When we listen to the name of Nitza Villapol, the first thing that comes to our mind is the famous and cute woman that captivated everybody from her time and her legacy has been present, being a protagonist to became the Cuban food in a real culinary art.
Nitza was born in 1923, in New York, later she decided to settle down in her parent’s homeland, in Cuba. Her interest for cooking began for her ability of changing some recipe and adapts them according to the situation that the country had during that time.
Nitza Villapol Cooking Books
Previously she had her Ph. Degree on Pedagogy; so that she had, the idea of publishing recipes relating to her two passions, in several books, the first was entitled Cocina Criolla and the second one, which was a success, Cocina al minute.
She always believed that her books were interesting, because they were going to be very useful for others, mainly for Cubans, she never imagine, she will become in the main figure when talk about Cuban food neither her editions reach records of sale
Nitza Villapol’s Recipes
Later on, Villapol leaded TV and Radio programs spreading her recipes, she used to teach the way she prepare them with the ingredients that everyone could have at home, this is the reason why everybody knows her like the ‘’ woman that taught cubans to cook whatever.
In fact, it was a theme; most of the authors did not pay too much attention, thanks to Nitza who saw a real purpose in the culinary Cuban art, she was who made possible that every recipe takes part of our culture, identifying us all over the world.
She used to say that “to Cook was an art, an art of each town, a minor art that takes part of our culture.”
Lacks of condiments and ingredients in that time, brought about that the authoress changed recipes and taught us to cook dishes such as tilapia or hake with less fat, being this version healthier.
Many culinary initiatives and innovations belong to the extraordinary woman that used to say that everything was the result of changing terms, when an ingredient was lack; she used to find the solution by replacing it by other at our hands.
There are some examples that we can mention from these creations, that is like she used to prepare flour fritters without using flour, so that it was quite enough to melt a package of macaroni and use it with this purpose. It is also the pudding recipe, but without eggs.
Nitza and Cocina al Minuto
The famous TV program that she used to lead was on air for more than four decades and marked the life of those who used to follow every chapter, every Cuban out or inside the island wanted to keep her books.
Mainly the most popular ‘’ Cocina al Minuto’’, with a collection of 315 recipes that will pass from generation to generation.
During an interview in 1991, she stated that ‘’ The first thing I think of, is what the Cuban housewife has and what she can do with that.’’
For those who decided to live out of the island, to take with them a Nitza Villapol book, it was treasure, an essential element that recalls the culinary roots and traditions, consulting each of her recipes if necessary.
The most important is that her books contained another recipe that were no typical of Cuba, but even so, we can taste it following her instructions, The Newburg Lobster, cook it with butter, cream, yolk and sherry with spaghettis, is one of them coming from the United States.
Villapol Contribution to the Traditional Cuban Cooking
What Cuban around the world does not enjoy the typical rice and black beans, ropa vieja, yucca with garlic sauce that are other specialties of Villapol book?
In the same way, she taught us how to use everything in the kitchen, the spare meat, as well as to become viands in a delicious dessert.
She used to contribute instantly to the nutritional information, to educate each person to elaborate healthy dishes at home, with less fat, something that was not distinctive at the beginning of the culinary customs in the island.
Some international Cooking experts and recognized chefs that assure the importance of Nitza legacy to the Cuban cooking, making emphasis on her contribution to the culinary tradition, spite of the changes of her recipes, due to the availability of food during the 90s in Cuba.
We infinitely apprecciate to the authoress for demonstrating us that everything is possible, even in the most difficult circumstances, that it is possible to enjoy a delicious dish elaborated at home.
She demonstrated us the way to reinvent each dish is unique, we will remember her forever and the selection of her recipes will continue being a legacy for the Cuban food, that changed the alimentary habits.
It is a Merit that Nitza was able to earn and share her knowledge through her book, accredited by Ciro Bianchi like the most ‘’emblematic and spreaded’’, as well as every secret she used to transmit us by her TV program and her peculiar way to discard some ingredients, it is simply a labour that took her to become in a leader woman for the Cuban cooking.
- Nitza Villapol