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A Taste of Puerto Rico: Traditional and New Dishes from the Puerto Rican Community Paperback – April 1, 1997


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A Taste of Puerto Rico: Traditional and New Dishes from the Puerto Rican Community + Puerto Rican Cookery + Puerto Rican Cuisine in America: Nuyorican and Bodega Recipes
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (April 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452275482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452275485
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Until recently, Puerto Rican cooking has been taken for granted or overlooked here. Now, with Oswald Rivera's Puerto Rican Cooking in America (LJ 11/15/93) and this new book from an accomplished food writer, the situation has begun to change. Ortiz, a Puerto Rican native and French-trained former chef, includes classic and regional specialties (despite the island's small size, distinct culinary differences are evident from one locale to another), recipes that reflect Spanish and African influences, and contemporary dishes from Puerto Rican cooks on the mainland and the island, as well as her own concoctions. Rivera's book emphasizes home-style cooking; although Ortiz includes the traditional dishes, too, her book is somewhat more sophisticated. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

More than 200 dishes contrast both the past and the present of Puerto Rican gastronomy: arroz con pollo versus chicken with macaroni, stewed okra versus polenta gnocchis, Puerto Rican pot roast versus pork and eggplant stew, and flan vs passion fruit bread pudding. Ortiz is not as conscientious as she could be about recommending substitutes for ingredients like Puerto Rican white cheese, soursoup, and out-of-season unusual fruits. Most dishes, though, require little preparation. Barbara Jacobs --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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The recipes are very easy to follow.
Rosemarie Force
It's the best Puerto Rican cook book you can add to your collection.
Nereida Cruz
This is the second time that I buy this book.
Marilyn Santiago

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Anna Myriam on May 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
This cookbook is a good introduction to Puerto Rican cuisine for those not familiar with it. Yvonne does a good job of describing our basic ingredients, sauces, vegetables (viandas), and her recipes are made simpler and easier to prepare than the "real thing." Unfortunately, it is not a true representation of authentic typical Puerto Rican recipes because she changes some recipes and adds things like raisins to too many other recipes. I would caution those considering buying this book to read the recipes carefully and remember that Yvonne's recipes are often only close to being authentic. I have tried several recipes in her book with mixed results. The biggest failure of sorts, was the recipe for Sancocho. Yvonne's recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of pepper, and it was way too much, masking the flavors of the stew. Again, I would recommend this book, but with some reservations.
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54 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Gladys Davila on January 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book only because the bookstore was out of the Nuyorican cookbook. I was hoping it would have the same recipes my mom uses, but alas it doesn't! Ortiz tries to make traditional puerto rican cooking into french gourmet cooking! She gets too fancy when there is no need to be! It almost makes you think she is ashamed of how the food is really cooked! And why does she have to add currants and golden raisins to everything! That is not how the traditional recipes are made! Her recipes are squarely based on the stupid cooking school she went to! Americans are not asking for the easier version they are asking for the REAL version. I accumulated better recipes than hers for FREE on the internet! The only way there is any use to her book is if you already know how to make some of the dishes and just incorporate your recipe with hers just to have something on paper! Believe me I had to change things around when I phoned family about her recipes! What a waste of money!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By foximonique on September 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
I tried the recipe for the Coconut Guava Cookie. This recipe was a disaster. The ingredients were butter, coconut, sugar and vanilla. The cookies are to cook at 350. However, there is nothing to hold the cookie together and butter does exactly what butter does... it melts and there was a huge mess. This recipe should include flour. The ingredients make a great icing but they do not make a cookie.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By SQPublik on January 28, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful book to own. I love Latin inspired recipes, and they are all in here. I also own "Daisy Cooks", and between these two books I can entertain my Puerto Rican friends here in South Florida as if I was Hispanic myself (which I am not). The ingredients are easy to get in ethnic and Supermarkets, so are the spices, herbs, the meats, the fish etc. Many storebought, premixed "Spanish" meals in bags or in the freezer section can be incorporated, so as to appear as made from scratch. Yummy either way!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By KT on May 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
I live in Kansas and am very familiar with Mexican cuisine, my boyfriend is from New york City and grew up with Puerto Rican cuisine at home, he has asked me for years to make different things for him, things his mother made (I quickly discovered Mexican food was not similar at all, besides I am not Mexican, a homestyle meal for me would have mashed potatoes and gravy, Roast beef and green beans). She makes her recipes from memory and has not been a good resource, this book has all of the foods that remind him of home, things that he considers traditional. The recipes are titled in English and Spanish so I can search the book for a recipe that sounds similar to what he has described and he can see the title in Spanish and knows exactly what it is. There are recipes for Traditinal Chicken and Rice, Pasteles, Fried pork chops and Salchichas con Arroz. All things he missed very much I can hardly keep him out of the food before it is done. There are also recipes which appeal to me that include fruit and tend to be lighter dishes that sound more Caribbean to me. At the very beginning of this book there is a section covering the Puerto Rican pantry that describes exotic ingredients and gives recipes to make many of them if you cannot find them in the store and substitution ideas. When I first bought this book I had a very hard time finding the ingredients, I have since become familiar with the Mexican markets that carry many of the specialty items and discovered the Asian market has been a very important resource. I may not always enjoy the traditional food but he insists that it tastes almost as good as his mother's so the author definitely used traditional flavors and recipes and added some updated ones to appeal to a wider audience, we've both been happy with this book it was an invaluable find.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lydia Ellinwood on December 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have owned this book for several years. Everytime I use it my home takes on the aroma of my Grandmother's house. I highly recommend this book for your yourself and your friends.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I own almost every PR cookbook available on the market, including those written in Spanish and not translated. Yet, this is the one I turn to again and again.
Ortiz takes the mystery out of this wonderful cuisine and by providing for alternate ingredients, she makes it available to those of us who do not live in areas with a large PR community. Her Quick Bean Stew recipe is superb, as are many of her other recipes. The only PR cookbook you'll ever need. I would caution only that if you don't use fresh ground pepper, divide the amount of pepper called for by one half.
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