THE Congressional Spouses Foundation Inc. (CSFI), a group of congressional spouses formed to undertake projects that would help forward the goals set by their spouses, has just launched its latest project — a cookbook called Salu-Salo: A Celebration of Philippine Culinary Treasures.
The 300-page cookbook is a collection of 132 recipes contributed by CSFI members (wives, husbands and/or children of House representatives) that trace their roots from the districts, provinces and regions that their spouses represent. These include cherished heirloom recipes passed down from generation to generation as well as new dishes recently created to highlight the bountiful produce in their districts. Some of these recipes even showcase procedures that are rich with ancient ritual and religious meaning and make use of innovative local produce and products. These procedures include milking a coconut by grating it, adding water and squeezing the grated coconut, and making suman wrappers using coconut leaves. Such sublime elements add more character to the cookbook.
Salu-Salo was put together into a full-color, full-glossy cookbook with beautiful photographs to accompany the recipes by a team led by Mons Romulo as editor-in-chief and noted book designer Ige Ramos as creative director and executive editor. Equally involved and excited during the book launch, which was held at the Speakers’ Conference Room, House of Representatives, were Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, president and chairperson of CSFI; and fellow officers Paula Camille Bondoc, executive director; and Kristine Singson-Meehan, board treasurer.
“I am proud to present to you this cookbook — a collection of unique recipes from numerous districts in the Philippines. Each dish is a distillation of our colorful culture, as well as an invitation to visit the wonderful places from which they came. I hope you enjoy this culinary journey throughout our beautiful country — one district, one dish, one bite at a time,” Joy Belmonte, representing her father, House Speaker Feliciano ‘Sonny’ Belmonte Jr., in CSFI, says in her Foreword for the book.
Speaking of House Speaker Belmonte, he personally graced the launching rites of Salu-Salo as guest of honor. Delivering the Inspirational Message was accomplished chef Robby Goco, who says that “food is family, family is life, and life is everything.”
Chef Robby sums it up well when he said that he’s excited about the book because, through Salu-Salo, “we will be sharing our cuisine with the world.”