A Taste of Old Cuba: More Than 150 Recipes for Delicious, Authentic, and Traditional Dishes

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9780060169640: A Taste of Old Cuba: More Than 150 Recipes for Delicious, Authentic, and Traditional Dishes

An evocative feast for all the senses, A Taste of Old Cuba combines a Cuban expatriate's charming and vivid memories of a childhood on the idyllic island before Castro's revolution with more than 150 recipes for delicious, authentic, and traditional Cuban dishes.

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Review:

The text in this debut memoir/cookbook is nothing short of charming and recalls Zarela Martinez's Food From My Heart. O'Higgins paints her pre-Castro Cuban childhood in idyllic colors and calls a lost world to life. Family photographs add to the sweet, personal feel. However, while the essays and notes benefit from intimate detail, the recipes do not: Many feel like a-pinch-of-this-a-pinch-of-that attempts to nail down techniques that are second nature to the author. For example, directions for fried plantains instruct, "Fry the plantain slices until they are almost black but not burned" without giving any idea of how much time that will take - a problem for novice plantain cookers. Variety apparently has never been the spice of life in Cuba: Many of these are more or less similar recipes for the same dish. There are three different black-bean recipes and four for cooking rice, and that's only in the chapter on rice and beans. Another section gives 14 rice entrees, most with similar seasonings. O'Higgins warns that Cuban desserts are achingly sweet (because sugar production was the backbone of the Cuban economy, consuming it came to be considered a patriotic act), and she is not kidding. A light eight-by-eight-inch sponge cake is drowned in a cup of port and more than two cups of a supersweet lime-cinnamon syrup. Good reading, bad eating. (Kirkus Reviews)

From Publishers Weekly:

When reading de O'Higgins's first cookbook, evocative prose seems to bring a distant Cuba back to life. Thanks to a lifelong love of Cuban food and devotion to her extended family, O'Higgins never lost touch with her Caribbean roots: she was raised there in the 1920s and '30s. With a sensibility that is responsive to both the flavors of food and the feelings that accompany meals remembered, the writer lets readers understand the myriad of influences that have formed Cuban cuisine. From her Catalan grandmother came recipes for cocido and sopa de ajos-classic Spanish soups. From her father, sportsman and bon vivant, came recipes for rabbit stews and lisa frita, or black mullet fish, pan-fried in olive oil and lime juice. Dried shrimp, a staple of the Chinese immigrants who settled in Cuba, makes a Cuban-style fried rice when blended with saffron, Valencia rice and pimentos. The 150 recipes O'Higgins collected and tested are clear and accessible, with prefaces that both entertain and inform the cook, making the book a worthwhile addition to the cookbook lover's library. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd, Australia, 1994. Hardback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. An evocative feast for all the senses, `A Taste of Old Cuba` combines a Cuban expatriate s charming and vivid memories of a childhood on the idyllic island before Castro s revolution with more than 150 recipes for delicious, authentic, and traditional Cuban dishes. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060169640

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