Zonta Club of Cebu 1: Feeding the heart and the mind with ‘Tasty Treasures, a Gender Equality Cookbook’

·2 min read

Wherever one goes, food always tells a story and hides years of history and culture in a single bite. When the Zonta Club of Cebu 1 launched “Tasty Treasures, a Gender-Equality Cookbook” on May 18, they intended it as a way to preserve recipes that had been unearthed during the pandemic, but along the way, they realized that a cookbook could also support their undertaking towards gender equality.

Attempting to subvert gender roles is a plight faced by most Filipinos, particularly the women. Even in double-income households, a woman is expected to single-handedly cook and clean for the whole household regardless of her work schedule. She must cook good food and serve it to her family for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Zonta members recognized the need to speak out against this misconception, and this fueled them to create not just a cookbook full of tasty recipes, but a cookbook that’s meant to feed both the mind and the stomach. Within its pages are essays and informative pieces that talk about the struggle for gender equality in the Philippines.

“It is surely time that men and women learn to accept that a human being’s intrinsic worth has nothing to do with a person’s biological makeup at birth,” said Gina Garcia Atienza, then-Zonta Club of Cebu 1 president in her essay entitled “A Journey of Two Millenniums.”

“Women should be equally entitled to the same human rights acceded to the male of the species, as well as the full right to benefit from life opportunities on an equal basis with men.”

With the mind engaged through thoughtful pieces spread throughout the book, the stomach is also entertained with recipes that have been around for generations. These recipes came from Zonta Club of Cebu 1 members and their mutual acquaintances. All types of food are covered, from aperitif and drinks, down to sweet desserts.

Classic Filipino dishes such as Bam-i and Adobo Batangas are found within the cookbook’s pages, while experimental dishes are placed front and center, like the Crab and Fruit Fusion that was served during the book launch’s merienda buffet.

Overall, Zonta Club of Cebu 1 continues its advocacy for gender equality and feeds both the mind and stomach through its cookbook. The cookbook project has since blossomed from simple fundraiser to major undertaking, and Zonta was able to do all that in spite of the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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