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Sobremesa: A Memoir of Food and Love in Thirteen Courses

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A magical culinary memoir that serves up a must-taste of Argentina. “As a young girl, I enjoyed Josephine. But even more, I have loved meeting Josefina. I found myself transported to extraordinary middle places: Argentina and the United States, the ghostly limbos between life and death, youth and adulthood. Sobremesa reads like a cross between magical realism and the food s A magical culinary memoir that serves up a must-taste of Argentina. “As a young girl, I enjoyed Josephine. But even more, I have loved meeting Josefina. I found myself transported to extraordinary middle places: Argentina and the United States, the ghostly limbos between life and death, youth and adulthood. Sobremesa reads like a cross between magical realism and the food section of the New York Times. Delicioso!”—Beth Ostrosky-Stern, Pittsburgh Native and New York Times Bestselling Author “Sobremesa takes us inside Josephine’s kitchen where we get the chance to explore her unique culinary journey and her beloved Argentina. Josephine’s story tells us about a side of Argentine cuisine and eating culture that isn’t usually written about: the importance that family, friendship, delicious food, and vino have at the table. A delight to read that will warm your corazón.”—Allie Lazar, Argentina-Based Freelance Eater and Writer, Creator of Pick Up the Fork Food Blog “At once a magical matrilineage, recipe book, and love letter to Argentinian culture, Josephine's Sombremesa is not only a moving culinary memoir, but a timely cultural portrait and call to return to a slower, more sensual relationship with our loved ones and ourselves.”—Allie Rowbottom, author of Jell-O Girls “Josephine didn’t just find a love for Argentina, reconnecting with her family’s past and heirloom recipes. She’s uncovered a sisterhood in sobremesa, and wants to extend it to those who still don’t know about it or who don’t yet know they just might need it most. Because it’s there, in the intimacy of our own kitchens that we join forces, connecting in the place that, for so many people and families, is a meeting point, a place where culture lives on and transforms itself.”—Sofía Pescarmona, Entrepreneur and Viticulturist, CEO and Owner, Lagarde Winery and Fogón Restaurant in Mendoza Argentina If food is the universal language of love, sobremesa is the romance. Gather around the table with C-level career woman turned foodpreneur, Josephine Caminos Oría, as she cooks up a magical tale, told morsel by morsel, of some of her most memorable tableside chats—sobremesas—that provided the first-generation Argentine-American the courage to leave the safe life she knew and start over from scratch. In her coming-of-age adventure, Josephine travels to her family’s homeland of Argentina in search of belonging—to family, to country, to a lover, and ultimately, to oneself. Steeped in the lure of Latin culture, she pieces together her mom and abuela’s pasts, along with the nourishing dishes—delectably and spiritually—that formed their kitchen arsenal. But Josephine’s travels from las pampas to the prairie aren't easy or conventional. She grapples with mystical encounters with the spirit world that lead her to discover a part of herself that, like sobremesa, had been lost in translation. Just as she's ready to give up on love all together, Josephine’s own heart surprises her by surrendering to a forbidden, transcontinental tryst with the Argentine man of her dreams. To stay together, she must make a difficult choice: return to the safe life she knows in the States, or follow her heart and craft a completely different kind of future for herself—one she never saw coming. This other worldly, multigenerational story of a daughter's love and familial culinary legacy serves up, in 13 courses, the timeless traditions that help Josephine navigate transformational love and loss. It’s a reminder that that home really is anywhere the heart is. Sobremesa invites you to linger at the table, reveal your own hidden truths and savor the healing embrace of time honored food and the wisdom it espouses. Foreword by Sofía Pescarmona, CEO and Owner, Lagarde Winery


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A magical culinary memoir that serves up a must-taste of Argentina. “As a young girl, I enjoyed Josephine. But even more, I have loved meeting Josefina. I found myself transported to extraordinary middle places: Argentina and the United States, the ghostly limbos between life and death, youth and adulthood. Sobremesa reads like a cross between magical realism and the food s A magical culinary memoir that serves up a must-taste of Argentina. “As a young girl, I enjoyed Josephine. But even more, I have loved meeting Josefina. I found myself transported to extraordinary middle places: Argentina and the United States, the ghostly limbos between life and death, youth and adulthood. Sobremesa reads like a cross between magical realism and the food section of the New York Times. Delicioso!”—Beth Ostrosky-Stern, Pittsburgh Native and New York Times Bestselling Author “Sobremesa takes us inside Josephine’s kitchen where we get the chance to explore her unique culinary journey and her beloved Argentina. Josephine’s story tells us about a side of Argentine cuisine and eating culture that isn’t usually written about: the importance that family, friendship, delicious food, and vino have at the table. A delight to read that will warm your corazón.”—Allie Lazar, Argentina-Based Freelance Eater and Writer, Creator of Pick Up the Fork Food Blog “At once a magical matrilineage, recipe book, and love letter to Argentinian culture, Josephine's Sombremesa is not only a moving culinary memoir, but a timely cultural portrait and call to return to a slower, more sensual relationship with our loved ones and ourselves.”—Allie Rowbottom, author of Jell-O Girls “Josephine didn’t just find a love for Argentina, reconnecting with her family’s past and heirloom recipes. She’s uncovered a sisterhood in sobremesa, and wants to extend it to those who still don’t know about it or who don’t yet know they just might need it most. Because it’s there, in the intimacy of our own kitchens that we join forces, connecting in the place that, for so many people and families, is a meeting point, a place where culture lives on and transforms itself.”—Sofía Pescarmona, Entrepreneur and Viticulturist, CEO and Owner, Lagarde Winery and Fogón Restaurant in Mendoza Argentina If food is the universal language of love, sobremesa is the romance. Gather around the table with C-level career woman turned foodpreneur, Josephine Caminos Oría, as she cooks up a magical tale, told morsel by morsel, of some of her most memorable tableside chats—sobremesas—that provided the first-generation Argentine-American the courage to leave the safe life she knew and start over from scratch. In her coming-of-age adventure, Josephine travels to her family’s homeland of Argentina in search of belonging—to family, to country, to a lover, and ultimately, to oneself. Steeped in the lure of Latin culture, she pieces together her mom and abuela’s pasts, along with the nourishing dishes—delectably and spiritually—that formed their kitchen arsenal. But Josephine’s travels from las pampas to the prairie aren't easy or conventional. She grapples with mystical encounters with the spirit world that lead her to discover a part of herself that, like sobremesa, had been lost in translation. Just as she's ready to give up on love all together, Josephine’s own heart surprises her by surrendering to a forbidden, transcontinental tryst with the Argentine man of her dreams. To stay together, she must make a difficult choice: return to the safe life she knows in the States, or follow her heart and craft a completely different kind of future for herself—one she never saw coming. This other worldly, multigenerational story of a daughter's love and familial culinary legacy serves up, in 13 courses, the timeless traditions that help Josephine navigate transformational love and loss. It’s a reminder that that home really is anywhere the heart is. Sobremesa invites you to linger at the table, reveal your own hidden truths and savor the healing embrace of time honored food and the wisdom it espouses. Foreword by Sofía Pescarmona, CEO and Owner, Lagarde Winery

53 review for Sobremesa: A Memoir of Food and Love in Thirteen Courses

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tonstant Weader

    Sobremesa: A Memoir of Food and Love is the memoir of a woman who founded a company that sells dulce de leche based on her grandmother’s recipe and has created a business around it. She also provides business consulting to folks who would like to launch a business in the food industry. Each chapter is centered on a particular food item and ends with a recipe. Josephine Caminos Oría grew up straddling two cultures as an American and an Argentinian. Her family moved to the United States but maintai Sobremesa: A Memoir of Food and Love is the memoir of a woman who founded a company that sells dulce de leche based on her grandmother’s recipe and has created a business around it. She also provides business consulting to folks who would like to launch a business in the food industry. Each chapter is centered on a particular food item and ends with a recipe. Josephine Caminos Oría grew up straddling two cultures as an American and an Argentinian. Her family moved to the United States but maintained their properties in Argentina. The first part of the book focuses on her life in Pittsburgh though her family travels to Argentina often. The second part focuses on her romance in Argentina. After a minor heartbreak, she goes there for a while and decides to stay because she has fallen in love with the manager of her family’s ranches. The last part focuses on her marriage and founding her business and begins in Argentina and ends back in the states. I was very disappointed in Sobremesa: A Memoir of Food and Love. Most of that was based on how very unlikeable the writer is. Coming from a life of immense privilege, Caminos Oría manages to feel sorry for herself a lot of the time. She can’t join the country club her boyfriend is a member of but lives right on the 7th hole and is a member of another country club. She seems to think her family has to struggle when they own nine ranches, an apartment in Buenos Aires, a house in Miami for vacations, and their house in Pittsburgh. She spends far too much energy lamenting her break-up with Tripp who merely committed the crime of breaking up with her before she figured out how to break up with him. She seems like she lacked the capacity to be unattached because she had a lucky escape. She also claims that a ghost haunted her life. In the end, we find out who it is and it beggars belief that in a family that holds on to everything over the generations, she never saw a picture of her ghost who was so pivotal in signaling the direction her life should take. This was described as magic realism, but it’s not. Not even close. One thing I did like. Caminos Oría is not a food snob. Her family ate mushroom sandwiches on white bread of the store-bought smooshable variety. However, for a memoir of food, I wanted more than fourteen recipes. How I made it business memoirs do not interest me, especially coming from someone with so much unacknowledged privilege. Life and love memoirs are more interesting, but the struggle wasn’t real. The parental disapproval was bizarre and not very credible unless her family were complete class snobs, but it was her mother, not Caminos Oría, who made the cook serve the same food to the ranch manager and his brother. I also have to say she maligns the cook and her husband for falsely accusing her then-boyfriend of stealing cattle without acknowledging that he and his brother stole eggs from her and her husband and were caught. She thinks it amusing, but perhaps they sold eggs and the theft of “extra eggs” was significant to them. The cook and her husband thinking the farm manager might be stealing is not far-fetched when he stole from them. By the end of the book, I heartily disliked Caminos Oría even though she was the one telling her story. Her blindness to her many advantages, her frequent self-pity, and the ridiculous ghost just made me roll my eyes. The struggle wasn’t real. I received an ARC of Sobremesa: A Memoir of Food and Love from the publisher through LibraryThing. Sobremesa: A Memoir of Food and Love Josephine Caminos Oría at La Dorita https://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpre...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lucille

    This book is the story of the life of Josephine. While she was raised in Pittsburgh, PA, her elders were all from Argentina and Jose felt that was her home as much as PA. The book follows her between those two countries and the family and friends in each place. While she is in America she pines for Argentina and when she is in Argentina she longs for Pittsburgh or Miami. Her father was a cardiologist in Pittsburgh who had investments in FL and Argentina. While much more is made of the tragedies i This book is the story of the life of Josephine. While she was raised in Pittsburgh, PA, her elders were all from Argentina and Jose felt that was her home as much as PA. The book follows her between those two countries and the family and friends in each place. While she is in America she pines for Argentina and when she is in Argentina she longs for Pittsburgh or Miami. Her father was a cardiologist in Pittsburgh who had investments in FL and Argentina. While much more is made of the tragedies in her life, it seems they were financially very comfortable and the family very loving. Much of the family bond seemed to be with the foods cooked and shared by the grand parents of the family. Throughout the book, Jose is followed by a 'gentleman caller' who we assume is from a spirit world. He seems to be warning her of or protecting her from or comforting her in moments of tragedy. Jose went to Argentina after an auto accident which almost took her life followed soon after by a heartbreak from a boyfriend. In Argentina she meets Gaston. While I enjoyed the beginning of the book and the ending of the book the middle of this book, the time spent in Argentina with Gaston seemed much longer, with much more detail than was enjoyable. I really had to push myself through the middle of the book which was more than half the story. I am glad I finished the book as the ending rather wraps up all the loose ends. I like the recipes throughout the book more than the story itself. I very much enjoyed the relationship and story behind those recopies, but the rest of the story was tediously drug through the minutiae of every event. The synopsis of the book sounded intriguing with the contacts from spiritual entities, the characters were all very loving and cared so much about one another, but the book was full of sadness and even the good events were buried in minute details that were difficult to hold my attention. In spite of everything, I liked the people, I know a lot of them are still alive and well and living in Pittsburgh, Miami and Argentina and running a wonderful business in the namesake of the grandmother. I checked out the website and will absolutely buy some of their products.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cat

    I so enjoy books like these! Interesting and entertaining tales along with recipes. What could be better? I enjoyed the ghost story take on the hitchhiker, I hadn't heard it in a long while and still enjoyed the tale! The recipes I look forward to trying soon:Spinach and Easter Egg Pie and Empanadas al Cuchillo; they sound tasty! I received a Kindle arc from Netgalley in exchange for a fair review. I so enjoy books like these! Interesting and entertaining tales along with recipes. What could be better? I enjoyed the ghost story take on the hitchhiker, I hadn't heard it in a long while and still enjoyed the tale! The recipes I look forward to trying soon:Spinach and Easter Egg Pie and Empanadas al Cuchillo; they sound tasty! I received a Kindle arc from Netgalley in exchange for a fair review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis

    Thanks to LibraryThing and Scribe Publishing Company for a gifted copy. All comments and opinions are my own. This book sounded so good but in actuality, was just excruciating. I couldn't finish it and can't recommend it. I love memoirs, especially when there is a culinary aspect. But this one irritated me so much that after slogging halfway through it I gave myself permission to stop the torture. Life is short and I have way too many books I want to read. I need to make better use of my time tha Thanks to LibraryThing and Scribe Publishing Company for a gifted copy. All comments and opinions are my own. This book sounded so good but in actuality, was just excruciating. I couldn't finish it and can't recommend it. I love memoirs, especially when there is a culinary aspect. But this one irritated me so much that after slogging halfway through it I gave myself permission to stop the torture. Life is short and I have way too many books I want to read. I need to make better use of my time than to read out of obligation - and after all, I did read 152 pages of this 374-page book. What did I like about the book? The concept - "Sobremesa" is the act of sitting around the table and eating and talking, long after the actual meal is finished. I grew up in a family that held to this custom, which I still enjoy. The Latin cultural references were authentic: personalities, language, manners. The food references, including the recipes, were a highlight of the book. What didn't I like? Unfortunately, I didn't care for the narrator who was the focus of the book - Josephine Caminos Oria. She was whiney and spoiled and unlikeable. If the book is a story of your life, you'd better be likable because you're on every page. Not only was she annoying and obnoxious, she didn't write well. Every chapter was too long, and the book as a whole needed an objective person to tighten it up. I just didn't care about her or her romantic experiences. How she met her husband, the mystical encounters with the spirit world (yes, it was that kind of book), how she developed her own business and learned to listen to herself - and that last item is from the book jacket because I didn't actually get that far in the book. Another thing lacking were photos. She came from a large, loving family. She mentions all the photos her family has in their many homes (around the world), yet the only photo is the author's headshot at the back of the book. Honestly, this book was not for me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I received a copy of this book from The Book Club Cookbook. This book perfectly fits for them, it’s an enjoyable story and it not only talks about food but includes a recipe at the end of every chapter. I’d like to also recommend My Berlin Year for another foodie memoir. Josephine was born in Argentina. When she was a baby, her parents moved the family to the United States. She spent some of her life living in Pittsburgh, PA and part in Miami while also traveling back and forth to Argentina to vis I received a copy of this book from The Book Club Cookbook. This book perfectly fits for them, it’s an enjoyable story and it not only talks about food but includes a recipe at the end of every chapter. I’d like to also recommend My Berlin Year for another foodie memoir. Josephine was born in Argentina. When she was a baby, her parents moved the family to the United States. She spent some of her life living in Pittsburgh, PA and part in Miami while also traveling back and forth to Argentina to visit family. Sobremesa refers to time spent together with family and friends at the table talking and eating. Sobremesa is very important in Josephine’s family. It could go on for hours and it’s where the family tells their stories and bonds. This is a book mainly about and I really did love reading about her family. There’s also a focus on the men in Josephine’s life. Most of that time is about Gaston. To say their relationship was rocky at the beginning seems fair. They had to decide what sacrifices and changes they would be willing to make to be together. There’s also a spiritual element to the story. Josephine seems to have a guardian Angel guiding her through milestones in her life. And ultimately this book is also about food. So many delicious foods. I doubt anyone will finish this book without finding a new recipe they want to try. I thought this book lagged in the middle but picked up the pace again towards the end. After reading this book, I will need to make one of Josephine’s mom’s mushroom sandwiches and I would love to buy a jar of her dulce de leche. I also want to add that if you grew up in the Pittsburgh area like I did, it’ll add an extra element of fun to the story just recognizing the places and things she mentions.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Camilla

    Josephine Caminos Oría, like many who have immigrated to the United States or is a child of a recent immigrant, is a product of two worlds equipped with roots from a homeland and wings for the new country, new home, and new persona. In her introduction, she begins, "With parents who spoke between tongues, indiscriminately switching on and off between their native, River Plate Castellano, their learned English with heavy accents and their assault on both - Spaniglish, which often surfaced in the Josephine Caminos Oría, like many who have immigrated to the United States or is a child of a recent immigrant, is a product of two worlds equipped with roots from a homeland and wings for the new country, new home, and new persona. In her introduction, she begins, "With parents who spoke between tongues, indiscriminately switching on and off between their native, River Plate Castellano, their learned English with heavy accents and their assault on both - Spaniglish, which often surfaced in the same conversation - our family decidedly did not blend in" (page xiii). Then, through thirteen courses, she tells her story. She travels to her homeland of Argentina, immerses herself in the culture, finds love, learns as much as she can from her grandmother, Abuela Dorita, and ends up building a business that honors her abuela by jarring up and sharing Dorita's dulce de leche. The thirteen courses are a menu, a framework, for her to tell her tale and for the reader to get to know her family.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dave Chambers

    This is a true story of family, romance and how past generations provide wisdom and guidance to the living. Yes, it also has a bit of food, wine and cultural insight as well, but these are not the main theme - a let down, given the title. Sobramesa, after all, is the S. American cultural practice of sitting around the table after a meal, dishes undone, while politics, neighborhood and family matters are discussed over drinks. It reads a bit like a journal kept by a girl in her teens, despite the This is a true story of family, romance and how past generations provide wisdom and guidance to the living. Yes, it also has a bit of food, wine and cultural insight as well, but these are not the main theme - a let down, given the title. Sobramesa, after all, is the S. American cultural practice of sitting around the table after a meal, dishes undone, while politics, neighborhood and family matters are discussed over drinks. It reads a bit like a journal kept by a girl in her teens, despite the author being middle ages and writing if her youth. No thought, doubt or insecurity is left out. If you enjoy Telenovellas, you will rate this much higher than 2 stars. But if you seek insights into the food, wine and culture of Argentina, you'll need to skip 2/3 of the book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

    Josephine was raised in the United States but spent time each year in Argentina as her parents immigrated from Argentina to have a better life for their children. Josephine is trying to find herself . After a failed relationship and unsatisfying career , Josephine goes to Argentina to help her parents with the ranch. She ends up staying in Argentina for a man she falls in love with. Josephine marries Gaston and their life brings them back to the United States where she eventually finds her career Josephine was raised in the United States but spent time each year in Argentina as her parents immigrated from Argentina to have a better life for their children. Josephine is trying to find herself . After a failed relationship and unsatisfying career , Josephine goes to Argentina to help her parents with the ranch. She ends up staying in Argentina for a man she falls in love with. Josephine marries Gaston and their life brings them back to the United States where she eventually finds her career passion. A wonderful novel of family , and love that evolves around food. A very enjoyable read. Recipes throughout that sound very good and I plan to try some of them. I received this book in exchange for a review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    DJ

    This was just a fun book to read, as the author shared recipes/cooking and eating with the love of having family and special times together. Definitely nothing hard to just pick up and read some yet not have to remember what happened when you last read some.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This was a delightful memoir full of food and culture. I loved the recipes included at the end of each chapter and the stories as we got to know Josie's family. This was a delightful memoir full of food and culture. I loved the recipes included at the end of each chapter and the stories as we got to know Josie's family.

  11. 4 out of 5

    S Bates

    My favorite book this year. What a wonderful story of family, home, and love. Beautiful!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Donna

  13. 4 out of 5

    Vapafe

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Ruiz Hudson

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laurel

  17. 4 out of 5

    M

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laurie Estrada

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

  20. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

  21. 5 out of 5

    Krystn

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mary Camarillo

  23. 4 out of 5

    Diana Jaffee

  24. 4 out of 5

    Julie Ellis

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mel Corrigan

  26. 4 out of 5

    Glenny

  27. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

  28. 5 out of 5

    Allison Janicki

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kim Bedetti

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sara

  31. 4 out of 5

    Emily Finch

  32. 4 out of 5

    Leo

  33. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

  34. 4 out of 5

    Jarrod

  35. 5 out of 5

    Lara

  36. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  37. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  38. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  39. 5 out of 5

    Sam

  40. 4 out of 5

    Bailey S.

  41. 5 out of 5

    Liz Miller

  42. 4 out of 5

    Edward

  43. 4 out of 5

    Jillian McKee Loera

  44. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Adams

  45. 4 out of 5

    Kye Cantey

  46. 5 out of 5

    amy

  47. 5 out of 5

    Quinn

  48. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ahmed

  49. 4 out of 5

    Jen Schlott

  50. 5 out of 5

    Connie Wilson

  51. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  52. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Gerhart

  53. 5 out of 5

    Marnie Ward

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