The 2017 Piglet

Feel Like You're in a Cuban Kitchen—Quick

February 27, 2017

Cuba! doesn’t get an exclamation in its title for nothing. This exploration of Cuban cuisine and its passionate, resilient people is exuberant and celebratory.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

Dan Goldberg, an award-winning photographer, and Andrea Kuhn, an acclaimed prop stylist and art director, along with renowned food writer Jody Eddy, bring the best of Cuban food to home kitchens with more than 75 recipes, loads and loads of stunning photographs, and stories from the people they met during their travels throughout the country over the past five years.

Here’s what our community has to say about this 2017 Piglet Community Pick:

One-Sentence Reviews

"Buy it: Make the food, read the stories, feel the emotion, enjoy the beautiful pictures." —Doreen Brown

"Buy the book for the beautiful photos, but then enjoy learning some of the traditional recipes that are absolutely delicious!" —Paula Berriz

"The recipes are great and the photography is like nothing I have ever seen in a cookbook." —Anja Bruehling

Photo by Bobbi Lin

the best part of the book: the photos

Reviewers felt that the photos added beauty and inspired you to cook, travel, and read. "This is such a gorgeous representation of the beauty of Cuba!," Paula Berriz said. "The photography is like nothing I have ever seen in a cookbook, said Anja Bruehling.

From Cuba! Photo by Dan Goldberg
Photos from Cuba! by Dan Goldberg.

the recipes

Doreen said the recipes are "not for beginner cooks. You need to know your way around the kitchen a little bit. Some of the recipes have loads of ingredients, so prep is really important, but they are easy to follow." She loved the Cuban Fried Chicken, which has lots of garlic, orange, lime, and spice.

Paula loved making the Congri, which, as the book puts it, "is more than the everyday black beans and rice; it represents the union of Spanish and African traditions that are...integral to the Cuban identity." One recipe that did give Paula trouble, though, where the Guava Hand Pies: "They turned out delicious but looked terrible. I'm going to have to make this a few times to perfect the amount of guava and cream cheese stuffed in these!"

The recipes are so delicious!
Amy James

And as for the narrative, Doreen put it like so: "I was mesmerized! I found myself reading it like a novel or a history book. I loved the narrative, the way it brought the Cuban people and way of life almost right into my home. I also felt transported to Cuba, a place I have always been curious about."

Some say the best testament to anything is if you want—have—to pass it along. Well, one reviewer has already given the book to six of her family and friends.

2017's roster of Piglet Community Picks were chosen by an open call to our community; the reviews you see here are from some of the folks who voted these books into the tournament. To see other Piglet Community Picks reviews, head here.


The Piglet—inspired by The Morning News' Tournament of Books—is where the 16 most notable cookbooks of the year face off in a NCAA-style bracketed tournament. Watch the action and weigh in on the results!


See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • amanda russell
    amanda russell
  • luvcookbooks
  • Ali Slagle
    Ali Slagle
Editor/writer/stylist. Author of I Dream of Dinner (so You Don't Have To). Last name rhymes with bagel.


amanda R. March 18, 2017
This is a great review, it made me want to buy the book right now! I enjoy the one-sentence reviews from the community. It's nice to see more than just the reviewer's feedback and especially get tips from people who have cooked from it. This will definitely be going on my gift list.
luvcookbooks February 28, 2017
I liked the format for last year's CPs better.
Ali S. February 28, 2017
Thank you for your feedback!