by Ana Sofia Pelaez and Ellen Silverman
St. Martin’s Press; $35
I come from a large Cuban family, where food is everything, and this book really gets it. It explores contemporary Cuban food through images and stories recounted by home cooks, professional chefs, restaurateurs, and food writers in Cuba, Miami, and New York. I couldn’t stop reading and drooling over the recipes, both familiar and unfamiliar. I had to try one of the dishes I have never eaten before: Tortilla de Platanos Maduros (Fried Ripe Plantain Omelet). It did not disappoint: sweet and salty, crispy and soft; every bite full of contrasts, kind of like Cuba itself. This book transports you to the island with everything from appetizers, snacks, mains, desserts and the ever-famous Cuban bar. It is the all in one book of Cuban cookery.