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Eating Cuban

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Eating CubanGood recipes are a crucial ingredient for a cookbook and everything else – photography, background information, stories, tips – is just icing on the cake. But that icing is what takes a cookbook from being good, to being great, and Eating Cuban: 120 Recipes from the Streets of Havana to American Shores fits neatly into that category.

Reading the book is like traveling to Cuba. It is something to be experienced, not just flipped through. It is full of (outstanding) photographs of street scenes, restaurants, ingredients and real people, in addition to some photos of the recipes themselves. Each recipe is from an individual person or an individual (and sometimes famous) restaurant and is accompanied by a little story about how the recipe came to be or why it is so popular. The few recipes that lack this personal source are accompanied by blurbs describing why the dish is so typically Cuban, and approximately when and where the recipe originated.

The book is divided up into five sections: Las Raices (the roots), Clasicos Criollas (creole classics), Comidas Ambulantes (street food), Cicino Nueva Onda (new wave cooking) and Bebidas (drinks). Each one includes a range of dishes, from sides to desserts, designed to give the reader a real flavor of that particular style of Cuban cooking. The recipes are well written and easy to follow. There is also something about the book that is very accessible, since even though I often shy away from recipes with complex ingredient lists when I first work with a cookbook, I found that I was even more motivated to try those dishes in this case – and well-rewarded with delicious food when I did.

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  • Lydia
    August 6, 2007

    I didn’t know about this cookbook and I’m so excited to discover it! After one trip to Cuba, ten years ago, I’ve been collecting recipes wherever I can find them. Thanks!

  • Mia
    August 6, 2007

    I love Cuban cookbooks but nothing bets my abuela’s recipes. Of course, I will have to compare their recipes against my abuela’s.

  • Joe Green
    August 6, 2007

    Does anyone know of any Cuban cooking DVD’s. Not Miami, but food actually cooked in Cuba? Or a good travel video for Cuba.


  • Zoe
    August 7, 2007

    Thanks for this review. I love Cuban food but know what you mean about feeling intimidated by recipes — I get that especially with ethnic food I’ve never made. Glad to here this book is accessible.

  • Mckenzie
    July 8, 2009

    Really enjoyed reading this thank you!

  • Ranita36
    January 5, 2011

    I purchased this book about 2 years ago and love the layout, presentation, the little stories, pictures, and the information about the food.
    I was going to Florida on vacation and wanted to know a bit about the food before going to Little Havana restaraunts.
    I loved the fact I could get an idea of what I wanted to try on the trip and made an advanced list of items to buy at the cuban markets.
    This book is one of my favorites!

  • Eating Cuban
    August 6, 2007

    […] article at Nicole delivered by […]

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