Maureen: Urgh. This cookbook just made things far more difficult than they needed to be. I think maybe it was trying to be too clever, which tripped it up.
Kirstin: It was trying to be something that it couldn’t be. It was very confusing, as well. It had two classification systems, because there’s the title, but then when you start reading it, the subcategories inside didn’t match the title. So that was confusing.
Maureen: As I’ve already said, I thought the indexing was terrible, terrible, terrible. It wasn’t organised well. But at the end of the day, it was just really difficult to use, which not what you want a cookbook to be.
Kirstin: I was intrigued by the bibliography for this cookbook because there was no “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” mentioned, because it’s so similar to this one.
Maureen: It’s possible that with publishing lead times, they were working on each cookbook at the same time and didn’t know about each other. But I had another close look at “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” to compare it to this one and to try to figure out what “Salt, Etc.” was so much better.
Kirstin: It was an amazing book.
Maureen: The difference between this cookbook and “Salt, Etc.” is that the latter was organised differently. The first half of “Salt, Etc.” was all about cooking techniques and why things are done a certain way. The second half of the book took these fundamentals and then applied them to the recipes, which were grouped by category– so all the chicken recipes were together, all the fish recipes were together, etc. So it was much easier to find recipes because you tend to know what core ingredient you want to start with for a particular meal, and then you work from there. In “Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste, Sound,” the recipes were grouped together by cooking theory, so that meant each section had a whole array of recipes. This made it far more difficult than it needed to be to find recipes you wanted to try.
Kirstin: I made three recipes Two of them were amazing and I’ll make them again. The third one– a sea bass recipe– was a complete disaster and the worst meal I’ve made in 10 years. I didn’t blog about it, though, because it wasn’t her fault. I got the wrong ingredients.
Maureen: It was just too hard to use. I might have tried more recipes if it had been easier to use, but it was just painful. In this day and age, when you can find a recipe on the Internet in a nanosecond, I’m not going to page through a 240-page cookbook to try to find what I want to make for dinner.
Kirstin: I think that’s fair.
“Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste & Sound”
Overall Grade (A- F): C – “I’m feeling generous. I didn’t give it an F.” (Maureen) B (Kirstin)
Best recipes: Maureen: Seared Tuna Kirstin: Nasi Goreng “The leftovers were amazing.”
Grade for Photography (A-F): N/A: Kirstin can’t remember any of the photographs, which tells you everything you need to know.
Any disasters? Kirstin: There was a complete disaster with sea bass, but I didn’t blog about it. Maureen: No disasters per se because I found it too difficult to use the book in the first place.
Bookshelf or Charity Shop Donation? Charity Shop Donation. Would You Give This Book to a Friend?: No.