Cuban Flavor


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"Sometimes you pick up a dream disguised as a book. This is such a book.”


Cuban Flavor: Exploring the Island's Unique Places, People, and Cuisine

A culinary exploration of struggle and transformation


(New York, NY) December 20, 2017 – Skyhorse Publishing announces the publication of Cuban Flavor, a book from author and photographer Liza Gershman that offers a rare view into the disruptive, complex world of Cuban cuisine. Through the recipes, stories, and images contained within its pages, Cuban Flavor explores both classic staples of the island culture and the new revolution of experimentation and growth that has risen to meet the recent demands of tourism.

Though each page of Cuban Flavor is wholly devoted to sharing the authentic flavor and heart of Cuban cuisine, the serving of culinary reverence is dished up alongside a healthy portion of political meat. Cuba’s relationship with food mirrors its own history, shaped by colonization, driven forward by immigrants and slaves, and molded by government-imposed scarcity. The recipes and tales compiled by Gershman introduce Cuba as a land of contradiction—a culinary evolution of the possibilities of a tropical climate that harbors a fresh bounty of seafood and crustaceans with local harvests of pineapple, guava, mango, and lime, but one that was ultimately formed by staples such as rice and beans that continue to serve as a reminder of a time when meals were for sustenance only.

The recipes contained within Cuban Flavor are a corroboration of that extreme contrast.  The simple, indelible Ropa Vieja is portrayed alongside recipes that are emblematic of the infusion and growth that have come with the recent access to new markets of spices and ingredients. Recipes of excess and experimentation from the burgeoning restaurant scene are presented between recipes that rose to popularity out of necessity in response to policy-driven restrictions. Cuban Flavor presents a vibrant look at the rich blend of cuisines woven by the tradition of Spanish, African, Native American, and Caribbean influence, as well as the enduring Cuban people who have continued to share meals amidst times of change.

Beyond the pages of savory meals, Cuban Flavor features insight into the country’s history and political climate of old and new. It contains recommendations and reviews of restaurants iconic and rising and delves into a collection of drinks, both alcoholic and caffeinated, before devoting time to the role of cigars and music. Readers will even encounter a Spanish language refresher course, a pre-planned itinerary for the perfect visit, and a crash course on island currencies, amenities, and cultural norms.

Cuban Flavor is a book of lasting meals and invigorating flavors and colors that excite the palate and heart, all wrapped in a delicate portrait of both stark reminders and decadence. Behind its lively recipes lies an incredibly important message, as each meal contained in its pages is served with the affirmation that the excitement and indulgence generated by the sights and smells are paired with an acceptance of the privilege required to enjoy it.

About the Author

Liza Gershman is an award-winning food, lifestyle, and travel photographer, photo editor, and photography instructor. Her photographs have been featured in a range of beautiful cookbooks, including Skyhorse’s The Good Cooks’ Book series. She is the author of Drink Vermont and Passage to China.


Cuban Flavor: Exploring the Island's Unique Places, People, and Cuisine

Pub Date: February 6, 2018

Hardcover: 240 pages

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1510710124

ISBN-13: 978-1510710122

Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.9 x 11 inches

Price: $29.99




Praise for Cuban Flavor

"Beautifully photographed, and full of rich details on Cuban food and culture and the people who create it, this well-researched combination of a cookbook, scrap book, travel guide, and love letter to Cuba features enough mouth-watering photos of Cuban food to make you want to hop on the next flight over there for a meal. But if you can't make it, don't worry, because the book's detailed recipes will help you re-create these meals at home. Even if you're not a chef, it's fun to page through the book to learn about the Cuban food scene." 
Bill Fink, award-winning travel writer for Lonely PlanetFrommer's BBC, and National Geographic Traveler

"I love cookbooksand I love them even more when they go beyond the food to include the culture that creates the cuisine, particularly when it’s somewhere as exotic as Cuba. Liza Gershman has masterfully captured the color and excitement of Cuba in her photographs as skillfully as she captured the mouthwatering food. During the first decades of the revolution, the Cuban dining scene left much to be desired. Basic ingredients were difficult to find, supplies were rationed, and the quality was at best mediocre. However, in recent years the proliferation of private restaurants, paladares, has transformed the way people eat. Liza Gershman has got to the soul of Cuba through its food. Cuban Flavor is the next best thing to hopping on a plane to Havana." 
Robert Holmes, recipient of the 2017 Travel Photographer of the Year by the Society of American Travel Writers

"Sometimes you pick up a dream disguised as a book. This is such a book. Whether you are an avid world traveler looking for new adventures or a home chef in search of family-pleasing menus, Liza Gershman’s Cuban Flavor pairs the history, traditions, and recipes of the Cuban people with glorious photographs and reminds us that Cuba will always be a dream-worthy destination." 
Rayne Wolfe, author and cookbook stylist