Review: Authentic Recipes from the Philippines by Reynaldo Gamboa Alejandro, Luca Invernizzi Tettoni

I wasn’t entirely sure how to interpret Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge when they made one of the categories “a food book about a cuisine you haven’t tried before.” It could have meant a chef memoir or an informational text or a cookbook and I ended up doing a combo of the last two.

Authentic Recipes from the Philippines was a very thorough, engaging read. I learned a lot, like the fact that the Philippines is comprised of over 7,000 islands and they have been colonized by many, many countries. The book also takes the reader through the ways those colonizations have impacted the country’s culinary traditions and the influences that shaped the land and how that is echoed in the shaping of their national dishes. Some dishes were clearly more inspired by China, others by Spain, etc. There was a breakdown of the different common ingredients or flavors that are used in Filipino cooking and even the tools they traditionally use and the modern appliances that sometimes are used instead. I am planning on making something from the cookbook so keep an eye out for that post. I am the first to admit that I’m not an adventurous eater but I was definitely able to find a few that I’d like to try.

If you have any interest in Filipino cooking or culture, this is a good, quick, fairly comprehensive read.