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

4.4 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (April 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452275482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452275485
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I cook Puerto Rican food all the time, some recipes are new to try. The reason for buying was more to be able to cook these with my granddaughter and to teach her about her heritage although she was born in the states. Cooking is a major part of our culture and what better way to be able to practice cooking with her and also teach her about growing up Puerto Rican. The book has great recipes that even a novice can do.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got it for a good friend that was very interested in learning about our Puertorrican traditional and new dishes! After doing some research I decided to purchase this book and I am glad I did because he told me how much he really love this book!:)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't give this book a fair rating yet since I got the book recently and have only tried one recipe. I'll have to update later if necessary. However, as of right now, I'm pretty excited about this book. I've been living in the states for a number of years now, but I was born and raised in PR. Have lived there most of my life and of course now that I don't live there I've been looking up recipes to learn to make my favorites myself. What I like about this book so far is that it has most of my favorite staples and they seem simplified. It remains to be seen if this makes for dishes that seem to be lacking, but I've already tried the chicken asopao and it was delicious. I also think this book is great for beginners, those living in the states or those not familiar with PR cuisine as it has a section describing a lot of the main ingredients and provides substitutions for things not easily found in the US.
Two notes here addressing some issues brought up on some of the reviews here. First, some say too many recipes call for raisins. I've definitely seen raisins in a few dishes back home (like my mom's pasteles), but in my experience it is definitely not a common ingredient. I would just ignore the raisins. Secondly, people need to remember that just because your family or the people in the area of the island you grew up in did things one way doesn't mean the entire island does it the same way. There will be differences here and there. I usually just change things up a little too if I find an ingredient there that isn't typically in that dish the way I know it. So far, seems traditional enough for me. So take it with a grain of salt if someone says this is not a traditional book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
the reason I brought this book was for my son who wants to learn how to cook Spanish food, he can cook American food but not Spanish, when I got the book I gave it to him he asked me for a marker to mark the recipes he wants to do, I said to him we will share it together. thank you amazon!!!!!
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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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