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ˇSabor! A Passion for Cuban Cuisine
By Ana Quincoces Rodriguez
ISBN: 0762433477
Publisher: Running Press
Publication date: November 2008
Format: Hardcover
List price: $29.95 
Type: Regional or Ethnic: Cuban
Sample recipe: Tamal en Cazuela (Soft Polenta with Pork)
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive coffee-table Biblical stature
Competition: outclassed follower in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Variety: too little too much unusual nice mix just right
# of recipes: <50 <100 <200 <300 ≥300
Practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% ≥80%
# of ingredients: ≤4 ≤7 ≤10 ≤12 >12
Ingredient hunt: 7-Eleven airfare required online pantry supermarket
Recipe complexity: too hard simple medium challenging professional
Instructions: inadequate verbose bare-bones full-figured educational
Time conscious: unconscious outright lies white lies realistic honorable
Cooking time: weekend project takes all day takes time ≥30 minutes <30 minutes
Added info: zip overwhelming scant balanced generous
Photos/drawings: none distracting decorative instructive glorious
Recipe results: ≤dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
Nutritional info: none overwhelming hit or miss adequate comprehensive
Format/Ease of Use
Layout: ugh cluttered fine considerate work of art
Legibility: unpleasant challenging tolerable clear brilliant
Production quality: cheesy dubious years of service gift quality stunning
Page numbers: non-existent hard-to-find spotty sufficient every page
Table of contents: AWOL frustrating passable useful excellent
Index quality: none tragic adequate good a treasure
Page flipping: upsetting tedious acceptable rare never
Writer: beginner food writer writing cook personality auteur
Cook: unknown self-taught chef teacher celebrity
Fulfills ambitions: falls short almost there satisfactory exceeds home run
Flavor delivered: sad inconsistent tasty delicious exceptional
Overall tone: sterile trying too hard straightforward best friend mom
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it good very good excellent Ochef Top 100

Comments: This book celebrates its authenticity and the fact that it does not present "light" or "nouvelle" versions of Cuban recipes, but the real full-fat, multi-course, deep-fried, meat-filled dishes that have characterized Cuban cooking for many years. Which is to say, dishes full of flavor – or sabor! There are salads and soups and many things that are not deep fried, but you would probably still call this a retro-Cuban cookbook.

A couple of the dishes, such as Yellow Rice with Vienna Sausages, just look scary – no matter how "traditional" they may be and no matter how pleasing the name looks in Spanish. Most dishes, however, look delicious. A couple of photos are likewise curious, including the one with fried eggs next to the recipe for scrambled eggs with ham and chorizo. And we have never in our lives seen a cookbook that includes more photos of its author. We'd make some joke about the book coming from a vanity press, but it actually comes from an independent publisher.


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