COOKBOOK REVIEW: MOTHERLAND – A JAMAICAN COOKBOOK by MELISSA THOMPSON

COOKBOOK REVIEW: MOTHERLAND – A JAMAICAN COOKBOOK by MELISSA THOMPSON
Bloomsbury Publishing
January 2023
Hardcover, Rrp $52.00
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
85%

As is becoming more prevalent, Melissa Thompson’s debut cookbook features a lot more than simply recipes. With a Jamaican mother and a Maltese father, Thompson was born in England and has been a journalist for over fifteen years, writing about the British Food Industry not only on its food, but also about representation, identity, diversity and inclusion within the industry.

Here she taps into not only her own history and relationship with the cuisine of her mother’s birthplace, but also the history and influences of Jamaican food as a whole. Jamaica’s history – like many under the yoke of British colonisation – has not always been pretty or pleasant, and Thompson doesn’t shy away from the darker sides of the story, whilst still resolutely celebrating the place and its deep connection with food.

Essays cover Columbus, English rule, Rastafari influences, and a chapter dedicated to that most wonderful of Jamaican spice mixes – Jerk. Saltfish fritters, Callalloo and Rundown are explained and explored; Guinness Punch Tart, Sticky Rum & Tamarind Wings, Ginger Beer Battered Prawns, Cassava Cake, Rum Punch and much more all sound delightful and, like the best cuisine-specific cookbooks, make this chef want to experiment.

https://100percentrock.com/2023/11/cookbook-review-motherland-a-jamaican-cookbook-by-melissa-thompson/

Shane Pinnegar
Shane Pinnegar is an author, chef and music/pop culture writer who lives in Western Australia. He has a lovely wife, two rambunctious dogs with no respect for personal space, especially on the sofa or bed, twenty-something koi, a flock of itinerate galahs who visit regularly, and a never-comprehensive-enough rock n' roll record collection.

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