When you're starting your library, your cookbook library that is, it can be hard to know where to start. We're here to help, with a new series on our favorite cookbooks. Some old, some new, all delicious. Today, we're focusing on Cuban cookbooks. Cookbooks are a great place to turn to (re)familiarize yourself with classic dishes or to get find new interpretations of dishes you know so well. They're also a great way to connect with home. Whether you're just getting to know Cuba or have a long relationship with the vibrant and mesmerizing island, these cookbooks will help you on your journey.
Part memoir, part cookbook, Memories of a Cuban Kitchen is filled with more than 200 authentic recipes from author Mary Urrutia Randelman. Randelman grew up in pre-Castro Cuba, immigrating with her wealthy family to Miami at the age of 10. In the pages of this book she captures childhood memories in a Cuba that ceased to be and also classic recipes, some almost forgotten. There’s also an introduction to Cuban cooking as well as a glossary, so if you’re just getting to know the island, you’ll have a handy guide. This book is great to help you imagine a Cuba no one has seen in decades, to help you imagine Cuba without the shadow of Castro.
Like Memories of a Cuban Kitchen, A Taste of Old Cuba combines recipes with the vivid and colorful memories Maria Josefa Lluria de O’Higgins. O’Higgins grew up in Cuba and her jazz age 1920s and 1930s recollections pepper the book, side by side with recipes for cocido and sopa de ajos. This book marries memory and cooking and seeks to revive old Cuba in the kitchen, with recipes meant to be remembered.
Dive into modern day Cuba with The Cuban Table by blogger Ana Sofia Pelaez and photographer Ellen Silverman. The duo seek to give an overview of Cuban history, culture, and recipes by helping others tell their stories, including chefs, restaurateurs, and home cooks. The duo traveled through Cuba, Miami, and NYC to pull together more than 100 recipes and gorgeous full color photos to show you Cuba as it exists now: complicated and welcoming.
No Cuban cookbook library is complete with this bible: The Versailles Restaurant Cookbook. Versailles is part restaurant, part Cuba-in-Miami. The institution opened its doors in 1971 and has since become the hub of all that is Cuban in South Florida. Politicians, celebrities, community members pass through the doors regularly and their classic cooking is what keeps them coming back. The book shares the restaurant’s history and recipes, including directions for their famous coffee.