A Puerto Rican Cookbook
by Illyanna Maisonet
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Pub Date 18 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 30 Nov 2022
Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed Press, Ten Speed Press
Illyanna Maisonet spent years documenting her family’s Puerto Rican recipes and preserving the island’s disappearing foodways through rigorous, often bilingual research. In Diasporican, she shares over 90 recipes, some of which were passed down from her grandmother and mother—classics such as Tostones, Pernil, and Arroz con Gandules, as well as Pinchos with BBQ Guava Sauce, Rabbit Fricassee with Chayote, and Flan de Queso.
In this visual record of Puerto Rican food, ingredients, and techniques, Illyanna traces the island’s flavor traditions to the Taino, Spanish, African, and even United States' cultures that created it. These dishes, shaped by geography, immigration, and colonization, reflect the ingenuity and diversity of their people. Filled with travel and food photography, Diasporican reveals how food connects us to family, history, conflict, and migration.
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Average rating from 39 members
I love that this book has a lexicon that is a part of the recipes. Anyone looking to learn more about Puerto Rican Heritage, recipes, flavors, and spices used in traditional cooking will find the presentation and explanations of the recipes will want this book.
In Diasporican, you'll find historical accounts and nostalgic recipes. These recipes were a blast from the past reminding me of my grandmother’s recipes. While yes, each family and even individual person has their own version of these recipes, the ones in this cookbook are as authentic as they get. Having made a few, the instructions were clear and easy to follow. The end result was full of flavor and good memories. This cookbook is highly recommended!
Diasporican is so much more than a cookbook. It is a history of Puerto Rico, an ode to family, and a memoir of growing up with your feet in two worlds, an ancestral home, and the home created in the place you grew up. To me, the best food is rooted in nostalgia. A meal that transports you to a different time in your past, and recreates a moment or a memory. Illyanna Maisonet does an excellent job in capturing this magic of food in Diasporican.
With humble, soulful and often instinctual recipes, the stories around each dish creates a great sense of belonging. Whether it’s traditional and well known mofongo, more complex lechón or a cheeky bastardization of strawberry shortcake, every recipe is oozing with heart and teaching us about the importance of our heritage.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Even if many of the recipes are ‘brown on brown’ it gives the world a little more colour having spent time in Maisonets’ Puerto Rico.
It inspires to both learn and cook the recipes in the book, as well as recreate that one dish that your (in my case) Belgian grandmother recreated upon moving to Canada in the 1960’s, maybe not the original or better thing, but because it’s the one you grew up with and the one made with love that you loved, is honestly the best thing in the world.
So many cookbooks are lost in the technical processes, I am so glad that Maisonet stayed true to her roots and heart with this, it made the journey so enjoyable and inspiring!
I cannot call this a cookbook. It's equal parts history, photography, and recipes. So gorgeously written and laid out. I love the way that Maisonet builds your knowledge, providing the history behind food, giving you the base recipes for items you're going to need along the way, before digging into the meals. The arepas de coco quickly became a favorite for my family, served along side the Puerto Rican Habichuelas and Mojo Braised Chicken. The seafood recipes make me long to live closer to the sea with its bounty of crab, shrimp, fish, and more. I am going to enjoy slowly working my way through Maisonet's history, stories, and gorgeous recipes.
A touchingly personal exploration of Puertorrican cuisine with beautiful photography and mouth watering recipes. A must for avid cooks and foodies.
There are formatting issues on my Kindle version but the photos and recipes looked delicious and were easy to follow!
This book takes you on a journey into the heart of Puerto Rico and the journey is wonderful. This is not a cuisine I have encountered much before but I'm excited by this book enough to give the recipes a try.
A dream come true. I have been a fan of Illyanna Maisonet's writing for a while now and am over the moon that this cookbook is coming out so soon. There is no doubt in my mind that cooking recipes from this book will make me a better cook and I am grateful for it. It has exceeded my expectations. While I am personally a pescatarian, I enjoyed reading and learning about the pork and beef recipes just as much as the others. Highly recommend!
I absolutely adore this cookbook. Maisonet does not mince words to describe everything from her history to techniques. I especially enjoyed the one titled, "Washing Rice and Why the 2:1 Ratio is Bullshit." Her raw approach completely immerses you and helps you indelibly understand what she aims to teach about Puerto Rican cuisine. I can't help but also appreciate the great lengths she takes to research the history behind the food speculating on the origination of achiote oil, for example, or the debate on whether the pigeon peas (or Gandules) come from Africa or India. The recipes follow in a similar thoughtful, intentional vein. I cannot wait to try one of her seafood dishes - the califas shrimp and the halibut with mojo isleno in particular are calling out to me. The recipes range from simple to intricate and a well balanced variety of all to appeal to every comfort level of home cook. Honestly, so many of the dishes have names and ingredients that are new to me that I wouldn't know where to start a recommendation. But Maisonet has made all of these dishes feel approachable and comforting so I have no doubt that I'll enjoy every second spending my time getting to know them. I would highly recommend getting the book for yourself or the cookbook lover in your life. It's one not to be missed.
Let me start by saying that I am part the target audience for this. My dad grew up near San Juan, but was never able to afford to go back or to take me to visit. The recipes in this book take me back to things that taste like his nights to cook. It is a reminder of a food culture that is mine, but that I haven't been able to explore as much as I would want. The recipes themselves are easy to follow and fully solid on flavor. The writing introducing and explaining those recipes reads like an energetic friend showing you how its done. I got this as an ARC, but I'm going to be buying it for my cookbook collection too.
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