Tropical Taste by Sonia Martinez

Tropical Taste by Sonia Martinez
Frozen Guava Mousse…
Coconut-Macadamia Nut Bread…
Don’t those sound divine?

When I sat down to check out Tropical Taste, I was hoping to see recipes full of delicious, locally (Hawaiian) grown produce. I was delighted to find not only this but also that it reads like a book. Each section begins with a few paragraphs about the food used, with facts, (I now know which flowers are edible and that the banana is a berry), tips and excellent information on the history of the food, its introduction into the islands, its past usage and the best way to prepare it. There are also helpful instructions for making gifts such as how to prepare and bottle flavored oils and vinegars. It may be the only cookbook you can sit down and actually read; truly interesting and appetizing.

The author, Sonia Martinez, is a native of Cuba. She moved to the southern U.S. and eventually to the Big Island of Hawaii where she has lived for years and runs a cooking school. Having come from another tropical climate with many of the same locally grown foods, and having lived and run cooking schools in the southern U.S. for many years, as well as attending culinary school in Asia, there are many recipes which fuse the cultural delicacies of numerous regions. She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and has written many columns on cooking featuring recipes using local and tropical fare. Her credentials and expertise can’t be beaten.

The recipes and articles in the book feature mainly the fruits and vegetables indigenous to Hawaii. Ms. Martinez uses many foods she is lucky enough to have growing on her property. But for those of us not blessed to have papaya trees gracing our backyard, or beautiful tropical flowers sprouting wildly in our gardens, we can all find most of the ingredients mentioned in our local supermarkets. The recipes are delicious and healthy; the foods used are healthy to begin with.

For instance, I personally have tried and loved the simple but heavenly Coconut Baked Bananas…the ingredients needed for this recipe are found nearly anywhere, and at any time of the year, too.

Also featured are the all-important holiday recipes…with a tropical twist, of course.

Coconut, mango, papaya, banana…all these delicious things remind you of your visit to the islands…or for the locals, you are shown how to ingeniously prepare them.

In a (coco)nutshell, Ms. Martinez’ international culinary expertise makes for an enticing fusion of flavors and ingenious methods of preparation. The book itself is a collection of previously published articles. Ms Martinez seems to write one on one; you get a real sense of caring and her love of food. Which is really nice because her tips on preparation are somehow personal and delicate…as if coming from your own mom.

Get your copy of Tropical Taste at

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