Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
By Samin Nosrat
Simon & Schuster, 2017. 462 pages.
Many cookbooks are a collection of recipes, sometimes around a theme. But recipes don’t teach you how to be a great cook. In this volume, Chef Samin Nosrat imparts her simple cooking philosophy—the mastery of salt, fat, acid, and heat. Salt enhances flavor, fat delivers flavor and helps texture, acid balances flavor, and heat determines the texture. The mastery of these four elements of cooking will result in a confident cook that is not tied down by the recipe.
This book dedicates a section to each of the four elements of cooking (salt, fat, acid, heat) and also has a few recipes in the back to help the reader get an idea of how these four elements work in cooking. I consider myself to be a pretty experienced cook, but I learned so much while reading this book. I even tried a few of the recipes and found them to be excellent. Nosrat doesn’t just tell you that something works, she explains in detail why something works, and that really helps to build confidence in the kitchen. True mastery comes with practice, but this volume is an excellent compass to show the home chef the way.