traditionally known and appreciated by rural folk in many parts of the Mediterranean. Many of them are valued for the bitterness, and for their medicinal properties.

Pierre Laszlo’s 2001 book: Salt: Grain of Life. A scientist’s view.


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