Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

Anyone can cook anything and make it delicious.

Whether you’ve never picked up a knife or you’re an accomplished chef, there are only four basic factors that determine how good your food will taste: salt, which enhances flavor; fat, which amplifies flavor and makes appealing textures possible; acid, which brightens and balances; and heat, which ultimately determines the texture of food. Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat are the four cardinal directions of cooking, and this book shows how to use them to find your way in any kitchen.

Have you ever felt lost without a recipe, or envious that some cooks can conjure a meal out of thin air (or an empty refrigerator)? Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat will guide you as you choose which ingredients to use, how to cook them, and why last-minute adjustments will ensure that food tastes exactly as it should. These four elements are what allow all great cooks—whether award-winning chefs or Moroccan grandmothers or masters of molecular gastronomy—to cook consistently delicious food. Commit to mastering them and you will too.

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