Coconuts and Collards: Recipes and Stories from Puerto Rico to the Deep South

Coconuts and Collards: Recipes and Stories from Puerto Rico to the Deep South

Finalist, International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Awards in the Literary or Historical Food Writing Category When her family moved from Puerto Rico to Atlanta, Von Diaz traded plantains, roast pork, and malta for grits, fried chicken, and sweet tea. Brimming with humor and nostalgia, Coconuts and Collards is a recipe-packed memoir of growing up Latina in the Deep South. The stories center on the women in Diaz's family who have used food to nourish and care for one another. When her mother--newly single and with two young daughters--took a second job to make ends meet, Diaz taught herself to cook, preparing meals for her sister after school, feeding her mother when she came home late from work. During summer visits to Puerto Rico, her grandmother guided her rediscovery of the island's flavors and showed her traditional cooking techniques. Years later the island called her back to its warm and tropical embrace to be comforted by its familiar flavors. Inspired by her grandmother's 1962 copy of Cocina Criolla--the Puerto Rican equivalent of the Joy of Cooking--Coconuts and Collards celebrates traditional recipes while fusing them with Diaz's own family history and a contemporary Southern flair. Diaz discovers the connections between the food she grew up eating in Atlanta and the African and indigenous influences in so many Puerto Rican dishes. The funche recipe is grits kicked up with coconut milk. White beans make the catfish corn chowder creamy and give it a Spanish feel. The pinchos de pollo--chicken skewers--feature guava BBQ sauce, which doubles as the sauce for adobo-coated ribs. The pastel�n is shepherd's pie . . . with sweet plantains. And the quingombo recipe would be recognized as stewed okra in any Southern kitchen, even if it is laced with warm and aromatic sofrito Diaz innovates for modern palates, updating and lightening recipes and offering vegetarian alternatives. For the chayotes rellenos (stuffed squash), she suggests replacing the picadillo (saut�ed ground beef) with seitan or tofu. She offers alternatives for difficult-to-find ingredients, like substi�tuting potatoes for yucca and yaut�a--root vegetables typically paired with a meat to make sancocho. Diaz's version of this hearty stew features chicken and lean pork. And because every good Puerto Rican meal ends with drinks, desserts, and dancing, Diaz includes recipes for besitos de coco (coconut kisses), rum cake, sofrito bloody marys, and anticuado, an old-fashioned made with rum.With stunning photographs that showcase the geographic diversity of the island and the vibrant ingredients that make up Puerto Rican cuisine, this cookbook is a moving story about discovering our roots through the foods that comfort us. It is about the foods that remind us of family and help us bridge childhood and adulthood, island and mainland, birthplace and adopted home.

Title:Coconuts and Collards: Recipes and Stories from Puerto Rico to the Deep South
ISBN:9780813056654
Format Type:

    Coconuts and Collards: Recipes and Stories from Puerto Rico to the Deep South Reviews

  • Jackie Bennett

    I don't usually read a cookbook cover to cover, but in this case this is so much more than a cookbook. Recipes are divided into sections by memoirs about various influences that shaped the authors coo...

  • Riki

    Beautifully flowing memoir combined with recipes that Von Diaz presents in a casual style. You won’t find detailed instructions on how to make dishes, but you will find them imbued with emotion and ...

  • qiansustc

    很喜欢作者围绕在各式波多黎各recipe周边关于家人关于成长的回忆。特别喜欢第三章,里面讲述了她如何在家里最困难的时候竭尽所能喂养妈妈还有妹...

  • carla

    The personal essays in this cookbook/memoir were fabulous. The recipes looked interesting but many of the instructions were incomplete or didn’t provide enough specificity. That said, the recipes di...

  • Kathleen O'Nan

    This a lovely, lovely book, full of both wonderful recipes as well as a moving memoir. I swore years ago that I would never buy another cookbook but I'm going to break my rule and get this one. The ph...

  • Shoshana

    This cookbook has some delicious looking recipes, beautiful pictures, and lovely stories about family, food, and one's roots. I can tell this will be a book I turn to often over the years!!!...

  • Beka

    A nice book of stories and recipes but nothing that captured my interest....