OK, so I've been gone for a little bit haven't I? But my apparent winter hibernation from this space (and from twitter, and from the actual world outside my home, or outside the public library [yes, i still go to the public library, it's quiet in there]) has not been without good reason. I've kinda had my hands full for the past few months (more on that in another post, hopefully sometime. Sometime soon...).
But now that I'm up and about and out of my cave (Egads, does that sunshine feel good!), I wanted to quickly bring something else out into the light with me--you know, while I can, before I'm banished back to my cave.
A couple months ago, a few days after Christmas actually, I received an unexpected package in my mailbox. I was pleased to find a copy of Linamnam: Eating One's Way Around The Philippines, sent to me courtesy of the authors of the book--Claude Tayag and his wife Mary Ann Quioc.
As the title might suggest, Linamnam is a culinary travel guidebook for the Philippines. Claude and Mary Ann spent two years traveling, and eating, all over the Philippines (sweet gig, no?). As a result of their many travels, and their many meals, Claude and Mary Ann provide the nitty gritty on where and what to eat in every region of the Philippines. From simple roadside shacks to upscale restaurants, Linamnam covers it all.
In addition to being a fantastic food and travel guide for the Philippines, I think, more importantly, that the book highlights the sheer diversity of Filipino cuisine. Because every region of the archipelago is featured in the book, the book goes beyond showcasing just adobo and pancit and lumpia, but also delves into each region's particular tastes and specialties. Linamnam goes to great lengths to provide historical context, as well as personal anecdotes, to explain why we Filipinos eat what we eat.
And even when adobo and pancit and lumpia are highlighted, it becomes clear just how many variations there can be on a particular dish. There is no one way (or correct way) to make anything in the Philippines, and it is this variation and diversity in our food that makes it so special.
So if any of you out there are planning a trip to the Philippines any time soon, or if you just want to learn more about Filipino food, you must pick up a copy of Linamnam: Eating One's Way Around The Philippines. Although the book can be hard to come by here in the States, I've been told by a couple of readers that you can get copies from this website http://philippineexpressionsbookshop.com.
Otherwise, just pick up a copy when you land in the Philippines;)