DiscoverCultural & Ethnic

The Baba Nyonya Peranakans

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A mysterious and not well known Chinese sub-culture includes a variety of spices, textures, and flavors into their unique cooking style.

Synopsis

Why is so little known about one of the first hybrid cultures formed before the discovery of the New World?

In a personal quest for meaning and understanding of his culture’s early days to the present, the author stumbles across revealing forces and world events filled with intrigue. In the process, he discovers what compelled his Chinese ancestors to risk their lives and travel thousands of miles on the high seas in search of a new home in Southeast Asia. The result of their union with the local women is the formation of the Baba Nyonya Peranakan culture of Malaysia and Singapore.

In this uniquely-written and multimedia-rich e-book, the author ties in elements of the culture’s millenia-long history with personal recollections of his family and cultural life. We are also introduced to his family members and ancestors, as well as stories and recipes of his grandmothers’ legendary Nyonya cooking that is perhaps the World’s first fusion cuisine. Links to printable recipes are provided.

Embedded in the text are hyperlinks that provide an enriched reading experience with photos, maps, interviews, articles, videos, and music, thus fully immersing the reader in its vibrant cultural life.

A mysterious and not well known Chinese sub-culture includes a variety of spices, textures, and flavors into their unique cooking style. This made up an exciting diet for the author as a child growing up in Malaysia.


After experiencing bland boarding-school cafeteria food in the United Kingdom, he became even more enamored with his family's cooking traditions and unique food culture. He "played" in the kitchen, learning how to prepare family recipes. He perfected timing, seasoning, and taste.


After moving to the United States as an adult and becoming a citizen, he continued his cooking regime. He travelled back to his home country in order to create an all-in-one resource for his culture's unique meals, which were a large part of what made his connection to his family so special.


He spent this time studying under his elder aunt's traditional cooking methods, food choices, and meal plans, that had been passed down for generations.


Th lifetime of fascination by his family's food culture led the author to write this book. It is a testament to history, bound by family ties.


The recipes within are accompanied by fascinating history lessons and family did-bits. The directions for cooking are clear and easy to follow. The ingredients are not difficult to find in average U.S. grocery stores.


Shopping at my local Asian food market made the experience of trying out these recipes more authentic for me.


I am more of a cook than a baker, but I couldn't resist the recipe for pineapple tarts. The recipe said it would make 60 tarts, but I made mine more like mini-pies, for a total of 20. The crust was flaky while also being crusty. The filling was perfectly chewy and sour-sweet. I did not use the optional rock sugar, and the finished product was sweet enough without it.


The author explained that there are different methods of using the same ingredients, such as baking a jelly roll, but that the tarts were traditional New Year fare. (Jelly roll instructions were also included).


My favourite recipe was a simple one that I think a Westerner's palate would exceptionally appreciate. It was, "Long Bean Omelet." This was simple to make and different enough to make breakfast feel exotic.


The stories of family are just as delicious as the recipes. I highly recommend this book for people who like a taste of culture with their meals.

Reviewed by

Jessica Lucci is an award winning indie author on a quest to use books to unite society.

Synopsis

Why is so little known about one of the first hybrid cultures formed before the discovery of the New World?

In a personal quest for meaning and understanding of his culture’s early days to the present, the author stumbles across revealing forces and world events filled with intrigue. In the process, he discovers what compelled his Chinese ancestors to risk their lives and travel thousands of miles on the high seas in search of a new home in Southeast Asia. The result of their union with the local women is the formation of the Baba Nyonya Peranakan culture of Malaysia and Singapore.

In this uniquely-written and multimedia-rich e-book, the author ties in elements of the culture’s millenia-long history with personal recollections of his family and cultural life. We are also introduced to his family members and ancestors, as well as stories and recipes of his grandmothers’ legendary Nyonya cooking that is perhaps the World’s first fusion cuisine. Links to printable recipes are provided.

Embedded in the text are hyperlinks that provide an enriched reading experience with photos, maps, interviews, articles, videos, and music, thus fully immersing the reader in its vibrant cultural life.

About the author

Hi, I'm a food blogger who has been researching my culture, the Baba Nyonya Peranakans, to document quickly fading customs and culinary treasures that I grew up with. My oeuvre is a document of this precious culture to help preserve it and to inspire others to do the same with their culture. view profile

Published on November 21, 2019

Published by

80000 words

Genre: Cultural & Ethnic

Reviewed by

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