The remnant of the ancient Portuguese fort, Famosa (1511), at Melaka

Unfamiliar and lesser known cuisines are not uncommon in Asia. Most are associated with minority ethnic groups. I include many of them in the country of origin until a certain number of recipes have been documented.

A few days ago I had an email from Celine Marbek who is a well known chef and is an advocate for her ethnic group and their food. The Malacca Cristang group is one of the very small minorities in SE Asia with their centre being Melaka in Malaysia. Their food is seen in various restaurants in Malaysia, Singapore and the USA. There are elegant hotels globally who present food from this cuisine mostly because of Celine's advocacy and her book: Cuzinhia Cristang (A Malacca Portuguese Cookbook). Auth: Celine Joyce Marbek. This publication is currently in its 3rd Edition and is available through Amazon.

The history of the Cristang group is quite light on and Celine's website: has some outline of the history, the cuisine and recipes. The food is a hybrid of Portuguese Asian with a Dutch influence. It is most like the Portuguese Macanese cuisine.