The Rasta Cookbook Paperback – 1 Sept. 1989 by Laura Osborne (Author, Editor)

The Rasta Cookbook Paperback – 1 Sept. 1989 by Laura Osborne (Author, Editor)

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You are what you eat is the core philosophy on which the Rastafari base their eating habits and cuisine. Nowhere is the belief that we are what we eat held more steadfastly than among the brethren of the Rastafari. This book presents, for the first time in print, a mouthwatering collection of recipes, the best of Rasta cooking. (True Rastas eat only i-tal food).

The cultural and religious basis of the cuisine are explained in full. A review of tropical fruits and vegetables is given along with this, vital information on where, how to get and to prepare the ingredients for this exotic cuisine.

If you are not familiar with what I-tal (I-tal means "vital") cooking is. The food never touches chemicals or is completely natural and not in cans. This food is cooked, but served in the rawest form possible; without salts, preservatives, or condiments.

The i-tal diet consists mainly of rice, peas and native fruits (oranges, ginger-nuts, breadfruit, watermelons, plantain, mangos, papayas, coconuts, bananas, pineapples). They mainly cook with coconut-milk and oil gained from coconuts and hemp-seeds.

They never use salt but pepper and other spice.

They never drink coffee, alcohol, soda (because they are viewed as unnatural), or milk (referred to as "white mans blood") but pure water, fruit-juice and tea. There is pages more information I could give on I-tal, but that would dredge up a religious conversation (however if you are interested e-mail me, I LOVE to educate people about my rich background!).

Meat is not a total no-no, but to be true to i-tal - no meat. Those who do eat meant are forbidden to eat pig because they are the scavengers of the earth and in reference to sea food crabs, lobster, oysters, and shrimp (the scavengers of the sea). But fish is a large part of those who eat meat's diet. The fish they eat must be small, not more than twelve inches long.

Little has been written on the true nature of Rastafari culture and even less on what it means to eat I-Tal food. This book is almost a "crash course" into the world of Rastafari.

Not to worry if you don't know what paw paw or breadfruit are - the book has a section with a visual aid so that you know what your looking for at the grocery store.

Some ingredients you may have to look a bit harder for - but most things called for are commonplace in the supermarket.

set up of recipes looks like this:
Recipe name