Well, there’s no getting away from the season of giving. So, if you’re looking for a perfect holiday gift for your foodie friends, grab these lip-smacking food books and they will thank you no end.
These books are written for gourmet enthusiasts, cooking and baking aficionados, culinary students, professionals, chefs and newbies who simply want to know more about our food culture and compile their own favorite recipes.
“Linamnam: Eating One’s Way Around the Philippines,” by Claude Tayag and Mary Ann Quioc, published by Anvil Publishing Inc.
“This is a culinary travel guidebook that tells you what and where to eat from Ilocos to Davao. It’s like a culinary mapping,” says Claude Tayag.
Yes, this book presents the traveling-eating adventures of the popular foodie couple around the Philippines. In this book, not only do they lead the reader to the best eats every region has to offer, scouring the length and breadth of the archipelago, but they also learn the whys and hows of what makes each dish distinctive and exceptional.
As committed advocates of traditional Philippine cuisine, the couple celebrates the variety and intricacies of our multifaceted cuisine, offering readers a clear understanding of what Pinoy eating is all about and challenging those who say Filipino cuisine is all brown, oily and unappetizing. Indeed, there’s more to it than adobo, pancit and lumpia.
“This book is very special to me since it records a good four years of our prime years traveling and eating our way around the country,” adds Claude.
“At the end of this long adventure, one could only conclude that the Philippines is not only beautiful by virtue of its natural wonders, but also because it is endowed with one of the warmest, most hospitable and happiest people on the planet, and having one of the most malinamnam food there is. The book made us discover the richness of our cuisine despite the regional differences. It is our common love of malinamnam food that binds us together.”
This resource book is delightfully easy to read with 200-plus dishes, descriptions and history per region, phone numbers and addresses of restaurants, definitions of culinary terms, and chapters on different kinds of longanisa, okoy, pancit, tamales and popular homegrown bottled sauces, etc.
Asked what was the most exciting destination he visited in this book, Tayag says: “I have no personal favorite place. They’re all equally good in their own way. But, I guess it’s the serendipitous discoveries that excited us the most, and that’s the challenge to our readers to find their own (culinary) adventure. ‘Linamnam’ simply shows the way.”
Available at National Book Store and PowerBooks branches at P250. Edited by Alya B. Honasan
“The Coconut Facts Book: A Practical Guide to Using Virgin Coconut Oil,” by Cris C. Abiva, published by Anvil Publishing Inc.
Are you aware of the many uses of virgin coconut oil? If not, then grab this book and learn about the beneficial elements of this versatile oil to one’s health and well-being.
The 79-page book shares over 30 everyday recipes using VCO, from beverages to breakfast food and desserts. Interesting dishes include Mushroom-Scrambled Eggs with Salsa, Buko-Chicken Soup, Pan-Fried Chicken with Coconut Curry Sauce, Tres Leches Cake and Coconut Panna Cotta, among others.
The book also offers VCO users various ways of including the oil in their daily diet. Some interesting ways: as additive to salad dressings, soups and other hot beverages, or as substitute for butter in baked dishes.
“The Coconut Facts Book” also explains how other coconut by-products (juice, meat, palm), which contain the same healthy ingredients as the oil, can be used in different dishes. Nutritionist and food editor Cris Abiva has also included useful information on the different applications of VCO, such as sunscreen, moisturizer, antiseptic and exfoliant.
Available in all leading bookstores nationwide at P195.
“In My Basket Cookbook: Travel Collection and Recollections,” by Lydia D. Castillo, published by Anvil Publishing Inc.
Lydia D. Castillo, former travel executive and now food columnist, presents her second cookbook, “In My Basket Cookbook: Travel Collection and Recollections.” It talks about her journey around the globe and her encounters with all kinds of dishes, including the exotic and unfamiliar fare she has tried out in her kitchen.
Her vast recipe collection from her trips—some original, others enhanced and given a twist (Pan-Roasted Loro Fillet with Prawns and Leek Potato Gnocchi in Frothy Saffron Sauce, Chinese Noodles with Spinach and Kikiam, Teriyaki Beef Rolls with Kuchay, Veal Cubes with Red Curry Sauce, just to name a few)—is interspersed with interesting anecdotes.
The cookbook is spiced with Castillo’s recollections of visits to country markets from all corners of the world, Michelin-rated restaurants, international hotel chains, large commissaries and home kitchens. All the recipes in Castillo’s book have been kitchen-tested. There’s nothing not doable.
The book, with 128 recipes, is categorized according to region, starting with neighboring countries—HK, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Japan. Each country is given an introduction, a culinary background and how its cuisine evolved through the years. For instance, how Chinese food was influenced by Indian cuisine, or how adobo came from Mexico, not Spain.
Castillo also dwells on Singapore’s curry and what it has in common with Malaysia and Indonesia. Then, there’s Japan’s favorite sushi and sashimi, and how the culture of eating raw food has also crept onto the dining table of many Filipinos. Also in the book are dishes from Australia, Egypt and other European countries.
Available at leading bookstores for P195.
Goldilocks Bakebook: Favorite Recipes from the Philippines’ Best-Loved Bakeshop,” published by Goldilocks Bakeshop Inc.
Those who grew up enjoying Goldilocks’ fluffy mamon, cheesy ensaymada, ever-soft chiffon cake slices, classic polvoron and mocha roll will be happy to know their favorite sweets are now available in a recipe book, complete with delectable pictures.
“Goldilocks Bakebook” has a collection of 108 recipes with 211 pages of stunning photos, and an overview of the company’s remarkable history. The introduction was written by Pinky Trinidad Yee, Goldilocks marketing director, and preface by sisters and founders Milagros Leelin Yee and Clarita Leelin Go.
Well-loved and considered a true Pinoy icon, Goldilocks has long accompanied each birthday, wedding, baptism, graduation, anniversary, or just about any Filipino gathering, promoting a uniquely Filipino passion for sharing and giving through good food.
Milagros and Clarita, and their sister-in-law Doris, had shared a passion for baking, cake-decorating and cooking, and opened the first Goldilocks store along Pasong Tamo, Makati, in May 1966. The two sisters pursued the same passion toward perfection by carefully developing each Goldilocks recipe, and by building the company into what it is today.
This cookbook, which marked Goldilocks’ 45th year in the business, is a fitting tribute to Milagros and Clarita. These two women have tirelessly and relentlessly pursued excellence in each Goldilocks product, much to the delight of their loyal customers.
Recipes in the book include Meat-Filled Bun, Classic Brownies, Butterscotch Bars, Lengua de Gato, Cassava Cake, Ube Macapuno Cake, Marble Roll and Crema de Fruta, among others.
Toward the end of the book, there are heartwarming stories and photos of loyal clients, who also share their family experiences with the No. 1 bakeshop in the country.
Available at National Book Store branches and select Goldilocks outlets at P799. Food styling by Heny Sison and photography by Neal Oshima.
“Home-made for the Holidays: Over 60 Treats to Enjoy at Home or Give as Gifts,” by Aileen A. Anastacio and Angelo F. Comsti, published by Marshall Cavendish
Looking for a different way to serve food, or whip up treats to give away or enjoy? This handy book helps you do just that.
As the book suggests, “Nothing expresses your thoughtfulness and love more than something appropriately home-made.” Thus, “Home-made for the Holidays” is a do-it-yourself luscious gift-suggestion book. The 155-page, full-color book is packed with fresh ideas for sweet and savory food gifts you can easily work on, personalize and create, whatever the gifting occasion may be.
Each gift idea in the book is accompanied by a recipe. There’s also a rundown of gift combinations to make a thematic gift basket, as well as bonus gift tags serving as templates; or, one can simply cut them out and attach to the gift.
The book brims with colorful photographs, plus recipes of Chicken Liver Paté, Chocolate Mint Cupcakes, Taisan, Rum Raisin Bundt cake, Candied Nuts, Peppermint Meringue and Holiday Sugar Cookies, among others.
Available at National Book Store branches at P895.
“Festive Dishes with Family and Friends,” by Nora V. Daza, published by Anvil Publishing Inc.
Here’s another addition to Nora Villanueva Daza’s line of best-selling cookbooks. “Festive Dishes with Family and Friends” shares some of her favorite home-cooked dishes, with additional recipes from family and friends. The dishes are highlighted with photographs, including some personal letters to go with the dishes. The 201-page book also offers amusing anecdotes and useful cooking tips.
The recipes are kept as traditional as possible. Both substitutions and conventional ingredients are given, as well as both simplified and traditional methods of cooking.
Daza’s first-ever cookbook, “Let’s Cook with Nora,” has become a household bible for millions of housewives in search of easy, simple yet delicious meals for their families. The cookbook has traveled far and wide, carried by Filipino expatriates abroad as their essential guide to indigenous home-style cooking.
The culinary icon then followed her best-selling cookbook with two more recipe books, “Galing Galing Philippine Cuisine” and “Nora V. Daza: A Culinary Life.”
Available at all leading bookstores at P195. Edited by Michaela Fenix