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Cooking for Geeks by Jeff Potter

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Chapter 3. Choosing Your Inputs: Flavors and Ingredients

YOU OPEN YOUR FRIDGE AND SEE PICKLES, STRAWBERRIES, AND TORTILLAS. What do you do?

You might answer: create a pickle/strawberry wrap. Or if you’re less adventurous, you might say: order a pizza. But somewhere between just throwing it together and ordering takeout is another option. If you’re reading this book, you’re hopefully opening another door and taking the path toward answering one of life’s deeper questions: how do I know what goes together?

The answer is, as with so many things, “it depends.” It depends on how the flavors combine, how those combinations line up with your past experiences, and how the tastes and smells stimulate the regions of your brain responsible for generating and satisfying cravings.

The secret to achieving that blissful sensation of yummy in your cooking is to pick good inputs: ingredients that carry good flavor, generate pleasure, and make your mouth water. The single most important variable in predicting the outcome of your culinary attempts is choosing the right ingredients. I’ll say it again, because this is probably the second most important sentence in the book: picking the right ingredients for your dish is the biggest predictor of its success.

Note

And here is the most important sentence of this book: the secret to a good meal is having fun making it and enjoying the entire experience!

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True, you ...

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