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A Taste of Old Cuba: More Than 150 Recipes for Delicious, Authentic, and Traditional Dishes Hardcover – September 17, 1994


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A Taste of Old Cuba: More Than 150 Recipes for Delicious, Authentic, and Traditional Dishes + Memories of a Cuban Kitchen + The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History
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Editorial 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.

From Library Journal

Lluria de O'Higgins grew up in Cuba during the 1920s and 1930s, and her food memoir offers a look at a bygone culture as well as recipes for classic Cuban specialties. Because the author's family was rich for the early part of her life but thereafter relatively poor, she draws on a broader range of experiences-including both elaborate meals and simpler ones (she fondly describes some favorite dishes as "declasse")-than Mary Urrutia Randelman in Memories of a Cuban Kitchen (LJ 10/15/92). Her well-written text provides a vivid picture of her early life, and the recipes are indeed authentic. Joyce LaFray's Cuba Cocina (LJ 6/16/94) showcases today's Cuban American cuisine; Lluria de O'Higgins fills in the background. For most collections.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks / Harper Collins Pub.; 1st edition (September 17, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060169648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060169640
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 33 customer reviews
This book, a present from my daughter, is one of the most memorable father's day present I recall.
Juan Vallhonrat
I love cookbooks with more substance than just a bunch of recipes...... I like to read about background, history, lore or anything else that will flesh out a book.
Sonia Martinez
The recipes are very good and easy to follow and the family memories and commentaries take you to the soul of Cuba.
Gustavo Pellon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 77 people found the following review helpful By D. Vazquez on July 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I cannot tell how much I love this book. When i first bought it i took it to my grandmother to share it with her. She got misty eyed reading it, she said that it reminded her of her mother cooking for her and her 11 brothers & sisters in Cuba - there were recipes in the book that she had not had since she left Cuba in the 60s. When she passed, she took some of the best cooking with her. The book gives me recipes that taste exactly the way i remember them - never fails. The following Christmas i bought 9 copies for my family's 3rd generation women so that we don't forget, and have since bought several more as gift whenever the subject of good Cuban recipes has come up. Buy the book, i promise you won't need anything else!
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I first read this book at a Library and enjoyed so that I took it out a second time. To a person who knows cuban food, this book is the portal to paradise. The recipies are authentic and are written very clearly and very easy to understand. I lived in Matanzas and Varadero during the 50s and the reminiscenses are true. I enjoyed this book tremendously and I will recommend it to many of my friends. It would be great if translated to spanish. A lot of people that live in Miami who came to the US from Cuba do not speak english.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By sandraal@flinet.com on January 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
If you are looking for authentic Cuban recipe's, then this is the book for you.Having been raised in a Cuban household I grew up with just these kinds of foods. But alas I never did pay attention to the actual cooking,now that I have my own family, I needed and wanted these recipe's, but all previous book's I purchased were a big disappointment,they all missed the mark when it came to the authentic taste of my abuelas(grandma's) cooking! Finally I came across Mrs,Lluria De O'Higgins book and I am delighted to report that these are the recipe's I recall from my childhood. From the arroz con pollo to the paella all are truly wonderful!! Thank You Mrs, O'Higgins, I now have something to pass on to my own daughter!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. M. Jackson VINE VOICE on August 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
To me this book truly is a Ferrari-like experience: tight, tuned, sublime.

I have been getting consistent raves for years for "my" Ropa Vieja (which is funny to me, because as Julia Child said, "if you can read, you can cook.") It it sublime.

We made the pressure cooker shrimp rice this weekend and it was just...transcendental. If you can apply that term to cooking. Each ingredient providing a perfectly-tuned addition to what tastes like a time-tested and perfected flavor, texture and richness.

Even the clever use of old bread is about as good as that spoiled ingredient will likely ever be.

I have not made everything in here, but those I have made have been tremendous successes.

Let me leave you with this: if this book was $100, I would still pay it. $200, I would still pay it.

Well worth your purchase if you like delicious, not-too-fussy food.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Juan Vallhonrat on June 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is not only a gastronomic delight, but an extraordinary trip through old, but good, memories, glorious traditions and an unfortunately bygone way of life. To revisit places I've loved and relive experiences I thoroughly enjoyed as a child, like crabbing at Paso Malo, was an absolute joy.
This book, a present from my daughter, is one of the most memorable father's day present I recall.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The recipes in this book are authentically Cuban and easy to follow. In addition, the book contains a rich array of anecdotes from Mrs. O'Higgins' childhood which bring alive a time and a place no longer available to us. The stories are as great a treasure as the recipes, for they are written in a style which absolutely characterizes the Cuban people, a style which is full of wit and humor and a general attitude of generosity towards the world and towards the world's many gifts. Cuban joie de vivre fairly leaps off every page of this lively and extremely reliable cookbook.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sonia Martinez on August 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Just my kind of cookbook! I love cookbooks with more substance than just a bunch of recipes...... I like to read about background, history, lore or anything else that will flesh out a book. The recipes are just a bonus! Reading this book brought back many memories of a way of life that, unfortunately for many of us, no longer exists. Every recipe I have tried from this book has worked for me. Reading about Maria Josefa's family life in old Cuba was almost like putting a mirror in front of me where I could look back on my life as well.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rocky on September 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was looking for a cuban cookbook to take with me to Ohio when I left Florida for grad school. One of four girls, my older sister was taught how to cook, but I wasn't. So I taught myself to cook, but never really learned all the delicious recipes of my favorite meals. Since I grew up in a half Cuban, half Salvadoran household in Miami, FL, I wanted a cookbook that had all of my favorite foods. (My mom - Salvadoran half - learned quickly how to make all of my dad's favorites. Add to that how often my father took me and my sisters to the original Latin American in the heart of the Roads in Coral Gables, or to Versailles, La Carreta, and La Palma for churros, plus Cuban bakeries everywhere - I've been ruined for life) I scoured through so many cookbooks looking for THE ONE that would have recipes to all my favorites - churros, natilla, ropa vieja, bistec empanizado. Until I found this one, they were all disappointments that just couldn't quite grasp the flavors of growing up Cuban. This is THE Cuban cookbook. Every recipe I make from it brings back memories, not to mention rave reviews from my husband, friends, coworkers. Then you get the bonus of the beautiful photographs and stories of growing up in Cuba. It's a walk through history with yummy side trips.
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