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The Philippine Cookbook Paperback – May 23, 1985


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The Philippine Cookbook + The Filipino Cookbook: 85 Homestyle Recipes to Delight Your Family and Friends + Filipino Homestyle Dishes: Delicious Meals in Minutes
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Perigee Books (May 23, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039951144X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399511448
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 50 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on February 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
`The Philippine Cookbook' by Reynaldo Alejandro is the old standard on Filipino cooking. It has been out for about 22 years. `Filipino Cuisine' by Gerry G. Gelle is a new title that should replace the older book in the hearts and minds of Filipino cooks.

Ten years ago, when I was looking for a book of Filipino recipes, Alejandro's book was virtually the only volume available, even making it a reference on Filipino cuisine to such major culinary writers as Raymond Sokolov in his important book `The Cook's Canon'. Gelle's book improves on Alejandro's book in almost every regard, most especially where it counts in the description of the recipes.

Even the most cursory look at these two books will suggest that Gelle's volume is the better book. A look at the two authors' biographical sketches confirms that initial impression, as Gelle is a full time professional chef while Alejandro seems to be a jack of all trades, doing as much in dramatics and dancing as in writing and cooking.

Both books give very informative introductions on the origins of Filipino cuisine. Both, for example, point out that the Spanish influence is less direct than an influence by way of Mexico, since the Spanish governors in Mexico were much closer to the islands than was the court in Madrid. Gelle's introductory chapter seems much more timely, however, in that influences and native foods are discussed by region, in much the same way one has come to expect in descriptions of great Chinese, Japanese, French, and Italian cuisines.

While Alejandro's book may have been the best there was 10 years ago, it now has the appearance of a very journeymanlike effort, much like so many inexpensive books of recipes from Latvia, Rumania, Hungary, or Poland.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By joliane on April 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
I've had this book a couple of years now and I found some of the recipes easy to follow like the chicken adobo and mechado. I try to make these two recipes at least once a week. Though I did find the Brazo de Mercedes (found in the dessert section) hard to understand because it doesn't really give a thorough detailed type or explanation of ingredients needed. For example the author didn't exactly say what type of milk needed- Filipinos use canned evaporated milk and I find it doesn't work with regular milk you find in any U.S. supermarket in the dairy section. It also doesn't give you a specific amount of time or how long it takes for the milk to be reduced to two cups! (the recipes calls for 5 cups of milk to start with and simmering the milk until it is reduced to 2) That could take an hour or more. I found Violeta A. Noriega's Philippine Recipe made Easy more thorough and detailed.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 31, 2003
Format: Paperback
If you are a rookie at cooking filipino dishes or simply can't cook at all then this book isn't for you-actually this book is more complicated than the other filipino cookbooks I got. I also recommend not get getting books that have bad/neutral reviews. I have found "Philippine Recipes Made Easy" by Violeta A. Noriega and "Filipino Cuisine: Recipes from the Islands" by Gerry G. Gelle, helpful and PLUS they have excellent reviews!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By T. Aspuria on February 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a great cookbook, especially for somone like me who is not filipino but my husband is. Therefor needed a resource for cooking those great foods his mother cooks all the time. I came today to actually buy another copy for my mother-in-law who was very impressed with my cooking lately. The milk candy was a big hit at Christmas. However I did notice the same problems as one of the other reviewers. My prime example is the Leche Flan, he lists in this recipe that to make the carmel to use water with the sugar in a pan and cook until sugar is browned. Actually you use no water and then once it has carmalized only a small amount to keep it from crystalizing in your pan. Since I don't know any better I had to do this 3 times and consult other cookbooks before getting it right. If I am unsure about the contents of a recipe I talk to my Mother in law first. The fish soup was another of these, the ingrediants don't come together and make it taste right. The tocino is to complicated when you can by ready made tocino mix and not use the nasty chemical it calls for. But on an upside alot of the other recipes have made me a wonder in the kitchen for our filipino parties and my inlaws have been bragging about my cooking. Overall it's a good book as long as you have a good grasp on filipino cooking as a whole. Clearly I like enouph to purchase a second for my inlaws to have.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
After buying this book and looking through the recipes, it seems to me that this book needs to be updated and revised. It could be a wonderful cookbook if the recipes were more detailed and the directions more clear. It's great in that it has many recipes.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "genome28" on February 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
OK, I must have read that connect-the-dot gripe somewhere but I can't think of any other way to describe this mechanical, ledger-like presentation the author has presented his recipes. The simplistic approach has become as annoying as those pretentious hate, er, haute cuisines I see in some cook books. For example, the nilaga and the pochero is usually served with a cold dish of garlic, black pepper and mashed sweet potato but that was missing and you can't help but think the author just browsed thru the internet and with the help of a word processor just cut and pasted the recipes to meet his deadline. Perhaps this also explains why the book is printed on depressingly cheap paper with no photographs. If you are new to Filipino cuisine that is rather disastrous because all you get is a sorry photocopied landscape of uninspired recipes. How could you, Mister?
Also, I find the kowtowing to American taste plain stupid. Lemon juice for the venerable sinigang? What's wrong with tamarind? Using lemon thins out the punch of the sharp taste we are after. The high water content of lemon juice renders the whole symphony of flavors to this recipe insipid. Besides, this is the information age where exotic ingredients are not as exotic as they were eight or ten years ago. Just troop to your nearest gourmet store and see what I mean (unless, of course, you live in an obscure little town down somewhere in the Arctic). And why adapt a native recipe to American taste? If American flavor is what I am after, I will just dwell on club sandwich and all its vicissitudes for all I care. Why will I waste my time with adobo or sinigang or kare-kare?
Now I don't want to confuse you because others have reviewed this book favorably. I was born and raised in the Philippines. But my qualifications do not end there.
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