Tastes Like Cuba: An Exile's Hunger for Home (Hardcover 368 pages)
by Eduardo Machado (Author), Michael Domitrovich (Author)
From Publishers Weekly
In this memoir, playwright and professor Machado (Kissing Fidel) tells the story of his family's escape from Cuba and their assimilation into the U.S. Although his tale features a familiar triumph-over-adversity storyline, it distinguishes itself in descriptions of Cuban delicacies, complete with recipes. Recalling a hasty dinner of swordfish escabeche enjoyed in the midst of the Revolution, he writes, "Something about looking down at a golden slab, cutting into the thick flesh... made the meal feel like a luxury." To better share the tastes of home, the author studs the book with recipes for favorites like Roast Pork, heady with garlic and citrus, and Biztec Empanizado, a tropical country-fried steak that's surprisingly light. Though the vivid food writing captivates, the memoir can drag in long reporterly passages, and rankles with a few too many glib assessments: "The shock of dad's departure was that it changed how we understood the very concept of family." Nevertheless, the luxuriant descriptions of family meals, and the obvious joy Machado takes in recounting them, make this memoir a tasty read.