Since I began working on this project almost 10 years ago, it has been my dream to put the native rice from the terraces of northern Luzon in the culinary spotlight for people who care about the food they eat and the farmers who produce it. I have dreamed of the day when tinawon and unoy conjure images of the Philippines, just as jasmine and basmati evoke Thailand and India.
The dream takes a big step toward becoming a reality when Margaret Wittenberg’s new and fully revised book “The Essential Good Food Guide” (Ten Speed Press) is released this week. The author has added an entirely new section, Cordillera Heirloom Rice, under the Medium-Grain Rice heading. In it, she gives a brief background of the historic terrace area, a general description of the varieties and then, by name, a complete description of each of the three staple varieties and three sticky rice varieties that are currently available on the market. Under the Long-Grain Rice heading, there is a complete description of the Ulikan Red.
Margaret Wittenberg has written the definitive guide for navigating our super market aisles, natural food stores and farmers’ markets in the search for the ingredients that will make cooking and eating good food a pleasurable experience. It is wonderful to see the heirloom rice of the Cordillera included in this great resource book. This is definitely a book to share with people who love to cook and care about what they eat.