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Home » casa + cultura, food, headline

I *Heart* Cookbooks!

Submitted by on September 23, 2009 – 3:23 am7 Comments

What do I love better than cooking? (Okay, my husband and kids, but that’s not important right now.)


Love them.

And being the highly imaginative (okay, slightly delusional) individual that I am,  I feel like I’m carrying on an ongoing conversation, in other words a Tiki Tiki about food:

“Yes, tell me Ina, how would you do this?” or “Seriously, Giada, that is completely inspired!”

For Cuban food my favorite cookbook is still Memories of a Cuban Kitchen by Mary Urrutia Randelman and Joan Schwartz.

And of course, these are my favorite three guys, Glenn N. Lindgren, Raul Musibay, and Jorge Castillo, who co-wrote the fabulous Three Guys from Miami Cook Cuban.


Naturally, I love Cuban food, but I am also partial to the cuisines of other Hispanic cultures.

For Puerto Rican food, there is the wonderful Puerto Rican Cookery by Carmen Aboy Valldejuli. “Oye, Carmen! That is the perfect way to caramelize a pan.”

Puerto Rican cookery

And don’t even get me started on my love of Spanish food! I love that the author is in love with Spanish food, too. “I know, Anya. I love the way you think.” Anya von Bremzen is the author and Spanish Food Lover of  The New Spanish Table.

new spanish table

I’m sure there are more authentic Mexican cookbooks out there, but I dearly love this one from a restaurateur in Austin, Texas (plus the book itself is a work of art, but that’s not important right now either.) Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years of Food and Art by Tom Gilliland, Miguel Ravago, and Virginia B. Wood.

fonda san mig

If you want authentic Columbian, you need the Secrets of Columbian Cooking by Patricia McCausland-Gallo. I just have two words for you: “Yuca balls.” That is all.


By the way, I wrote a cookbook, too (she said, modestly).  It’s called My Big, Fat, Cuban Family Cookbook by Marta M. Darby. (Hey! that’s me! =D)


I know I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of Hispanic Cookbookdom. So, I’m going to need some help here.

Tell me your three favorite Hispanic Cookbooks. I seriously want to know. Let’s keep the Food Tiki Tiki going….

Share, por favor!


  • Eric says:

    I love your variety of food options! Here in Philly there are more taquerias and Puerto Rican restaurants; only a handful of Colombian restaurants *sigh*. However, we do have Jose Garces! His restaurants are amazing.

  • I love your cookbook the best, but after that, it’s my Memories of a Cuban Kitchen.

  • Yoly says:

    My favorite cookbook is Cocine a Gusto y and the other one I have is called Recuerdos y Recetas de Borinquen. Both were gifts from my sister which was worried I would never learn to cook ‘puertorican’ once I move to the states.

    • Gieris says:

      Hi; Just to inform you that I have published two cookbooks with lots of photos: Sabrosuras Boricuas and Homestyle Puerto Rican Cooking. The third one is coming soon from the printer: De la Tierra con Sabor, which is a vegetarian cookbook. You may be able to purchase them for Mother’s Day.

  • Kiki Bacaro says:

    Yours is my fave and Memories of a Cuban Kitchen is a close second.

  • Carrie says:

    My total all-time favorite Latin cookbook is by Douglas Rodriguez: Nuevo Latino. http://bit.ly/KKBNm

    And, I learned to cook Cuban food from a self-published book my dad bought at La Moderna Poesia in Miami: Cuban Home Cooking by Jane Cossio.

    Also, on my shelf, is a very old copy of Cuban Cookbook by Nitza Villapol; A Taste of Cuba; Sabor; Memories of a Cuban Kitchen; Marta’s My Big Fat Cuban Family, and several Spanish/tapas titles.

    Love seeing these titles.

  • Mica says:

    Well, here we go:

    Cocina Criolla and Cocina al Minuto, both by Nitza Villapol. It’s the go-to author of Cuban cuisine. One of my treasured copies was bought at the Havana airport by my mom the day she left Cuba with my sister and brother forever. She used her last Cuban pesos in her purse to buy it.

    My other favorite are the hundreds of notes and pages Mami left us of her recipes. Some she had tried others jotted down ‘por si acaso’ she had the urge to try something new. Among all those notes, was the search for the perfect ‘Empanada Gallega’. I am sure she is up there still searching for it!

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