And finally, almost 13 years after I started working on it, my culinary dictionary is available!! I am so excited (Thanks Carlos Matos of Forsa Editores for getting on board with me and guiding me through this new adventure!) to finally, after years of writing for newspapers and magazines to actually have my own book out, with my name on it (the cover you see here is not quite the actual image, but you get the idea). It feels really, really, great.
Eat Your Way Through Puerto Rico: A Culinary Dictionary is my contribution to the foodie word world.
(Update: Eat Your Way is now available on iTunes too!)
What is does is take the words and phrases we use in Puerto Rico for produce, local dishes, meats, fish and seafood, as well as how we get a table at a restaurant or get our steak cooked to order, and translates them into English and back again. The fruits, vegetables and herbs have the botanical names included for easier identification. One day I’ll get the fish and other meat animals labeled too.
Who it is for is folks traveling in Puerto Rico who would like to understand and taste the local foods, but would like to know what it is they are trying. It is also for people like me who are of Puerto Rican background but were born in the States (or elsewhere) and need some help learning about, making or describing our heritage foods. You will notice that in addition to straight word to word translation, some of the more interesting or unusual or typical dishes and ingredients get a little story to go with: find out about yuca and poison; where okra got its name; why sweet potato and yams are not actually the same thing; how breadfruit caused the Mutiny on the Bounty.
It is also for linguistic and food geeks (and I say that with all the pride and affection of a dedicated linguistic and food geek, because that is what I am) who just want to know. That’s where many of you come in. This is not a project that is finished, but one that I have laid the groundwork of. I hope, as we move forward, to get a lot of feedback from users and readers who agree, disagree or have other words and phrases to add to the lexicon. So feel free to comment here about what you think. I will be setting up a Facebook page in the near future to open the channels for more feedback!
So far Eat Your Way Through Puerto Rico is available on Amazon (for just $4.99 – How could you not!?!) as a Kindle book and will be coming soon to the iTunes store and print.
Soon Hot, Cheap & Easy will be back to my regularly scheduled programming – recipes from the front lines of parenting – but for now, please check out the book and let me know what you think!