Bitter: one of the most interesting and exciting cookbooks I’ve ever read


Mmmm, I like bitter… (and now I need some beer jelly)

They had an interesting (but brief) story on the genetics of the bitter taste receptor on the radio this morning:
From Kale To Pale Ale, A Love Of Bitter May Be In Your Genes : The Salt : NPR


I despised many bitter vegetables as a kid, but now eat them a lot. If I can find a source of chestnuts I’ll have to try that Brussels sprouts recipe Carla plugged. (I wonder if hazelnuts, which are abundant in Oregon, could be swapped in?)

I’ve always liked bitter food, the secret is adding salt and not sweet to pair the flavors.

Also it’s umami and not unami.


Yeah, you had me at beer jelly.


Might be a good partner for beer jelly? If anyone tried this, let me know.
I fancy having a crack at making some and beer spider weather’s coming up.

1 Like

I have Fat by the same author. It is also excellent.

1 Like

Does this cookbook have a recipe for gamer gate tears? I hear they are bitter.

1 Like

Last winter season, Costco sold a box with 4 sealed pouches of roasted & peeled chestnuts (and thus an 18-month window for freshness), making it ridiculously easy to add them to recipes without any work whatsoever. We’re getting back into that season now, so it might be available again. One caveat: the chestnuts were grown in China.

You can definitely use hazelnuts in brussels sprouts recipes in general, so unless there was a texture reason to use the chestnuts rather than hazelnuts, you’d probably be fine. However, processing raw hazelnuts is a pain in the butt, so hopefully you have easy access to already de-skinned hazelnuts.

Although, come to think of it, the reason to get rid of the skins is because they are extremely bitter, so it just might work for a recipe from this particular cookbook. :wink:

I’m homozygous (CC) for that SNP, meaning I’m not very sensitive to bitter and thus enjoy it. Interestingly, one of my children is a “super taster”, so I’m guessing that means she must be heterozygous there and has her paternal side to blame. Plus, there is probably more than one SNP responsible for tasting food (it’s a pretty important survival skill) and we just don’t know enough yet.


Thanks, I’ll keep an eye out for those.

Kind of boggled that China exports chestnuts. I’d really rather get fresh and local, but I don’t think Oregon grows 'em.

1 Like

Well, here’s one article about it.

Can you not just shake 'em in a sealed container like garlic?

There are two main ways to take the skins off of hazelnuts:

  • Roast them and then rub them in a towel you don’t mind staining (takes a lot of effort but you can do a bunch at once);

  • Boil them in water with baking soda and then dunk them in cold water (when you get it right, the skin comes off easily, but you basically have to do one hazelnut at a time).

You have towels without stains?


One of my super powers is Laundry Goddess.

That’s not entirely a joke. I’m one of the daughters of the Second Wave of feminism: while our mothers were traveling around telling other women they were too good for housework, there was still a house full of work and family members to care for. The greatest lasting legacy for young women like me was learning how to be kick-ass housekeepers. Someone had to do it, and it sure wasn’t going to be the husbands or sons.


Indeed. I am one of its sons. Our towels are horrible :smiley:
(what this makes my daughter, I dunno, but it sure isn’t clean or tidy…)

1 Like

Wise, maybe?

Who dies with the cleanest house, wins.

1 Like

It won’t be me. My living room has 3 computers in it (2 dead, one working), a box of Useful Wires and a half-completed project to resurrect a record player (of which there are also three, all malfunctioning somehow). There’s carpet though. And living plants (that are supposed to be there, not just they’ve appeared). We’re not complete cave-dwellers.


There are useless wires? (Useful wires is overspecification.) Only one half-completed project?

(Also, what’s the expected half-life of the plants? [duck and cover])

1 Like