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MILLY'S LIBRARY

Islas: A Celebration of Tropical Cooking

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An intimate reflection on tropical island cooking's bold flavors and big stories, with 125 recipes, from celebrated food writer Von Diaz. 

An intimate reflection on tropical island cooking's bold flavors and big stories, with 125 recipes, from celebrated food writer Von Diaz. 

The islands spanning the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans are remarkable places, sharing dozens of ingredients and cooking techniques, including marinating, pickling and fermentation, braising and stewing, frying, grilling and smoking, and steaming and in-ground roasting. Bold flavors drip from the edges of each dish with tastes that represent stories of resistance, persistence, and wisdom passed down from generation to generation.

This narrative cookbook by writer, documentary producer, and author Von Diaz travels across oceans and nations to uplift the shared ancestral cooking techniques of these islands in more than 125 recipes, including intimate profiles of the historical context of each technique, stories from islanders, and step-by-step guides for recreating them at home.

Recipes include:
Coco Bread from Jamaica
Arroz con Jueyes (Stewed Crab Rice) from Puerto Rico
Masikita (Papaya-Marinated Beef Skewers) from Madagascar
Bebek Betutu (Roasted Duck in Banana Leaf) from Indonesia 
Lechon Kawali (Crispy Fried Pork Belly) from the Philippines

Bright citrus and vinegars, verdant herbs, slow-cooked and smoky grilled meats, fresh seafood, aromatic rice, and earthy root vegetables: These flavors, found in the meals and recipes across these island nations pair remarkably well together, despite distance and cultural differences. The ingredients and deep-rooted cooking techniques in each of these recipes typify the harmonious, synchronous spirit found in each culture's unique cuisines. Even amid environmental chaos and food insecurity, islanders cook in ways that are soul nourishing and flavorful.

Islas is about preserving the wisdom, values, and resilience of the people who live in some of the most volatile, vulnerable places on this planet. Each recipe, an archive of strategies for persistence, creativity, and ingenuity, provides a path for cooking delicious food. But above all, these stories and recipes acknowledge that cooking delicious food for others is always a selfless act.

AN AUTHENTIC DEEP DIVE INTO UNDERREPRESENTED FOODWAYS: Amid environmental chaos and food insecurity, and with limited ingredients, islanders cook in ways that are soul nourishing and emphasize flavor. This book expertly and authentically presents the diverse recipes and techniques of the islands of the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. 

DETAILED RECIPES AND FULL-COLOR PHOTOGRAPHS: Each of the techniques and recipes are paired with lots of how-tos and step-by-step guides, including key historical and scientific background to help you master these delicious recipes—from quick pickles to soups, stews, and barbecues—at home. 

EXPERT AUTHOR AND A LEADING VOICE: Von Diaz is a celebrated author and seasoned food researcher who has dedicated her life to bringing forth unique food stories and the people behind them. 

Perfect for:
Anyone interested in learning more about AAPI cooking and cuisine
A great hostess gift or self-purchase for those who enjoy entertaining and exploring food cultures around the world
An educational and practical resource for sustainable cooking enthusiasts 
Special occasion, holiday, or birthday present for foodies and cookbook collectors 
Those who enjoy Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat; Coconut & Sambal; Cook Real Hawai'i; and Ottolenghi cookbooks

Where Food Memories Begin™

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