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.
• 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
Von Diaz is a writer, documentary producer, and author of Coconuts & Collards: Recipes and Stories from Puerto Rico to the Deep South . Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, she explores food, culture, and identity. She has contributed recipes and essays to several cookbooks and anthologies, including Diana Henry's From the Oven to the Table, Julia Turshen's Feed the Resistance, Charlotte Druckman's Women on Food, and Joe Yonan's America: The Great Cookbook, among others. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Bon Appetit, NPR, Food & Wine Magazine, Eater, and Epicurious . She teaches food studies and oral history at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and she is also an editor and radio producer at StoryCorps, where she produces radio broadcasts for NPR's Morning Edition .