Beginning with her own memories of spit-roasted pork "with a garlicky Seville orange adobo" and holidays desserts such as turrones, mazapán, and buñuelos, author Maricel E. Presilla takes us on a journey through the history of Christmas in the Hispanic islands. As she describes all of the foods of Christmas Eve (Nochebuena) and Christmas Day, she tells us about the peoples from around the world who brought their ingredients and recipes to the table.
We meet Arabs whose almond trees yielded the key ingredient in mazapán; Taino farmers who grew yuca; Spanish conquistadores who hunted pigs like in medieval Europe; African slaves who combined rice and peas to create flavorful new dishes. As she introduces each group of peoples and their foods, Dr. Presilla gives us carefully tested recipes that allow readers of all ages to join in on the feast. Ismael Espinosa Ferrer's vibrant, colorful paintings evoke the magic of holidays in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and now the United States.
Maricel E. Presilla was born in Oriente Province in Cuba. She holds a Ph.D. in medieval Spanish history and is a renowned and widely consulted food expert. She lives with her husband in Weehawken, New Jersey, and Miami, Florida.
Ismael Espinosa Ferrer was awarded many prizes in Cuba for his sculptures and paintings. A frequently exhibited artist, he is also Dr. Presilla's father. This is the first picture book for both author and artist.