Showing posts with label Caribbean. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Caribbean. Show all posts

Friday, April 10, 2015

#FridayReads: Mi Comida Latina: Vibrant, Fresh, Simple, Authentic by Marcella Kriebel

Mi Comida Latina: Vibrant, Fresh, Simple, Authentic by Marcella Kriebel

A stunning, hand-lettered and fully cookbook featuring more than 100 authentic recipes collected from home kitchens across Latin America.

Discovered as a successful self-published Kickstarter project, Mi Comida Latina captures the warmth and depth of culinary traditions in Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Puerto Rico. Artist/author Marcella Kriebel’s vivid, charming watercolors accompany more than 100 recipes including arepas, tamales, ceviches, fish tacos, salsas, flan, spicy micheladas and icy watermelon paletas, plus traditional kitchen tools, techniques and practical tips for choosing and preparing mango, cactus, yucca, coconut and other produce. Every page is a joyous work of art.


Marcella Kriebel is an artist, food enthusiast, and cookbook author. She lives in Washington, D.C.





Friday, February 06, 2015

#FridayReads: God Loves Haiti by Dimitry Elias Léger

A luminous debut . . . Léger writes beautifully and with an immense humanity. Perhaps one of the finest Caribbean novels I’ve read in years and it is a testament to Léger’s extraordinary talents that in this incisive chronicle of failing lovers he never loses sight of his true subject—Haiti—which he renders in all of its stupendous beautiful tortured complexity. A stand-out novel.”—Junot Diaz

A native of Haiti, Dimitry Elias Léger makes his remarkable debut with this story of romance, politics, and religion that traces the fates of three lovers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and the challenges they face readjusting to life after an earthquake devastates their city. 

Reflecting the chaos of disaster and its aftermath, God Loves Haiti switches between time periods and locations, yet always moves closer to solving the driving mystery at its center: Will the artist Natasha Robert reunite with her one true love, the injured Alain Destiné, and live happily ever after? Warm and constantly surprising, told in the incandescent style of José Saramago and Roberto Bolaño, and reminiscent of Gabriel García Márquez’s hauntingly beautiful Love In The Time of Cholera, God Loves Haiti is an homage to a lost time and city, and the people who embody it.



Dimitry Elias Léger was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and raised there and in Brooklyn. Educated at St. John’s University and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, he has worked as an advisor to United Nations agencies. He has also been a staff writer at Fortune, the Miami Herald, and The Source Magazine, and his work has appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Newsweek, and other publications. He lives in Brooklyn and near Evian, France.

Friday, July 04, 2014

#FridayReads: The Feast of San Sebastian By Jonathan Marcantoni

Have you read The Feast of San Sebastian By Jonathan Marcantoni? It's a "raw, gritty and frightening socio-political thriller set in the island paradise of Puerto Rico," according to reviews that debuted last year:

Two Haitians are smuggled into Puerto Rico with promises of work and a better future, but are instead forced into slave labor at an American factory. Ilan is a middleman on the black market whose guilty conscience has led to alcoholism and gambling debts to the biggest crime boss in Puerto Rico. These three men's lives will collide when Ilan is forced to pay his debt by arranging for the assassination of the corrupt Superintendent of Police. 

What follows is an examination of the decadence and injustice of a colonial society on the brink of self-destruction.



Jonathan Marcantoni is the author of Traveler’s Rest and Communion (with Jean Blasiar), both published by Savant Books and Publications. He has been a freelance writer and editor since 2004. His family is from Utuado and Fajardo, Puerto Rico. He currently lives in San Antonio, TX with his wife and three daughters.

Author Jonathan Marcantoni
His intention with this book is to educate, and hopefully, to create action in its readers. The problems facing Puerto Rico can be remedied, but only if we work together as a people to make a better future for our families and for our country.

This book was inspired by the study “Trafficking of Persons in Puerto Rico: An Invisible Challenge” by César A. Rey Hernández, Ph.D. and Luisa Hernández Angueira, Ph.D. The crimes and criminal syndicates depicted in the book are based on cases described in that study and in articles published in the newspaper El Nuevo Día and reported by Wapa TV. 

The raids on slum communities, including La Perla, occurred between 2009 and 2011, with the raid on La Perla leading to the resignation of then-Superintendent of Police José Figueroa Sancha, who is the basis for the Superintendent in the book.
 
The yola operation that brings the Haitians over still exists and has grown rather than decreased over the last several years. It should be understood that the immigrants who come to Puerto Rico do so largely to go to the United States, making Puerto Rico a transit state for illegal immigrants, and in turn, for smugglers. 

Puerto Rico’s human trafficking problem is in direct relation with its relationship to the United States, and not because life there is any better than the immigrant’s homeland. While Dominicans make up the majority of immigrants who use the Canal de Mona to travel to Puerto Rico, there are also large numbers of Haitians, Chinese and Cuban immigrants who use the route as well.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

1899 - Belle of Calle Cristo & Calle San Sebastián in San Juan

This fascinating and stylish photo is from the Teodoro Vidal Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, the original image appeared in the 1899, 2-volume history, Our Islands and Their People as Seen with Camera and Pencil.

The caption beneath the photograph reads, "A Colored Belle of Puerto Rico: The mixture of African with Spanish blood is not found in all of the people of this island. The higher classes of white people hold themselves as strictly in their own society as in any other country. This attractive colored girl is of the higher type of that race." via The NMAH Blog



Friday, June 13, 2014

#FridayReads: Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique

A major debut from an award-winning writer—an epic family saga set against the magic and the rhythms of the Virgin Islands.

In the early 1900s, the Virgin Islands are transferred from Danish to American rule, and an important ship sinks into the Caribbean Sea. Orphaned by the shipwreck are two sisters and their half brother, now faced with an uncertain identity and future. Each of them is unusually beautiful, and each is in possession of a particular magic that will either sink or save them.

Chronicling three generations of an island family from 1916 to the 1970s, Land of Love and Drowning is a novel of love and magic, set against the emergence of Saint Thomas into the modern world. Uniquely imagined, with echoes of Toni Morrison, Gabriel García Márquez, and the author’s own Caribbean family history, the story is told in a language and rhythm that evoke an entire world and way of life and love. Following the Bradshaw family through sixty years of fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, love affairs, curses, magical gifts, loyalties, births, deaths, and triumphs, Land of Love and Drowning is a gorgeous, vibrant debut by an exciting, prizewinning young writer.

Tiphanie Yanique is from Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands. The author of the story collection How to Escape from a Leper Colony, she is a 2010 Rona Jaffe Writers’ Award winner and was named by the National Book Awards as one of 2011’s “5 Under 35.”  She teaches at the New School and lives in Brooklyn and Saint Thomas

Friday, April 25, 2014

#FridayReads: Not for Everyday Use by Elizabeth Nunez

Tracing the four days from the moment she gets the call that every immigrant fears to the burial of her mother, Elizabeth Nunez tells the haunting story of her lifelong struggle to cope with the consequences of the "sterner stuff" of her parents' ambitions for their children and her mother's seemingly unbreakable conviction that displays of affection are not for everyday use.

But Nunez sympathizes with her parents, whose happiness is constrained by the oppressive strictures of colonialism, by the Catholic Church’s prohibition of artificial birth control which her mother obeys, terrified by the threat of eternal damnation (her mother gets pregnant fourteen times: nine live births and five miscarriages which almost kill her), and by what Malcolm Gladwell refers to as the “privilege of skin color” in his mother’s Caribbean island homeland where “the brown-skinned classes...came to fetishize their lightness.” 

Still, a fierce love holds this family together, and the passionate, though complex, love Nunez’s parents have for each other will remind readers of the passion between the aging lovers in Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera. Written in exquisite prose by a writer the New York Times Book Review calls “a master at pacing and plotting,” Not for Everyday Use is a page-turner that readers will find impossible to put down.

Elizabeth Nunez immigrated to the US from Trinidad after completing high school there. She is the author of eight novels. Boundaries (PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award and nominated for the 2012 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Fiction); Anna In-Between (long-listed for an IMPAC Dublin International Award and starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal ); Prospero's Daughter (2010 Trinidad and Tobago One Book, One Community selection; New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, 2006 Florida Center for the Literary Arts One Book, One Community selection, and 2006 Novel of the Year for Black Issues Book Review); Bruised Hibiscus (American Book Award); Discretion (short-listed for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award); Grace; Beyond the Limbo Silence (Independent Publishers Book Award); and When Rocks Dance. 


English: Elizabeth Nunez at the 2008 Brooklyn ...
Elizabeth Nunez at the 2008 Brooklyn Book Festival. (Photo: Wikipedia)
Most of Nunez's novels have also been published as audio books, and two are in translation, in Spanish and German. Nunez has also written several monographs of literary criticism published in scholarly journals, and is co-editor of the anthology, Blue Latitudes: Caribbean Woman Writers at Home and Abroad. 


Nunez was co-founder of the National Black Writers Conference, which she directed for eighteen years with grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Reed Foundation and the Nathan Cummings Foundation. She was executive producer for the 2004 Emmy nominated CUNY TV series, Black Writers in America. Her awards include 2013 National Council for Research on Women Outstanding Trailblazer Award; 2013 Caribbean American Distinguished Writer Award; 2012 Trinidad and Tobago Lifetime Literary Award; 2011 Barnes and Noble Poets and Writers, Writers for Writers Award. 

Nunez is a member of several boards, including the Center for Fiction, and CUNY TV. She is a judge for several national and international literary awards, including the Dublin IMPAC International Literary Award, and gives readings of her work across the country and abroad. Nunez received her PhD in English from New York University. She is a Distinguished Professor at Hunter College, the City University of New York, where she teaches creative writing, fiction.

Friday, March 21, 2014

#FridayReads: The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon by Willie Perdomo

English: Willie Perdomo, poet and publisher.
Willie Perdomo. (Photo: Wikipedia)
Papo's back - put this on your list - just take my word for it!

The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon by Willie Perdomo

Through dream song and elegy, alternate takes and tempos, prizewinning poet Willie Perdomo’s third collection crackles with vitality and dynamism as it imagines the life of a percussionist, rebuilding the landscape of his apprenticeship, love, diaspora, and death. 

At the beginning of his infernal journey, Shorty Bon Bon recalls his live studio recording with a classic 1970s descarga band, sharing his recollection with an unidentified poet. This opening section is followed by a call-and-response with his greatest love, a singer named Rose, and a visit to Puerto Rico that inhabits a surreal nationalistic dreamscape, before a final jam session where Shorty recognizes his end and a trio of voices seek to converge on his elegy.

Willie Perdomo is the author of Where a Nickel Costs a Dime, a finalist for the Poetry Society of America Norma Farber First Book Award, and Smoking Lovely, a winner of the PEN Beyond Margins Award. His poems have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Bomb, and other publications. He is an Instructor of English at Phillips Exeter Academy.

Friday, December 06, 2013

#FridayReads: An Afro-Latina Book List

Inspired by Melissa Harris-Perry's black feminism syllabus over at Feministing I've put together a version geared toward the specific experiences of being both black and Hispanic in the U.S.A and beyond.


  1. Afro-Latin America, 1800-2000 by George Reid Andrews 
  2. Daughters of the Stone: A Novel by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa  
  3. Afro-Latino Voices: Narratives from the Early Modern Ibero-Atlantic World, 1550-1812 by Kathryn Joy McKnight 
  4. The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States by Miriam Jiménez Román 
  5. Women Warriors of the Afro-Latina Diaspora by Marta Moreno Vega
  6. Black in Latin America by Henry Louis Gates Jr. 
  7. The African Presence in Santo Domingo by Carlos Andujar 
  8. Latining America: Black-Brown Passages and the Coloring of Latino/a Studies by Claudia Milian  
  9. Unbecoming Blackness: The Diaspora Cultures of Afro-Cuban America by Antonio Lopez 
  10. The African Experience in Spanish America by Leslie B., Jr. Rout 
  11. Race in Another America: The Significance of Skin Color in Brazil by Edward E. Telles 
  12. Reyita: The Life of a Black Cuban Woman in the Twentieth Century by Maria De Los Reyes Castillo Bueno, Daisy Rubiera Castillo, Anne McLean 
  13. Autobiography of a Slave Autobiografia de un esclavo by Juan Francisco 
  14. Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas
  15. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz 
  16. Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon and Richard Philcox
  17. Women Writing Resistance: Essays on Latin America and the Caribbean by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez, Julia Alvarez, Edwidge Danticat and Michelle Cliff
  18. Island Beneath the Sea: A Novel by Isabel Allende
  19. Negras in Brazil: Re-envisioning Black Women, Citizenship, and the Politics of Identity by Professor Kia Lilly Caldwell 
  20. Racial Politics in Post-Revolutionary Cuba by Mark Q. Sawyer
  21. Blacks and Blackness in Central America: Between Race and Place Paperback by Lowell Gudmundson, Justin Wolfe  
  22. Blackness and Race Mixture: The Dynamics of Racial Identity in Colombia by Peter Wade 
  23. Yo Soy Negro: Blackness in Peru by Tanya Maria Golash-Boza 
  24. Freedoms Given, Freedoms Won: Afro-Brazilians in Post-Abolition SÏ€o Paolo and Salvador by Kim D. Butler
  25. Race and Ethnicity in Latin America by Peter Wade
  26. Black behind the Ears: Dominican Racial Identity from Museums to Beauty Shops by Ginetta E. B. Candelario
  27. Black and Green: Afro-Colombians, Development, and Nature in the Pacific Lowlands by Kiran Asher
  28. Land of the Cosmic Race: Race Mixture, Racism, and Blackness in Mexico by Christina A. Sue
  29. Black Mexico: Race and Society from Colonial to Modern Times by Ben Vinson 
  30. Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
  31. Yemoja: Gender, Sexuality, and Creativity in the Latina by Solimar Otero, Toyin Falola 
  32. Neither Enemies nor Friends: Latinos, Blacks, Afro-Latinos by Anani Dzidzienyo
  33. Afrodescendants, Identity, and the Struggle for Development in the Americas by Bernd Reiter
  34. Mulattas and Mestizas: Representing Mixed Identities in the Americas, 1850-2000 by Suzanne Bost
What would you add? Let me know especially fiction and literature...



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

#NonfictionNovember – 8 Recommended (Fiction & Nonfiction) Book Pairings

I found this challenge over at Regularrumination to find pairings for nonfiction with its complimentary fiction reads pretty interesting. Here are my recommendations:

Pairing 1:
In the Time of the Butterflies
 (Photo: Wikipedia)
In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
with
The Last Playboy: The High Life of Porfirio Rubirosa by Shawn Levy

Pairing 2:
When I Was Puerto Rican: A Memoir by Esmeralda Santiago
with
If I Bring You Roses by Marisel Vera

Pairing 3:
Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies by Laura Esquivel
with
The Daughters of Juarez: A True Story of Serial Murder South of the Border by Teresa Rodriguez, Diana Montané and Lisa Pulitzer

Pairing 4:
Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat
with
Haiti: The Tumultuous History - From Pearl of the Caribbean to Broken Nation by Philippe Girard

Pairing 5:
We The Animals by Justin Torres
with
For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet's Journey by Richard Blanco

Cover of "Cherries in Winter: My Family's...
Cover via Amazon
Pairing 6:
Cherries in Winter: My Family's Recipe for Hope in Hard Times by Suzan Colon
with
The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico: A Novel by Sarah McCoy

Pairing 7: 
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
with
Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas

Pairing 8:
The Scent of Lemon Leaves by Clara Sanchez and Julie Wark
with
The Real Odessa: Smuggling the Nazis to Peron's Argentina by Uki Goni

Pairing 9:
The Woman in Battle: The Civil War Narrative of Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Cuban Woman and Confederate Soldier by Loreta Janeta Velazquez
with
Ines of My Soul: A Novel by Isabel Allende

Monday, January 28, 2013

New Book: Sugar in the Blood: A Family's Story of Slavery and Empire

I love this clever new title: Sugar in the Blood: A Family's Story of Slavery and Empire by Andrea Stuart


In the late 1630s, lured by the promise of the New World, Andrea Stuart’s earliest known maternal ancestor, George Ashby, set sail from England to settle in Barbados. He fell into the life of a sugar plantation owner by mere chance, but by the time he harvested his first crop, a revolution was fully under way: the farming of sugar cane, and the swiftly increasing demands for sugar worldwide, would not only lift George Ashby from abject poverty and shape the lives of his descendants, but it would also bind together ambitious white entrepreneurs and enslaved black workers in a strangling embrace. 
Stuart uses her own family story—from the seventeenth century through the present—as the pivot for this epic tale of migration, settlement, survival, slavery and the making of the Americas. 
As it grew, the sugar trade enriched Europe as never before, financing the Industrial Revolution and fuelling the Enlightenment. And, as well, it became the basis of many economies in South America, played an important part in the evolution of the United States as a world power and transformed the Caribbean into an archipelago of riches. 
But this sweet and hugely profitable trade—“white gold,” as it was known—had profoundly less palatable consequences in its precipitation of the enslavement of Africans to work the fields on the islands and, ultimately, throughout the American continents. Interspersing the tectonic shifts of colonial history with her family’s experience, Stuart explores the interconnected themes of settlement, sugar and slavery with extraordinary subtlety and sensitivity. 
In examining how these forces shaped her own family—its genealogy, intimate relationships, circumstances of birth, varying hues of skin—she illuminates how her family, among millions of others like it, in turn transformed the society in which they lived, and how that interchange continues to this day. Shifting between personal and global history, Stuart gives us a deepened understanding of the connections between continents, between black and white, between men and women, between the free and the enslaved. 
It is a story brought to life with riveting and unparalleled immediacy, a story of fundamental importance to the making of our world.
 Andrea Stuart was born and raised in the Caribbean. She studied English at the University of East Anglia and French at the Sorbonne. Her book The Rose of Martinique: A Life of Napoleon’s Josephine was published in the United States in 2004, has been translated into three languages and won the Enid McLeod Literary Prize. Stuart’s work has been published in numerous anthologies, newspapers and magazines, and she regularly reviews books for The Independent. She has also worked as a TV producer.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Lit Links & Scoops

A list of cool things I read, observed, and collected all week for you:

- How Yunior's Narrative In 'The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao' Acts As An Archival History via HuffPo

- Social Media in 2013


 I wrote these three posts recently elsewhere:

I’m Not A “Girl Gamer:” How the Launch Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Won Me Over 

How to Breakthrough Creative Road Blocks? The Oblique Strategies App

What Happens to a Cashless Society During an Event Like Hurricane Sandy?

- How to make Molten Dulce de Leche Cakes via BonAppetit

- Speaking of Dulce: Don't miss your chance to 'Send an Abrazo with Nestle' via Facebook on behalf of Nestlé ® Abuelita ™  and receive a Nestle Abuelita Kit w/ Coffee Mug & Samples *1st 500 for Next 9 Weeks - Starts Mondays at 1pm EST. Enter here.

- Check out Esta Vida Boricua [This Puerto Rican Life]. Esta Vida Boricua is a digital life-narrative installation, spoken history archive, and public performance space, which focuses on the ancestral stories of Puerto Rico and its diaspora.

- Help promote Las Comadres' first book, Count on Me, essays on fierce friendship by Latin@ authors. If you'd like to participate in upcoming book tour send an email to info@condorbook.com, by this Sunday Nov 18th!

El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico released a new 42-track compilation, the Greatest Christmas Hits of The Last Half Century – Patria, Tradicion & Navidad. Go to iTunes.

- How Doritos were invented via Getthefive


Thursday, November 15, 2012

NYC: Comite Noviembre's First Annual Book Expo & Artisan Fair this Weekend


You are cordially invited to participate in Comite Noviembre's First Annual Book Expo to take place at Comite Noviembre's Artisan Fair. The artisan fair is the largest Puerto Rican artisan fair in the US!!! FREE to the public!  Taking place Saturday, November 17, 2012, at Hostos Community College!

The Artisan Fair & Exhibit was established in 2006, in celebration of Comité Noviembre's, 20th anniversary. Over 50 artesanos puertorriqueños from throughout the US and Puerto Rico participated and the event boasted an attendance of over 5000 people in this very first Fair. 

The Book Expo will add more culture to an already established tradition in the NY Boricua community. The Expo take place at the bridge that spans the Grand Concourse on the 2nd floor, adjacent to the gym where the majority of the artisans will be set up. RSVP here.



Thursday, November 08, 2012

The Amsterdam Travelogue:

Last month, I had the opportunity to visit Amsterdam, Netherlands, for over a week. It was a rough week, my mom had been hospitalized the week before and I was there for a conference so I had no choice but to carry on. However, I still managed to walk around and see a few of the great sights of the historic town.

I would definitely say the trip was worth it just for the food. Whomever, said Dutch food wasn't great, was so wrong! The cheese and the butter alone were unlike any thing I have ever tasted. Every place we went to eat served fresh food so expect a little bit of a wait at your table but the food will reward your patience. Also most shops and restaurants have resident cats so don't be surprised if one stops by your table while your dining.

While there you must try the pannenkoeken or pancakes, they have almost every kind imaginable. I tried banana, bacon pancakes and ended up going to the supermarket to buy my own jar of suikerstroop or molasses which is used as the pancake syrup. Stroopwafels, or thin waffles sandwiched among cinnamon-spiced syrup, make excellent souvenirs to bring back home and you can purchase them pretty cheaply at the Albert Heijn's local supermarkets, for 1-2 Euros or 3-4 for a cute tin.

The frites or fries are pretty popular and are served with mayo but they're pretty heavy so I advise you think of your tummy beforehand. Bitterballen (deep fried croquettes), were new for me, but quickly became a favorite snack, especially the curry flavored ones at the Hilton Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is lovely for walking but not much for shopping. Most of the things I wanted to bring home were hard to although I did buy Gouda cheese and flower bulbs in the airport to bring home - make sure you get the kind that have a certificate of inspection sticker on them.

My neatest finds were at the Waterlooplein Markt, one of Amsterdam's centrally located Flea Markets. I purchased an awesome vintage metal box and a sitting Buddha statue for 35 Euros.

One of the coolest shops I visited had a really wide selection of Asian art notebooks and other chatkies that I had to resist buying. The Asian Spirit shop has a website here and I can't visit it without feeling regret over not getting notebooks to bring back.

If you are there for a few days, you might want to check out Stuff Dutch People Like because it will make you laugh. It's funny because I got a real sense of New York's Dutch roots and also the influence of the Dutch within Caribbean culture. One of my favorite breakfast foods there were the delicious cod fritters, which reminded me of my mom's bacalaitos.

Another thing that really impressed me was the diversity and open acceptance of other cultures and peoples, it was unlike anything I've experienced in Europe or even New York. On the flight home, I ended up sitting next to an ex-patriot who now teaches journalism and film in Amsterdam. The crazy part of this was that he attended my alma matter, Hunter College, and grew up in the same town in New Jersey, as my boyfriend. The world is a small place my friends - a small but wonderful place.

Now about my box? Should I clean it or try to polish it up? I have a suspicion it's a gun box but that key is way too pretty. What do you think it was used for?

 

Read more my Travelogue from Zurich, Switzerland here and check out Marisel Vera's blog about her travels in Zurich.

Monday, September 03, 2012

New Book: Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America by Maricel E. Presilla

I can remember a conversation I had a few years back with my then mentor, Michael Pietsch, Executive Vice President and Publisher of Little, Brown and Company, about cookbooks. I had expressed my concerns that the web was changing consumers' needs for buying cookbooks since it was so easy to just get them online. I remember him furrowing his brow and internally cringing at the thought that that perhaps I had been too frank. I don't think publishers need to be worried anymore though.

Lately, however, I've noticed a trend toward the objectification of things and especially vintage items, like books and vinyl. I think cookbooks, especially the most eye pleasing will fall into this category and they will always have a place on a shelf or a coffee table.

During my early twenties, I collected cookbooks, which I dreamed I would one day display in my kitchen, in the home of my future. When I came across Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America by Maricel E. Presilla, I felt that old knee jerk shopaholic/collector pull: have-to-have-it!

I think you might feel this way too...

How to cook everything Latin American. 

W. W. Norton & Company (October 1, 2012)
Gran Cocina Latina unifies the vast culinary landscape of the Latin world, from Mexico to Argentina and all the Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean. In one volume it gives home cooks, armchair travelers, and curious chefs the first comprehensive collection of recipes from this region. 


An inquisitive historian and a successful restaurateur, Maricel E. Presilla has spent more than thirty years visiting each country personally. She’s gathered more than 500 recipes for the full range of dishes, from the foundational adobos and sofritos to empanadas and tamales to ceviches and moles to sancocho and desserts such as flan and tres leches cake


Detailed equipment notes, drink and serving suggestions, and color photographs of finished dishes are also included. This is a one-of-a-kind cookbook to be savored and read as much for the writing and information as for its introduction to heretofore unrevealed recipes. Two-color; 32 pages of color photographs; 75 line drawings.


Maricel E. Presilla is the co-owner of Zafra and Cucharamama, two Latin restaurants in Hoboken, New Jersey. She holds a doctorate in medieval Spanish history from New York University and lives in Weehawken, New Jersey.




 
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