Rawlicious Superfoods by Peter and Bery Daniel

I've been doing a lot of guerrilla cooking lately and this book is one of my newly discovered guide to learn the habit of cooking better foods off from the traditional Pinoy menu of meats, oils, herbs, and spices.

This is not a traditional review. Because this book is basically a reference and I will surely return to reading it again and again as much as the mission of cooking better foods continue to evolve through time.  This book may earn a different rating for my next reading but it wont matter; for more than just a cook book, this is also loaded with historical and practical information on specific native fruits, herbs, seaweeds, mushroom, hemp, honey, the Cacao seeds, even the Baobab tree from Africa---all that can be organically and naturally grown and harvested.

The illustrations inside the book are very good and interesting. The authors described it clearly in the How to Use this Book section:  "Each magical superfood illustration has a corresponding mandala and has been inspired by hours of discussion around its historical use, medicinal benefits, and mythology."

After seeing a cut of an image of "Tino-tino"--a familiar childhood wild fruit and known commonly as caped gooseberry, I knew the authors know what they are writing about but I can only wish that they also consider more native plants from Southeast Asia (not just native fruits from China and Japan)  because I know we have more to offer than just a variation of coconut species. Southeast Asians also have diverse ways of cooking native foods. Just look at how you cook adobo and check its derivatives in the Adobo Book by Alejandro & Lumen.

Being mostly raw and non-meat, the steps are easy to follow and each menu wont take long to prepare. Most of the steps end in "blending them all" because we dont want to waste nutrients in cooking. In the Functional Food section: "Emphasis is placed on eating green leafy vegetables by either juicing or blending them. Choosing organic food is almost more important than keeping it raw."

The authors also suggested aiming at least 50%  raw component in the diet. I also learned in this book that the toxin acrylamide starts to form in foods when cooked above 248°F (120°C). By just looking at how we traditionally grill meats, I know 120°C is very easy to reach especially when you rush your barbecue before the New Year's Eve's festivity. Additionally, there is a procedure here on how to prepare a Bao Beer from the powdered Baobab seed including tips on storing foods and using the right kind of food containers (to slow down the decomposition) as well as choosing the preferred kitchen tools like blenders, juicers, and dehydrators  or driers.

The suggestions in Quality is Key section are noteworthy even if they are not so easy to follow but it all just lead to how you balance your preferred kind of food. We all follow certain guides for food and all I can say is that this book is a good alternative. When food is no longer food, then perhaps it's time to try the Superfoods cooked in low-heat and dense in essential nutrients.

Rating: 3.5 cups of Bao Sorbet
Genre: Reference, Non Fiction


MPH by Millar & Fegredo

No pun intended but it was really a blast. Fast and yet, remarkably good enough to earn four stars. Ladies and gentlemen, if you're going to read one graphic novel this year, you should read this one by Mark Millar and Duncan Fegredo.

It's a modern day hybrid of Robin Hood, the 2012 film Chronicle, and DC Comics' Flash as we encounter a gang of four in Detroit come to grips with the temporary ability to run faster than the speed of sound. Mark Millar is the mastermind behind Wanted, Kick Ass 1-3, The Secret Service, Jupiter's Legacy, Nemesis, Superior, Super Crooks, American Jesus, Starlight and Chrononauts. We have seen Wanted, Kick Ass 1 & 2, and Kingsman: The Secret Service adapted into feature films. His other works are under development at major film studios. Millar also penned Superman: Red Son at DC Comics while doing Wolverine: Old Man Logan, the Civil War series, and creating The Ultimates at Marvel Comics. Duncan Fegredo on the other hand, pencilled various books for Vertigo-DC like Kid Eternity, Enigma, and Lucifer and also worked for a Hellboy miniseries at Dark Horse Comics.

This is my first read and my first review at Net Galley and I just liked what I just read. Originally published in 5 issues last year, this complete collection will not bore you with its ending. I have one or two questions that need to be answered but with the tight narrative and essential build up to conflicts and altercations being served abruptly like a bullet shot that was never wasted, they overpowered my need to think further of the plausibility and the science behind it. It was never disturbing nor head-scratching as watching the ending of Chris Nolan's Interstellar.  Speaking of films, I'm expecting a film adaptation of this book two to three years from now.

It's that good.

Rating: 4 banks robbed out of 5
Genre: Sci Fi


Lost in Translation

It's always a pleasure to learn a foreign word, or two (or three). Especially when you encounter or recall unique ones like Wabi-sabi or Ubuntu that has become iconic and symbolic, the way that each of them are untranslatable (no equivalent word in English) prompts any "word warrior" to dig deeper into each of their histories, including their evolution. In the end, you will appreciate the word more. You might want to share it with your loved ones or perhaps the rest of the World.

Compiled and illustrated by Ella Frances Sanders, this is a beautiful and interesting collection of unique words of the World. Thanks for including the Tagalog word "Kilig" in the collection because it is indeed, unique.

Images above belonged to the author.

Genre: Art, Language, Word Collection
Rating: 4 luftmensch out of 5