Why she’s hungry
I gnawed at every root.
I ate of every plant.
I came upon no fruit.
So wonderful as want.
–Feast, Edna St. Vincent Millay
My name is Ana Sofia Peláez and my love for food started with a small inheritance. Specifically, a 1970’s Sunbeam mixer that belonged to my grandparents and found its way to my Brooklyn apartment. Growing up, I loved being in their yellow kitchen, watching them make Cuban desserts with that same mixer. I was fascinated by the way they added the sugar to the butter to the flour knowing at exactly which point it all came together for the perfect result.
Leaving Miami for New York to attend Barnard College, I didn’t cook very often. After graduation, I worked for non-profit organizations and later film production. When the Sunbeam arrived, I was determined to put it to use; but, when I found their faded recipe cards, I realized they’d only listed the ingredients, never how they did it. Determined to find my way back to the yellow kitchen, I started retracing their steps through the few cookbooks I had, always searching for the point they reached unerringly. A recipe would lead to a new book which led to a website which led to a class and then to another recipe. The more I practiced, read, experimented, the more I fell in love with absolutely anything and everything to do with food. I love the writers, the odd conversations in random stores looking for ingredients, the pleased look on someone’s face when they tell me they have a great recipe I could try and the moment of alarm when I really ask for it. Mostly I love the possibility of contentment that good food promises if only for a moment, and that I try to capture in my entries. So to answer the question, I’m hungry because it’s never enough and it’s never enough because I’m just so hungry.
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This is awesome. I am so glad you are doing this blog. I will send you a copy of a 1927 cook book published my grandmother in Cuba. Her receipts are all in quantities to feed huge families… you might enjoy some of the receipts.
I would love that! Don’t worry all Cuban cookbooks I see have enormous portions so I’m used cutting everything in half.
Hello Martha, do you mind sharing the name of your Grandmother’s cookbook? I would like to purchase it. Also, I’m going to Cuba to do a cooking show segment. If you know anyone (cook or chef) there who would be interested in participating please let me know. I can be reached via email at email@example.com. Angela
Sofia: I LOVE your blog, I LOVE the writing and the graphics and the pictures. Most excellent, really!! And by the way, are those chairs Chiqui is sitting on in the pictures? The fabric is amazing. Well. your blog is one more thing to put on my list of “must read” on a regular basis. You know, I feel the love in your words that you have for food and the creative process. Sometimes I feel the same way about flower arranging, hanging art or just arranging a room. I’ll ask my mom about cuban family recipes. Happy Bithday, Cami. love to you both, lourdes
Thank you! I would love any family recipes she’d be willing to share. Fabric is missoni.
Everything looks delicious.
Occasionally I apt/cat sit at this fancy apt
with a nice kitchen and whatnot.
Next time I’m there,
I promise to make something from your page.
Hi, cool post. I have been wondering about this topic,so thanks for writing.
Like you, I inherited my grandmother’s Sunbeam mixer. However, mine has stayed in my cabinet for way to many years unused. You may have just inspired me to pull it out, dust it off and try a few of my grandmother’s recipes. Thanks.
Ana I loved your blog and what you say about me……………..and it is true, chileans and peruvians are still fighting about the chirimoyas ( chileans want to change the name to chilemoyas) and of course they say PISCO (peruvian tequila) is chilean, even though there is a town in Peru ( we were there this weekend) called Pisco and there is where all started.Love and keep up the good work
Hello from Miami!I just stumbled across your blog in doing some research about El Palacio de los Jugos. I’ve only poked around a bit and I’m definitely adding it to my reader.
Hi Ana! I discovered your blog through the comment you made on my guest post over at From Argentina With Love. I’ve been perusing your blog, and it looks like you have some great stories and recipes. I don’t know much about Latin Cuisine outside of Argentine and Mexican food, so I’m very interested in your blog. I’ll be adding you to my feed reader. Greetings from Necochea, Argentina!
Thank you! Congratulations again on the Torta de Ochenta Golpes – I can’t wait to try it!
Hi Sofia, I am really glad I found your blog,i am passionate about latin american food, and if you have a moment and visit my blog, you can tell! Your blog is fantastic and the photos are gret, I am adding it to my blog list right away! Viva Latinomerica y su comida!
Besos desde Londres, de una española,
Thank you for sending me your link – it looks wonderful and I can’t wait to catch up on past posts!
Stumbled upon your blog, I live in Costa Rica, and I knew your Dad (QPD)at UFla, we were frat brothers, I know your Mom and your uncles Blas and Tony from La Salle HS in Cuba.
Please say Hi to your Mom, haven´t seen her (or you) since you were 4-5 years old.
I´m a late-comer to foodieworld, but I´ve been cooking all my life, started with Cocina al Minuto de Nitza Villapol, read Larousse Gastronomique for fun, bake bread, make sausage and paté, love my slow cooker crock pot, homemade mayo, fresh chevre.
Love your blog, keep up the good work.
I just want to thank you for your bolg. It has helped me so much! I come from Cuban and Costarican parents and I was born and raised in Miami. I pretty much grew up on a Cuban diet. But that did’t stop me from enjoying food from all over the world. Now that I’m 28 I regret not learning on how to cook Cuban. I just always left the cooking up to someone else. I recently moved to Maryland and I’m 6 months pregnant and craving all of those warm dishes and sweet treats that you can only find just about on every corner in Miami. So I decided to try doing them myself. I was searching for a recipe for Potaje de garbanzos and there you were. Ever since I’v been tring all of your recipes. By the way the garbanzos were super!! Thanks again and I’l be looking foward to new post.
I know how you feel. I definitely appreciated Cuban food more after leaving Miami. I’m happy the recipes are working out for you!
Hi Ana Sofia,
I smile as I write your name as it is my oldest daughter’s name, and one I quite like very much….
I’ve been meaning to write you for a while to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. I am a Cuban-American, born in NJ, raised in Miami (still live here!) married with 4 amazing kids and an awesome Italian (yes – from there!) husband..and we LOVE food! Your posts always bring a tinge of bittersweet memories of my grandmother and her ALWAYS perfect meals – arroz con pollo, carne con papa, vaca frita, you get the picture…and you seem to capture that, in so few words…even if the “topic” that day is not “Cuban”….my younger brother lives in the City and before he boards the plane to MIA he has given my mom the wish list of what he would like to eat everyday – he feels like you do – you don’t really appreciate Cuban food until you leave Miami…
Ok – enough rambling….thanks again for your words and please keep more of them coming…oh..one more thing…also a Marathon runner in training – LOVED your carb loading recipe!
Ana Cristina Cielo (Ani)
PS LOVED your sister’s blog…cried for a good 5 minutes….she rocks!
Thank you so much. Some of the memories and experience I write about seem very personal to me so it means the world when other people can relate to them too. Good luck on your marathon! It was exhausting, exhilarating, and worth all the weeks of training. Have a great race!
I also belong to a Cuban family with a long culinary tradition. My grandmother Maria was a friend of Nitza Villapol, back in the 50’s. It was a pleasure to find your blog. Thanks for the delicious recipes.
Quihubo! I am a step-child of a Colombian and wife of a Colombian as well (both from Bogotá). I came across your site and I love it. Great recipes! It’s always great to see Latin recipes. We live here in Bogotá and just being surrounded by this culture, and people and way of life is so contagious and inspiring. That’s why we ended up creating our own blog as well. We will have to try out some of the recipes you have from other countries. You’re so bold to attempt all these recipes.
Absolutely love your blog! You are an amazing writer and I cannot wait to try your recipes – especially the dessert-type ones!! Thanks for sharing!
It was a pleasure to meet you yesterday. Your blog is so sunny and cheerful. I will be coming back often. Muchas gracias!
Your blog is simply gastronomically amazing! I love it to every bit 🙂
Being Cuban, I am truly thrilled to happen-upon your blog. I look forward to reading blog!
What a gorgeous, delicious, poignant and well organized blog…I am going to link to you on my blogroll. Very nice
This is an amazing blog! I just spent way more time than I should have looking through all the recipes you’ve posted 🙂 I’m excited to try making some of these dishes, especially the gnocchi!
Thank you! Please let me know how things turn out!
Great blog here on Latino cuisine…which I realize is just as crazy as sayin’ “Asian” cuisine. We need to keep on educating others and feeding them too! 😀
What an absolutely lovely blog! I’ve just started my own blog so I am very new to it all, but I have certainly been inspired by yours. Thank you for the inspiration, and the recipes – I will definitely be trying some! 🙂
Thank you and good luck!
What a beautiful blog – and what a lovely quote at the beginning which led me on to the whole poem – Love it. Thankyou! 🙂
J’ai une recette que je vous voudrais vous partager que j’adore réaliser avec des courgettes dont on peu laisser la peau. Après un passage sous l’eau du robinet , on coupe les courgettes en rondelles d’un centimètre ensuite déposé dans la cocotte minute avec de l’eau salé pas trop durant cinq minutes au moment ou la soupape commence a tourner.
Après la cuisson on jette les courgettes cuites dans une écumoire que l’on place ensuite dans un plat allant au four. On ajoute dessus de la préparation au gratin de soja brique qui fait 200 centilitre parsemé de fromage italien râpé. . Après on le dépose dans le four a gratinée et a servir très chaud
translate bing :
I have a recipe that I would like you to share you that I love do with a Zucchini which is just leave the skin. After a passage under the tap water, cut the zucchini into slices of 1 cm then filed in the pressure cooker with water salted not too much for five minutes at a time or the valve starts a turn.
After cooking it takes Zucchini baked in a skimmer then place in an oven dish. Added top of the preparation au gratin of brick soy which is 200 centilitre sprinkled with grated Italian cheese. . After placed on the kiln has pie and has serve very hot
Hello,I love to read more on this subject. I appreciate you for writing Why she’s hungry | hungry sofia.
I just found your blog and I’m glad I did. While I can’t say that I have any Latin American roots, I do love cooking Latin American dishes. The food seems to have so much love and care. I love hearing about recipes that have a past. Those recipes are always treasured. Thank you for sharing your treasures.
Hi Sofia – always love reading about all manner of cuisine, especially with the flavours from Latin America. I’m nominating you for a One Lovely Blogger Award! Should you wish to accept this award, please copy & paste the award image from my site and follow the rules outlined in my latest post.
Have a lovely weekend!
Hi Ana Sofia,
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and culinary adventures in this way. I just came across your blog via the NYT article that referenced it, and am intrigued to explore it further. Like you, it was loss that brought me to the kitchen. We lost both Cuban abuelitas and my own Cuban mother in the span of four years. In an effort to preserve the smells and tastes of our family holidays and gatherings– we started piecing together the traditional recipes (mostly by trial and error) based on our memories of the ingredients and tastes. I am happy to report that my own four-year old daughter’s favorite food is sopa de frijoles negros, and she knows the order of the ingredients now. Hopefully someday she can make it for her children.
Thank you for the blog! I look forward to following it!
Thank you so much for your comment. As much as we love our food, how wonderful that you are able to pass it on to your daughter. She has good taste!
Sofia: As a fellow Cuban I enjoyed reading your frijoles negros recipe today in the Times. I have been using my mother’s recipe for more than 20 years. It is exactly like yours, except that I add a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Try it sometime.
I have never heard of that-I have to try it! Thank you:)
Hello Ana Sofia,
It usually takes me a day or so to get to the food section of the Times. This morning I read and thoroughly enjoyed your story and subsequently perusing your blog, which is great (great photography!) and makes me hungry just like Hungry Sofia!
I intend to try your recipe for black beans. A simple black beans and rice was a staple and favorite of my two children (now recently off in the world). Easy to make on school nights after work (yes, sorry, I often resorted to canned beans), the basics were the same although I’d use whatever was on hand (a splash of day-old red wine or white depending on what I’d had the night before, fresh cilantro, a potato). The food I remember from my own family followed our New England culture, baked fish and roasts, but somehow rice and beans became a welcome addition to my repertoire (maybe it was growing up in New York, or all those Cuban lunches I had working in Hoboken for years!).
I am struck not only by how food enables us to recapture and preserve our past, as your own quest shows, but to embark on new adventures of family and taste, as your blog recounts. Food is continuity, it is also discovery.
I look forward to enjoying your writing and recipes in the future.
Thanks for sharing the story! Cooking is one of the difficult things (at least for me it was difficult!) that one needs to learn after moving out of home.
Hey Hungry Sofia!
i have awarded you with the ‘Versatile Blogger Award’ http://daisyandthefox.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/fresh-start-new-name-revamped-style-versatile-blogger-award/ – congratulations – you most certainly deserve it! ))
Daisy and the Fox
Big fans of your blog, thought you might like to see this video of ours making simple black beans in a presure cooker
Ana Sofia—Happiness. I have nominated you for a blogger award.
Thank you for being an inspiration to me.
Hi, Sofia–Just got your latest post teaser. Thought you’d like to know that clicking on the main header and the “comments” links give you a”404: Page not found” error message. Love your pictures and blog. Ken
Just saw this but thank you for the heads up!
I love your blog! So glad to have discovered it. 🙂
Love your blog – I so look forward to perusing through more of it!
Hi Sofia, Amazing Recipes! I’d loooove the flavors of Latin-America. I wanted to try some of your delightful recipes but I’m not that good in cooking or baking. Anyways, i love this blog. Keep being hungry & stay awesome Sofia!
bookmarked!!, I love your web site!
That’s the exact mixer I grew up with! Your site is wonderful, wonderful. So happy to have discovered it. xox
I attended your presentation at the Miami Book Fair yesterday . The dessert you made with the Maria Cookies was fantastic. How did you make the individual desserts crust that we ate? Thank you. I bought your book and am excited to put it your recipes in my table. Joan
This blog is fantastic. Ive been looking for somewhere to find good cuban recipes. 🙂
Bonjour Sofia! Your pictures are absolutely stunning. We are a French Cooking and Baking School in Paris and we just started our very own blog. I’d like to invite you to check us out sometime 😉 Also, if you’re ever in town, please do come by, à bientôt!
Sofia, I am Jeremy Merrin, owner of the Havana Central Restaurants. I would love to meet you.
Hi Ana Sofia….
I can see myself in you….I like all your recipes….Keep going…Explore more dishes….Best wishes
Sofia, I really really LOVE your slogan! Me too I am a ever hungry girl 🙂
Hi!! Totally Loved your blog!! My next favourite! thumbs up! 🙂 🙂
Pls do check my blog http://www.nithisclickncook.com
great blog about different food recipes..!
This is a great Website! Keep up the great work! please Visit http://www.helloworldmagazine.com sometime, too. Thanks!
Hi Sofia! As a new blogger I am so happy to have found your blog, you are truly an inspiration (pictures, layout, and content!) 🙂 and yes I’m always hungry too 😉
I love your story! It’s so awesome you were able to find your passion through grandparents.
It is 2:30am and while doing research for a school project I came across your blog and I could not wait to try to contact you. I am a student at Baruch in NYC and am working on a project in which we had to choose a cuisine and create a community cookbook along with the history of the group we chose. My group chose Cuba! It would be such an honor to interview you for this project and if possible use a recipe or two of yours as part of our cookbook along with your history behind the recipes. I look forward to hearing from you!! Buen provecho!
My name is Jeremy Merrin and I am the owner of the Havana Central restaurants. If you are still in NY, I would love the opportunity to talk “Cuban food” with you
Hello Jeremy, I am traveling to Cuba to do a cooking segment. Can you refer me to someone (cook or chef) in Cuba? If so, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks in advance.
I got interested in Cuban food after watching the movie “Chef” and I am really glad that I came across your blog!!
Just found your blog through the into you wrote for The Cuban Table. It’s a book I’ve loved for several years and I’m reviewing it in my food column next week. (St. Martin’s press sent a folder of photos from it.) Now I’ve got access to a whole lot more. Love the organization by countries. Am especially interested in delving into Argentinian soon w/ a local cook who’s from there. Best, Karen
That’s great to hear and so happy you’ve enjoyed the book!
This is awesome. Its a golteb ! – From kuala
Hi! We would like to interview you for RGNN.org, please contact us at email@example.com. Thanks!
I Just discover your blog and love it Ana Sofía !!!
Your book “The Cuban Table” is amazing and it has become an inspiration for a personal project. The photography that goes along with the recipes is most attractive and I am enjoying every single page.
Thank you for the work and I hope you continue to build this blog with cool articles and recipes.
A new follower!
That’s great to hear! Thank you so much!!!
Ana Sofia Pelaez: Are you doing any presentations/book signings? I’d like to talk with you about becoming part of a series of lectures on Cuba here at The Society of the Four Arts (Palm Beach) in 2018 (January or February). We have a lecture on architecture, landscape/plants, and would like one on The Cuban Table (with book signing). Please email me if you are interested (we book a year in advance to get offerings into our season calendar).
Many thanks, Rachel
Hi there, your blog is awesome as well as inspiring! I’ve been cooking since I was 6 y.o. – it’s truly my passion. I’m traveling to Cuba to do a cooking segment. Can you refer me to someone (cook or chef) in Cuba who may be interested in participating? If so, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks in advance.
Hello Ana Sofia,
I jus came across your book and website. I am in southern Florida through Wednesday and am looking for a Cuban cooking class to take before I leave. Do you happen to have any recommendations?
Thank you for your time.
Wow. Great comment! Really interesting!
Greatings from Germany
I am trying to start a Cuban Food truck with my best friend who is Cuban born with her mom and dad’s handwritten recipes (in spanish). I am not Cuban, nor am I am Spanish speaker, but your cookbook has been a tool in my culinary and cultural training while I await the translation of all the recipes as I practice at a local culinary school. I just wanted to thank you. Your book is beautiful and it is the best and most thorough Cuban cookbook I have found. It was a God send in my research. Thank you thank you for writing it!
Thank you so much for your kind words!I’m so happy that it was a help and wishing you the best of luck with your truck – can’t have too much Cuban food out there:)