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Tikim: Essays on Philippine Food and Culture (Doreen G. Fernandez)

Tikim: Essays on Philippine Food and Culture (Doreen G. Fernandez)


Doreen Fernandez is one of the most celebrated writers on Philippine food and culture. According to the New York Times, she was "Filipino food's greatest champion".  Tikim is a groundbreaking work that introduces readers to the wondrous history of Filipino food. First published by Anvil in 1994, Tikim explores the intricate nuances of Philippine cuisine through its people, places, feasts, and flavors. Her writings go way beyond describing taste, instead her prose situates how a particular dish fits into Filipino daily life.

Tikim has four parts that cover the following:

  • Part 1 discusses the cultural aspects that define how one would experience Filipino cuisine.

  • Part 2 focuses on people and spaces that contextualize our dining experiences such as our mothers who define our taste and the design nuances of the Filipino kitchen.

  • Part 3 is a review of Filipino food in literature and a collection of memorable passages useful for those interested to dive deep into Filipino culinary studies.

  • Part 4 covers the the historical roots and foreign influences on Filipino cuisine.


What's Cooking? 
"The old and the new. The provincial and the pop. The slow and the fast. The past, the present, the future. That's what's cooking in Philippine cuisine. Which means that, as the most popular (people-created, people-processed and people-consumed) segment of popular culture, it is dynamic and changing, living and lively."

Writing about Food. 
"When one describes food, one does not use words alone, but the readers' remembering as well -- of past pleasures, savored sensations. One writes on and with the readers' palates, alluding to food tasted as children, drawing on their reservoirs of pleasure. In effect, one draws on all of the culture that shaped oneself and one's readers."

On Mangoes. 
“... we wager that the mango memories of many a Filipino still revolve around the fruit ripening to fragrance in Maytime; around fat golden halves dripping their juice on glistening suman in Antipolo; around mangoes peeled whole with the hands on farms and at drip on chin and clothes; around mangoes chilled in river water rather than in refrigerators, while the feasters-to-be swim in the rivers of childhood; around mangoes sweet because stolen from consenting uncles or neighbors; around the fruit not as commercial product, but as pledge of time and season and memory."

Limited quantities available.

Imported from the Phillippines

Paperback edition