Motherland: A Jamaican Cookbook

Melissa Thompson’s Motherland: A Jamaican Cookbook (Bloomsbury, 2022) [Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.]

Description: Motherland is a cookbook that charts the history of the people, influences and ingredients that uniquely united to create the wonderful patchwork cuisine that is Jamaican food today.

There are recipes for the classics, like saltfish fritterscurry goat and patties, as well as Melissa’s own twists and family favourites, such as:

Oxtail nuggets with pepper sauce mayo
Ginger beer prawns
Smoky aubergine rundown
Sticky rum and tamarind wings
Grapefruit cassava cake
Guinness punch pie.

Running through the recipes are essays charting the origins and evolution of Jamaica’s famous dishes, from the contribution of indigenous Jamaicans, the Redware and Taíno peoples; the impact of the Spanish and British colonisation; the inspiration and cooking techniques brought from West and Central Africa by enslaved men and women; and the influence of Indian and Chinese indentured workers who came to the island.

Motherland does not shy away from the brutality of the colonial periods, but takes us on a journey through more than 500 years of history to give context to the beloved island and its cuisine.

For more information, see https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/motherland-9781526644428

Related article: “Food writer and cook Melissa Thompson on the flavours of Jamaica,” Melissa Thompson (National Geographic), see ttps://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/travel/2022/10/food-writer-and-cook-melissa-thompson-on-the-flavours-of-jamaica

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