About this book

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 the flavours and textures we love. Published in the UK by Particular Books in March 2018 and in the US by Overlook Press in October 2018 to excellent reviews, March 2019 sees the release of the Penguin paperback edition.

Penguin paperback edition of The Missing Ingredient

Reviews, Tweets , Quotes

Barry Estabrook in The Wall Street Journal

For curious cooks, “The Missing Ingredient” offers a unique perspective on how food is produced. Paging through the book is time well spent.

Read the review here.


Darra Goldstein in the Times Literary Supplement

Jenny Linford’s compelling book . . . explores the deeper meaning and value of time in relation to food.

Read the review here.


Bee Wilson in The Sunday Times Review

Linford’s book is an eloquent plea to see the creation and consumption of good food as something more than an annoying interruption.

Read the review here.


Rachel Cooke in Observer Food Monthly

Interesting and clever . . . revelatory. The Missing Ingredient is the result of a great deal of research. It’s also the product of a 25 year career in food writing, something you feel on every page.

Read the article here.


From Sunday Times restaurant reviewer Marina O’Loughlin:

Jenny Linford has created something quite remarkable: a treatise on the single most vital and most overlooked element of food and cooking that’s as page-turning as a thriller. It’s hard to believe nobody has tackled the concept of ‘time’ before, and Jenny has done it more than justice. A glorious, essential addition to every food lover’s book shelves.


From investigative food journalist Joanna Blytham:

Beautifully written and highly original, Jenny Linford scrutinises time-honoured food production methods and cookery techniques through the often ignored lens of time. A gently informative, almost lyrical volume for our impatient times.


Food historian Polly Russell tweet:

Loving this new book by @jennylinford Thought I’d be dipping in and out but reading cover to cover.


From acclaimed food editor Jill Norman

It’s thoughtful, lively and original.