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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
“Every meal shared with love is a big feast!” And so begins a family treasury of recipes from San Germán, Puerto Rico. Cooking in San Germán Puerto Rico: Puerto Rican Regional Cuisine by Digna Irizarry Cassens, Marina Martínez de Irizarry, and Yuyú Alcaráz vda. de Vivoni was first published in Spanish in 1989, translated and published in English in 1990. This is the second edition of a wonderful treasury that traces the history of a unique part of the Americas and its culinary specialties which define the people who live there. Complete with photographs of historic places and places of interest in San Germán in particular, as well as in Puerto Rico, this current volume includes photographs of some of the original recipe writers who created the first edition.
This treasury includes a multitude of regional recipes to tempt any discerning palate. The book is well organized with an interesting introduction to the original recipe writers for the first edition and how this second one came into being. It also includes some history of San Germán and of Puerto Rico. A glossary explains some of the ingredients that might be unusual to non-Puerto Ricans, like annatto oil, chorizo, and guava paste. A concise Table of Contents organizes the recipes into various categories from beverages to main dishes like meats, poultry, and seafood, to desserts and sweets, ending with a chapter headed “Lagniappe (Something Extra)”. Each recipe lists the ingredients and quantities concisely and provides a description of the method of preparation. Overall, Cooking in San Germán Puerto Rico is a wonderful addition to any cookbook collector’s library, or someone interested in trying Puerto Rican foods.