A Taste of Cuba
Beatriz Llamas; illustrated by Ximena Maier; photography by Michael Bonaparte
7 1/2" x 9 1/2" • 144 pages • full-color illus. and photos throughout
“Beatriz Llamas was born in Spain, ran cooking classes and a catering business while still a student, then worked at the Alambique Cookery School in Madrid before moving to Cuba, where she developed a keen interest in the local cuisine and culture. In "A Taste of Cuba", Llamas showcases an impressive culinary mix of cultures and ingredients associated with Cuba's complex history and natural resources originating with the Cuban Indians (cassava, taro root, corn, sweet potatoes, black beans), the Spanish colonizers (coffer, sugar, roasted meats and peppers), and African slaves (okra, plantain). All of these diverse heritages of foods fused into a vibrant new culinary culture. Illustrated with drawings and color photography, the recipes range from Taro Root Fritters; Avocado and Shrimp Salad; and Susana's Rice with Green Plantain; to Celie's Chicken and Corn Pie; Squash Pudding; and Soursop Champola Ice Cream. A Taste of Cuba is an ideal addition to any personal or community library multicultural cookbook collection.”
—Midwest Book Review
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Cuban cuisine is a fascinating mixture of cultures and ingredients drawn from the island's complex history and its wide-ranging natural resources. It includes the early influences of native Cuban Indians (with their manioc, taro root, corn and black beans) to the arrival of the Spanish colonizers with the cash crops of coffee and sugar as well as their stuffed roasted meats and peppers and, of course, the African slaves who brought okra, and plantain.
Today, all these are such important elements of Cuban cuisine that it seems as though they have always been present on the island. Add a little rum and some salsa music to the pot and the story of Cuban cuisine really begins to take shape!
In A Taste of Cuba Beatriz Llamas takes us on a gastronomic tour of the Caribbean’s biggest island: from appetizers, soups, main dishes, side dishes and desserts -- and all the mouthwatering spices and ingredients (past and present) that are so popular and unique to Cuba.
Beatriz Llamas is Spanish by nationality and was born into a family of culinary tradition. Her interest in gastronomy began at an early age, and she started holding cooking classes and running a catering business while still a university student. She has co-written the book From Spain to Olive Oil and has contributed to numerous gastronomic publications (including Gourmet and Cocina Futuro). She worked at the Alambique Cookery School in Madrid, Spain before moving to Cuba eight years ago, where she soon developed a keen interest in the local gastronomy. She currently lives in Havana with her husband and three children.
Ximena Maier was born in Madrid. She has been a professional illustrator since 1999 working mainly for magazines, and illustrating childrens’ books and cookbooks. This book is the result of two sketching trips to Cuba.
“A glorious gastronomic tour of Cuba and its culinary history, with easy-to-follow recipes for authentic dishes, illustrated not only by the expected ‘gorgeous plate’ type of photos, but also by wonderful original illustrations. Ximena Maier’s artwork is realistic in content, yet whimsical in feeling, adding much to the allure of the book.”
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