It is undeniable that it is an exciting time for the U.S. and Cuba. Having the opportunity to experience the Caribbean island for ourselves last year, Cuba is one of the most exciting travel destinations trending right now. From vintage cars to the people, culture, music, and food, there is so much to be explored and enjoyed.
Taking our taste buds on a sweet and savory culinary tour are authors Dan Goldberg, Andrea Kuhn and Jody Eddy in their latest book, “Cuba!: Recipes and Stories from the Cuban Kitchen.” This beautiful book is one that we enjoyed from beginning to end. The photography is stunning, evoking vivid memories of the week we spent there and creating a longing to go back…soon.
For five years, Goldberg, Kuhn and Eddy have been visiting the country and the result is this “brazen, bold and colorful” cookbook. Goldberg, an award-winning photographer, teamed up with Kuhn who is a food stylist and Eddy, a food writer, to capture more than 75 recipes that will have you creating your own Little Havana at home.
Where do we begin? We can’t mention every recipe that caught our eye and therefore made our “To Try” list, but these come highly recommended: Crispy Pork with Mango Salsa (page 42), Caribbean Black Bean Burger (page 78), Vedado Lobster Roll (page 84), Paella (page 102), Ribs with Guava BBQ Sauce (page 117), Pureed Plantain Soup with Crispy Shallots (page 131) and Havanese Pork Loin (page 160).
For dessert, flan reigns supreme for sure as well as churros that you can grab along the street as you walk through Old Havana. It will be a first time but we’re excited to experiment in the ice cream making department and test out the Toasted Coconut Ice Cream on page 209. Another great suggestion is the chiviricos which are crispy fried dough that is sprinkled with sugar and all-time Cuban snack. The book says they go great with wine or beer. Not sure how we missed these while visiting.
A trip to Cuba is not complete without a cocktail with rum. An Old Cuban here in the states gets our vote every time. But mixing things up from the book, we’re eyeing the Passion Fruit Martini (page 236) and Spiced Rum Pimm’s Cup (page 238).
Before you start cooking, we seriously recommend taking the time to read the stories and follow the authors’ journey in a county that is becoming more and more exposed in the most exciting way. The photography truly captures the spirit of the country and people beautifully.
Now, to be honest, the best culinary experience we had while there, which was mainly Havanna, was in the home of a family and not a restaurant. Therefore, with the recipes in this book being inspired by the Cuban people, this tell us that we missed out on a lot and should have had more home-cooked meals to get the true essence of Cuban cuisine which we feel we did not. But, there is always next time.
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