A delightful epicurean adventure through the most essential yet overlooked of culinary ingredients: time.
The Missing Ingredient is about what makes good food, and the first book to consider the intrinsic yet often forgotten role of time in creating flavour.
Written through a series of encounters with ingredients, producers, cooks, shopkeepers and chefs, exploring everything from the brief period in which sugar caramelises, the days required in the crucial process of fermentation in so many foods we love, to the months of slow ripening and close attention that make a great cheddar, or the years needed for certain wines to reach their peak, Jenny Linford shows how, time and again, time itself is the invisible ingredient.
Linford shows how paying attention to time in the kitchen and elsewhere improves our food, from the patient browning of meat to the long investment of many food producers in fields and storehouses around the world. The result is a joyful account of the vital role of time in our culinary lives, and a book to savour.
About the Author
Jenny Linford is a food writer and author of over fifteen books including The Chef's Library, featuring the favourite cookbook choices of over seventy acclaimed international chefs, and Food Lovers' London, first published in 1991 and still in print. General Editor of 1001 Restaurants You Must Experience Before You Die, her work has appeared in Delicious, the Financial Times, Modern Farmer and the National Trust magazine. A longstanding member of the Guild of Food Writers, she founded and runs Gastro-Soho Tours, offering personal guided tours around London's food shops.
Travelling to Denmark, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore and Spain as well as travelling around Britain to meet producers including bakers, chocolate makers, asparagus growers, ice cream makers and farmers, The Missing Ingredient showcases the voices of the people she has encountered and championed over twenty-six years.
"Brilliant and original ... From slow feasts to fast food, Linford shows that, no matter what we are cooking, time is of the essence"
Bee Wilson, Sunday Times
"A compelling book...Time is the unacknowledged genie of the kitchen. The Missing Ingredient considers the meanings that go beyond quantitative measures"
Darra Goldstein, TLS
"Thoughtful, lively and original. No one has approached food in regard to time before"
Jill Norman, Food and Wine Writer
Rachel Cooke, Guardian