Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Cookbook Review: Century of Flavor

In the kitchen many aromas entice and entrance us. Some smells flood us with warm memories of childhood, among them is the unforgettable scent of pure vanilla.

Remember when mom put a teaspoon into the Toll House cookie batter or a drop into baked apples? Aromas and flavorings are captured in a moment of time to be stored away thoughtfully for later use.

The book, Century of Flavor, is an ode to Nielsen-Massey Vanillas. The book is a sensual tribute to the richest of vanilla flavorings. Every page features glossy silken paper popping with richly photographed food and an adjacent recipe. It’s mouthwatering and majestic at the same time. 

Vanilla is just not for desserts. Who knew vanilla added pizzazz to infused balsamic vinaigrette or savory pork tenderloin or spicy tequila shrimp? 

This cookbook was recently honored by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards and named best corporate cookbook in America. It competes for a top award and the winners will be announced May 9.

A Century of Flavor is dedicated to the Nielsen-Massey family and employees who for the past 100 years have made it their passion to provide pure vanilla products of excellence from around the globe. The company has headquarters in Waukegan, Ill., and production facilities in Ill., and The Netherlands.

Century of Flavor has graciously allowed the reprinting of this recipe for your pleasure:

Gourmet Blueberry Vanilla Granola

3 ½ cups old fashioned oats
1 cup wheat germ
¾ cup flaked coconut
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or nuts of choice
½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ cup canola oil
½ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup gourmet blueberry syrup
1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½  cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried dates
½ cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 250-degrees. Coat a 9×13-inch nonstick baking pan with cooking spray. Combine the oats, wheat germ, coconut, and pecans in a large bowl and toss to combine. Whisk the oil, syrups, vanilla bean paste, cinnamon, and salt in a smaller bowl. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well to combine.

Spread the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Pour the hot granola onto a cookie sheet and allow to cool. Stir in cranberries, dates, and raisins. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Makes about 10 cups.

Serving idea: Stir a couple of drops of Nielsen-Massey Pure Lemon Extract into blueberry yogurt and top with granola.

Please contact Karyn Zoldan to have your cookbook reviewed.

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