Under Coconut Skies: Feasts and Stories from the Philippines

Yasmin Newman. Smith Street, $35 (256p) ISBN 978-1-925811-68-1
“Food is [a Filipino’s] cultural language, crossing boundaries and imparting meaning not possible through words,” writes Newman (7000 Islands) in this inspiring cookbook filled with the flavors and history of her mother’s ancestral home. Here she peels back the layers of the land she loves with more than 60 Filipino recipes, and considers the rich cultural background of the internationally influenced food, “a cuisine characterised by a set of techniques” including preserving, steaming, roasting, and boiling. Each chapter includes a blend of personal stories from Newman and an appetizing offering of condiments, salads, main dishes, and desserts—all created using a flavor palate that leans heavy on coconut, ginger, turmeric, mint, rice, seafood, and pork. Highlights include sizzling wild mushrooms, a vegetarian take on a regional pork dish served as “beer food”; pumpkin curry with young coconut & snake beans, where freshly pressed coconut cream is the star; tropical pavlova with burnt vanilla and lychees, a stunning dessert blending European sensibilities with island ingredients; and lechon with shiitake and black rice stuffing, Newman’s reimagining of the whole roasted suckling pig (“there are few greater pleasures in life”) that serves as a traditional centerpiece for holiday meals. Whether readers are world travelers or adventuresome eaters, this is sure to enlighten and enchant. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/01/2021
Release date: 10/05/2021
Genre: Lifestyle
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