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The Habana Café Cookbook Paperback – June 30, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida; 1st edition (June 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813027373
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813027371
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #450,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gonzalez-Hastings, chef and owner of the popular Habana Café in Gulfport, Fla., aims to blend a guide to Cuban cuisine, her own émigré family lore and today's fusion Nuevo Latino cooking. Alas, her slim volume fails to deliver: Gonzalez-Hastings's personal anecdotes combine nostalgia with anger at Castro without fully evoking the world that was lost, and she presents her recipe instructions in a perfunctory style, with too many fundamentals relegated to a superficial glossary at book's end. Novice cooks will be baffled by the absence of technical explanations, while Latino cooking fans will wonder why Gonzalez-Hastings includes dishes like Salmon on Mini-Bagel Crisps but omits Cuban staples such as annatto oil, calabaza and boniato. And though immigrant cuisines are always transformed on American soil, this chef advocates the use of bottled mojo sauce, Badia spice mix and bouillon cubes without useful comparisons to homemade alternatives. Gonzalez-Hastings is on more sure footing when she ties stories about the restaurant to specific dishes (e.g., the Cuban Sandwich or Moros y Cristianos [black beans and rice]), and there are buried treasures, such as her mother's Ham Croquettes. But when it comes to Nuevo Cubano cuisine, readers would be better off with Joyce La Fray's ¡Cuba Cocina! or Mary Urrutia Randelman's classic Memories of a Cuban Kitchen. Gonzalez-Hastings's illustrated paperback may be welcomed as a souvenir of dining in the café, but as a cookbook, her mojo simply lacks mojo. 20 color, 10 b&w photos.
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Review

"Best Cuban Food" - Bench Life, 1998; "Best Cuban Food in Tampa Bay Area" - Tampa Bay Magazine, 1999-2003; "Reading this book is like silling at the Gonzalez-Hastings kitchen table with a cup of espresso, exchanging favorite Cuban recipes with your best friend." - Pat Baldwin, retired food editor, St. Petersburg Times"

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
Originally from Cuba, Josefa Gonzalez-Hastings is the head chef and owner of the Haban Cafe in Gulfport, Florida. In The Habana Cafe Cookbook, Josefa draws upon her years of experience and award-winning expertise to present a culinary compendium of "nuevo Latin cuisine" combined with traditional recipes handed down through her family from her mother and aunts. This showcase of Cuban recipes ranges from Frituras de Bacalao (Codfish Fritters); Bolliche a La Naranjada (Pot Roast with Orange Sauce); and Rabo Encendido (Oxtail Stew); to Platanos en Tentacion (Baked Sweet Plantains); Habana Tropical Punch; and Manzanas Rellenas En Almendras (Stuffed Apples with Almonds). Enhanced with family stories, advice on Cuban food and preparations, and an impressive insert of color photography, The Habana Cafe Cookbook is a welcome and recommended addition to any and all kitchen cookbook collections!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tamiami on December 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved eating at this restaurant and I've only been once. The food was great and I had the best cafe con leche I've ever tasted. I asked staff how it was made and they told me the secret was the condensed milk instead of regular milk. I've also made the ropa veija and pulled pork recipes. The recipes are easy to follow.
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Format: Paperback
Precious fell in love with Cuban food many years ago. Her favorite restaurants are on Calle Ocho, and there is another restaurant on St Pete Beach that Precious loves. She calls it a "hole-in-the-wall". One day we went to that restaurant on St Pete Beach, but they changed their hours. They don't open until 5 p.m. now so we were in a bit of a pickle. Thanks to google and GPS we located another Cuban place not too far away. We went in and sat down. The place mat mentions this book, and I asked the waitress if I could see it. They maintain a copy at the restaurant for customers to flip through. They also have autographed copies for purchase.

The author is from Cuba, but she is married to an American accountant, and her restaurant is located in an American neighborhood. There are few Cubans in the area. They have french fries on their menu, not tostones. They don't have rice and beans. Even the waitresses don't speak Spanish. We thought that was funny. So basically what I'm saying is that the author is very familiar with American tastes, and some of her recipes are Americanized. The food was good so we got the book.

We've tried a few recipes so far. One is the flan. Where we live you have to drive 50 miles to get good flan, and one of the first recipes we tried was the flan recipe. There are actually two. One is the standard flan. The other is the author's own flan recipe with a little twist, and people seem to like the author's flan recipe more than the traditional flan. And what's really interesting is that I made it. ME! I made the flan. I got the ingredients. I read the instructions. I made the flan. I'm a moron. So what I'm saying is that this book is not overly complicated. I just can't wait to try more recipes.
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By Brenda Rodriguez on March 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband is from Habana Cuba and I've tried other recipe's from different books. He says that I was spot on this time thanks to this cook book.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By karen english on November 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought what I thought was a new book. It arrived with one of the corners of the book cover bent and gray smudges across the top of the cover. It was clearly USED but sold as new. I will now have to go to the trouble returning it. Unfortunately my order was time sensitive.
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