I'm so pleased to welcome Judith Fertig, author of The Cake Therapist, to A Bookworm's World today. Judith has written a great piece on Tasting in Technicolor.......lots of food for thought.... :0) Oh, and did I mention I have great giveaway running until July 11/15 - enter to win a copy of The Cake Therapist and Bake Happy!
“One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats,” wrote Iris Murdoch, the English novelist featured in the Kate Winslet film “Iris.”
Whether the small treat is a reward for doing something difficult, a small celebration, something to keep you company while you read, or a way to deal with old hungers that must be fed, it helps if you put a little thought into it.
Mindlessly munching that pallid, overly sweet sugar cookie that you grabbed at the grocery store won’t do. You will eat on and on and on, searching for the flavor and color that just isn’t there. In the end, your supposed treat will make you feel just the slightest bit unsettled, annoyed, or disappointed. Or you will eat another, and another, thinking This time I will find that flavor! I will find that color!
Our unspoken desire is for flavor and color. And when they combine, the effects can be magical.
In my debut novel The Cake Therapist, pastry chef Neely Davis returns to her hometown to open a bakery after her New York life melts down like buttercream frosting on a hot day. Neely hopes to use her special gift—she “reads” people as flavors, which eventually lead to their stories—to create signature desserts that feed their souls.
Neely says, “Flavor was the way people like me made sense of the world.”
“We knew that there was a flavor that explained you—even to yourself. A flavor whose truth you recognized when you tasted it. A flavor that answered the questions you didn’t know you had.”
We’re all trying to figure out the flavor that explains us, even to ourselves. And the color in our lives that goes with it. And we keep trying.
Neely features two complementary flavors/colors every month at her bakery. She knows the subliminal power of color and flavor to move us through life—dark chocolate and coffee to provide the push we need to get a new year started, the quirky romance of raspberry and blood orange for February, the fresh breeze combination of lemon yellow and vivid blueberry in March.
We all know that color can make a cupcake or a cookie more appealing. But color and flavor have more surprising links, as I found when I was working on my new cookbook Bake Happy (Running Press, 2015) at the same time.
Drinking hot chocolate from an orange mug (or enjoying an individual chocolate soufflé in an orange ramekin) makes it taste richer, darker, more mysterious.
Eating a lemon yellow tart on a turquoise plate makes the pastry taste more lemon-y.
Serving a dessert on a round white plate will make it taster 10 percent sweeter.
We tend to eat less of a dessert if it is served on a plate in a contrasting color.
And this I definitely know: Reading the novel The Cake Therapist and the cookbook Bake Happy together will help you taste in Technicolor. Read an excerpt of The Cake Therapist.
"Cookbook author Judith Fertig grew up in the Midwest, went to La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris and The Iowa Writers' Workshop, and now lives in Kansas City. Described by Saveur Magazine as a “heartland cookbook icon,” Fertig writes cookbooks that reflect her love of bread, baking, barbecue, and the fabulous foods of the Heartland. Fertig’s food and lifestyle writing has appeared in more than a dozen publications, including Bon Appetit, Saveur and The New York Times. The Cake Therapist is her fiction debut." You can connect with Judith Fertig on her website or on Facebook, as well as on Twitter and on Pinterest.