Makisawsaw: Community Gardens Edition is an atypical (and thus one of a kind) cookbook but I would not expect anything less from Gantala Press. The main starting point is the idea of building community and solidarity with the poor farmers. The book is opened by a touching definition of solidarity:
“Solidarity is coming together and saying that we have failed as a society when the survival and existence of a group of people depend solely on charity. It means that we raise our voices to demand that this should not be so. Solidarity shows us the power of compassion and individual agency to help each other, but knowing that ultimately what creates change is people coming together because the crises and experiences of fear, anxiety, depression, loss and hunger during the pandemic – and beyond it – are widespread public issues that need to be addressed.”
You’ll find here short essays on how this book was completed – it all started with meeting the poor farmers around the capital city of Philippines and conversations with social workers and activists. This work features texts on lack of food security, organizing within a community, food activism, “golden rice” and so much more.
The starring role is of course played by the dozens of plant-based recipes, divided into chapters such as “sauces, condiments, etc.”, “legumes” and “roots and tubers”. Those recipes are not followed by any photos but this time – I don’t mind. The recipes, as well as the book itself, encourages one to start the conversation and think about what and how we eat, and to experiment.
One more thing: the publisher donates all proceeds of the sales to support the Food Today, Food Tomorrow initiative organized by Slow Food Sari-sari, the coalition of farmers, activists, advocates for food justice and all the volunteers who work together to bring solidarity and change in the food system.