Tastes Like Cuba: An Exile's Hunger for Home


Born into a well-to-do family in Cuba in 1953, Eduardo Machado saw firsthand the effects of the rising Castro regime. When he and his brother were sent to the United States on one of the Peter Pan flights of 1961, they did not know if they would ever see their parents or their home again. From his experience living in exile in Los Angeles to becoming an actor, director, playwright and professor in New York, Machado explores what it means to say good-bye to the only home one’s ever known, and what it means to be a Latino in America today.

In his memories and in his more recent travels to Cuba, he has found that the most natural means of connecting with today’s Cuban experience is through food. To any exile, food represents not only the lost comfort of home, but the best chance to reclaim it. The stories of Machado’s life—from child of privilege in pre-Revolutionary Cuba; to exile in Los Angeles; to actor, director, playwright and professor in New York—are interleaved with recipes for the meals that have enriched him. Every recipe has been updated for the modern home cook, enabling us to recreate the flavors of traditional Cuban dishes such as Machado’s favorite roast pork and his grandfather’s arroz con pollo, as well as the ‘cuisine’ of necessity he encountered in 1960’s suburban America: Velveeta, SPAM, and other processed wonders. What emerges is a larger picture of what it means to be a Latino in America today. Filled with delicious recipes and powerful tales of family, loss, and self discovery, TASTES LIKE CUBA: An Exile's Hunger for Home delivers the story of Eduardo’s rich and delectable life—reminding us that no matter where we go, there is no place that feels (and tastes) better than home.

Try out one of the recipes, as featured on WNYC.org


North American publisher: Gotham Books

Foreign rights: Penguin Group, Sabila Khan, Sabila.khan@us.penguingroup.com

Film rights: Rabineau, Wachter and Sanford, Liza Wachter (liza@rwshagency.com)


“[An] eccentric and often affecting memoir”—Gary Kamiya of The New York Times Book Review

"A tasty read."—Publisher's Weekly