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The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History Hardcover – October 28, 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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  • The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This book has a place in every kitchen.” ―The Miami Herald

“… [A] heartfelt tribute to Cuban Cuisine…Cooks will want to add this immersive and inspirational book to their collection.” ―Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

“A seat at this table will be a welcome one for those who grew up eating and preparing Cuban food as well as those who are curious and ready to learn about it.” ―Booklist

“Food writer Peláez's (hungrysofia.com) and photographer Silverman's passion for Cuban cooking leaps off the page...bursting with exotic and enticing words and tastes.” ―Library Journal, STARRED review

“...Ana Sofía Peláez melds food and family, Cuba and Miami, the past and the present...In this gem of a book, all Cubans--from here and there--sit at the same table. And what a table it is!...” ―Mirta Ojito, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of Finding Mañana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus

“The goddess of fortune was smiling on Cuba when Ellen Silverman and Ana Sofia Pelaez hit its shores. Few capture the essence of a place, a people and their food as have these two. Visually true and beautiful, written with deep understanding and lusty appetite, this is one of those books you read, you cook with and come back to again and again. It's a keeper.” ―Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift, host and producer of American Public Media's The Splendid Table, and authors of The Splendid Table's How to Eat Weekends

“Ana Sofia Pelaez's evocative writing and easy-to-follow recipes coupled with Ellen Silverman's gorgeous photography is a recipe for a timeless book. In The Cuban Table, they bring us wonderful Cuban recipes and the stories behind them. I can't wait to get into the kitchen with The Cuban Table!” ―Julia Turshen, food writer and coauthor of It's All Good

“With its superb photographs and enticing recipes, this is sure to become THE book on Cuban cooking and an entree IN to an extraordinary culture.” ―Sally Schneider, award-winning author of A New Way to Cook and The Improvisational Cook, and founder of improvisedlife.com

“The glow of family memories radiates from the recipes, stories, and food photographs of The Cuban Table as they show us Cuban and Cuban-Americans' strong connections to tradition. And I love Ellen Silverman's photographs of present-day Cuba, so full of life and confidence.” ―Naomi Duguid, writer and photographer, and author of Burma: Rivers of Flavor

“My copy of The Cuban Table is sure to be covered in the loving spills of so many meals: mornings spent savoring a classic cafe con leche, leisurely lunches that begin with the crunch of hot-fried mariquitas, and easy dinners with friends who can't get enough of the classic pork and beans (feel free to sub your favorite dinner recipe from the book here!). The original family recipes and accompanying gorgeous images will tempt you to try every dish--and you should!” ―Daphne Oz, author of Relish and cohost of The Chew

About the Author

ANA SOFIA PELAEZ grew up in a famous Cuban family as the great-niece of the revered avant-garde painter Amelia Peláez del Casal. Raised in Miami and transplanted to New York, Ana Sofia launched her food blog, Hungry Sofia, in 2008 in an effort to discover the rich smells, heady flavors, and baroque rituals of Latin food. Since then, she has been featured by The New York Times, InStyle magazine, The Huffington Post, Food 52, Apartment Therapy's the Kitchn, iVillage, and NBC Latino. She's appeared on the Cooking Channel's "Stay Hungry" campaign and Aarón Loves NY with Chef Aarón Sanchez. Most recently, Hungry Sofia was nominated by Saveur magazine as one of the Best Regional Cuisine blogs of 2012.
ELLEN SILVERMAN has photographed many bestselling cookbooks including Gwyneth Paltrow's My Father's Daughter, Daphne Oz's Relish, Karen DeMasco's The Craft of Baking, Chef Kurt Gutenbrunner's Neue Cuisine, Tracy Zabar's One Sweet Cookie, The Epicurious Cookbook, and the upcoming Jamaican cookbook by the Rousseau sisters, Bellyfull. An exhibition of her photographs of Cuban kitchens was shown at New York gallery Umbrella Arts, and was featured on NPR's The Picture Show, on Gourmet Live, The Splendid Table, and in Saveur magazine.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (October 28, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250036089
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250036087
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.2 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

From the Publisher

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I received this book in 2 days. It was in excellent condition. I probably own 30 Cuban cookbooks. This one will be one that i go back to regularly. I have already made the picadillo, masas de puerco, panquecitos and tomorrow will be fricasse de pollo. What drew me to this book were 2 things.First were the photos. I lived in Miami for 26 years. I know these pictures are not from Miami, but they remind me of Miami so much. Also in all my Cuban cookbooks there were no recipes for panquecitos. When i saw this book had one i had to have it. They are delicious little butter flavored pound cakes in a muffin form. I now live in Tennessee and they taste slightly like the corn bread muffins that you get at Famous Dave's restaurant . Furthermore, the first chapter containing recipes for the bakery items has several recipes not included in other books. I highly suggest this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I collect cookbooks and have for over 50 years. As a Cuban-American, a full two shelves of my cookbook stash is on Cuban cuisine. I have cookbooks that my mother brought from Cuba; the first booklets that were published by the exile community in the 60's (some of which are just a few pages stapled together). Not to mention binders and binders of recipes published in newspapers and magazines. I mention all this to establish myself as a Cuban cookbook fanatic. (I won't go into what kind of a cook I am, we can skip that part).

Now, with my credentials in place, I have to say that, in my entire collection there isn't another book like this one. It is far and away, the BEST I've ever seen in every way that matters:

--the recipes are genuine.
--they are well-explained and easy to follow.
--there is fascinating anecdotal information about them and their history.
--traditional, current Cuban, and Cuban-American dishes are included.
--It is almost encyclopedic in its scope.
--they are presented and grouped logically.
--the photography is beautiful.
--the book is well-indexed and cross-referenced (not always a given in Latin cookbooks!)
--the book (paper weight, quality, cover, layout, design, etc.) is first class.

I have to congratulate the author for, not just her efficiency, but also for her sensitivity and her obvious love for her subject. I want to thank her not just on my own behalf but on behalf of my children's generation and other generations to come in both shores. And I have to congratulate myself on having had the sense to buy it the minute I saw it. I imagine that, someday, it will get a place of honor among my cookbooks but, for the time being, I'm just enjoying going on a culinary voyage of memory, imagination and taste.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Cookbooks like this one that are filled with both delicious recipes along with background about the history behind the food create a rich experience in the culture and cuisine. I love to cook but admit that I know little about Cuban food and through this book I learned so much.

There are some specialty ingredients common to this cuisine which may need to be sought out from sources outside of a normal grocery store like frozen plantain leaves, plantains, orange blossom water, guava paste, etc., but there are plenty of recipes that use standard pantry staples. I fully intend to buy the items I just mentioned but in testing a few recipes I stuck with recipes that could be made with things already on-hand.

Starting with the Foundation recipes in the back of the book I prepared the Pan De Media Noche bread. It is a rich egg based bread and absolutely delicious. The instructions are clear and even a beginner should have success. I then used the bread for the Sandwich Elena Ruz. The ingredients are strawberry preserves, cream cheese and sliced turkey. The top and bottom are brushed with melted butter and the sandwich heated in either a Panini press or a cast iron skillet. Yes, it is ridiculously rich but half a sandwich goes a long way, and I could easily see it working as a hot appetizer with the sandwiches cut into small triangles.

Finally, I prepared the Panquecitos from the pastry section of the book. Essentially these little cakes are similar to pound cake with one recipe for twelve cakes requiring two sticks of butter and four eggs. They are cooked in a muffin tin and freeze very well. Again, like the sandwich, these are not low fat foods, but everything in moderation - half a cake with a cup of tea or coffee is a special treat.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It wasn't what i expected. The book was a bit confusing. Im puerto rican and love all kinds of spanish food and would love to learn them. However, this book isn't the case. It has pictures of foods you would want to make but the recipes aren't there! Theres tons of pictures but mostly not of the dishes, more of ingredients... It's kind of a tease. There are only a few recipes but alot of information on cubas history. IF YOU WANT TO COOK AND GET DOWN TO BUSINESS, THEN THIS ISN'T THE BOOK. you'll find yourself reading history rather than recipes.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a kid growing up in Florida with one of my best friends being Cuban and having his mom and abuelita making Sunday dinner, this type of food--regardless of where I get it from--takes me to a place and time where food is more than the sum of its parts. It's about community. This book does a wonderful job of capturing that sentiment through its beautiful, rustic images that are reflective of the country, its food, and its people. The recipes area truly indicative of what people eat there and not some terrible fusion version of what the writer wants it to be. Now living in Denver, where (guess what) Cuban options are limited, I'm looking forward to going through this book, cover to cover, and making new memories with my family and friends.
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