Do You Have These 7 Essential Filipino Cookbooks?November 11, 2019
Cookbooks have become so much more than simple meal-makers. They become heirlooms, gifted from one generation to another; they become personal narratives of families and cultures as told through recipes, and are even made a part of history in its careful documentation of food and where they come from. In tracing the evolution of Filipino cooking, one just has to look at the cookbooks used in the last few decades. Take a peek at the family bookshelf or at the odd book in the kitchen, there’s a high chance of finding one of these titles there.
1. Recipes of the Philippines by Enriqueta David Perez
“If you can read, you can cook,” is the mantra behind this classic Filipino cookbook. Perez loved to cook, and was said to be busy with a dish in her kitchen if she wasn’t working on her buy-and-sell business or writing for different magazines. The cookbook was originally a commission for the 1953 International Exposition, but it has and continues to be a staple in Pinoy kitchens everywhere.
2. Filipino Cooking Here and Abroad by Eleanor Laquian and Irene Sobrevinas
Decades ago, Filipinos with work abroad left their homes with their bags, a picture of their loved ones, and this cookbook. It could even be said that this cookbook sowed the first few seeds for Filipino food’s in the international scene, as it lists ingredient alternatives in the United States.
3. The Coconut Cookbook by Conrado A. Escudero
The book claims to be the very first to gather the best coconut recipes from around the world, and it just might be true. While the author is best known for owning and managing the tourist landmark, Villa Escudero, this is more than a compilation of family recipes. It is a celebration of his hometown San Pablo’s heritage as a coconut county.
4. Cookbook Diary by Don Bosco Press
You won’t find just Filipino recipes here, but even recipes from countries such as Italy and France. True to the name, it’s a diary with a recipe and helpful tips on herbs, nutrition, and cooking utensils on each page. Because of the bible verses found within its pages, it is often referred to as a Filipino kitchen bible.
5. Maya Kitchen Series
Maya Kitchen has always found a way to be part of Filipino meals, whether it’s through their flour and cake mixes or their cookbooks. Their “Mix and Match Series” has helped manage the busiest of homemaker kitchens, with menu guides, valuable tips on putting meals together and utilizing leftovers, food presentation, and of course, recipes.
6. Let’s Cook With Nora Daza by Nora Daza
This is the book that made Nora Daza a part of every Filipino household and set the standard of taste for the home cooking we have today. It’s a treasure that’s passed on from generation to generation, loved and used until its pages crumble.
7. Kulinarya by Glenda Barretto, Conrad Calalang, Margarita Fores, Myrna Segismundo, Jessie Sincioco, and Claude Tayag
“A must-have”, declares the blurb, “for the experienced new cook, a lover of Filipino food, or someone who has never tried it before”. This book is a labor of love that took three years to come to fruition, penned by six different chefs to profile Filipino food while sharing their secrets to culinary success.