Sobremesa: A Memoir of Food and Love in Thirteen Courses (Hardcover)

Sobremesa: A Memoir of Food and Love in Thirteen Courses By Josephine Caminos Oria Cover Image
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The table is where we find our way. Together.

The communal family table bears witness to our lives. The way we approach each meal speaks volumes about who we are and what we are going through in that very moment. It’s where the spirits of those who left too soon can be conjured back to mind through taste and smell. Still, we underestimate its pull and often miss the soulful nourishment and magic that happens at sobremesa—the time spent talking after a meal—due to our increasingly busy lives.

In her coming-of-age adventure, Caminos Oría travels to her family’s homeland of Argentina in search of belonging—to family, to country, to a love, 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 Caminos Oría’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, Caminos Oría’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 set a new table, one where she can be her full self, unapologetically, in full-fledged Spanglish.

Deliciously soulful and chock full of romance, this otherworldly, multigenerational story of a daughter's love and familial culinary legacy serves up, in 13 courses, a gastronomic meditation on the tables we set for ourselves throughout our lives—knowingly or not. It’s a story that lures us to slow down, to savor meals mindfully and see where the communion of food takes us, beyond the plate. It’s there we find our one true voice, look within, and face the questions we’ve been running from: Is this the table I envisioned for myself before the world told me who I am supposed to be? If not, reset it. Do I belong? Do the people around me lift me up? If not, change tables. Where am I seated? At the head? In the middle? There is no right or wrong answer, but does my chosen seat position me for the role I’m meant to fulfill in this lifetime? If not, change places.

Sobremesa invites us to savor the healing embrace of time-honored food and the wisdom it espouses. It’s a reminder that that home really is anywhere the heart is. And for all looking to find their place, it’s an invitation to claim your seat at sobremesa’s endless table, where everyone is welcome.

About the Author

Josephine Caminos Oría is an Argentine-American author, entrepreneur and mom, and she has been called “The woman who is bringing the Argentine Sobremesa to the United States” by The Clarín (the Argentine version of the New York Times). It was in her early 40s, with five young children in tow, that Josephine took a chance on herself, leaving a C-level career to make dulce de leche. Today, Josephine is co-founder of La Dorita Cooks, an all-natural line of dulce de leche products and Pittsburgh's first resource-based kitchen incubator for start-up and early stage food makers.

Praise For…

“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

“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 

"Oría’s memoir is the true story of a daughter’s love, loss, and cross-cultural, multi-generational legacy that unfolds like a magical realism novel à la Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate." —Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine

"The memoir Sobremesa is a reminder of a slower time, an exuberant, passionate place, and love as vast as the Argentine pampas." —Foreword Reviews

"I found myself wanting to try every recipe and magically transform my dining table into a place where my family and I would linger over delicious food and wine and talk late into the night." —Joy Ramirez, Chapter 16

"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, writer and creator of Pick Up The Fork

"This is the perfect book for now [...] people want so desperately to come together." —Wiley Cash, New York Times bestselling author of When Ghosts Come Home

"Great and engaging memoir with recipe[s] slipped in between chapters. Very well done and far better than many more publicized memoirs of late." —Steven Schend, Assistant Branch Librarian, Grand Rapids, MI

"[Sobremesa is] a beautifully crafted reflection on family and love and how the simple and often forgotten art of gathering together for meals, passing on recipes, teaching and learning traditions, taking the time to talk and listen to those you care about is so important." —Aleks Lazic, Canadian founder of Al's Deli, Chef, Brewer

"Fans of memoirs with recipes, of stories of multicultural identities and of the celebration of shared meals that bind people together will find Sobremesa as nourishing as the recipes within." —Katie Weed, freelance writer and reviewer

"Abundant in heart, intimacy and flavor . . . Oría's story spreads love and nourishment where others might forget its power . . ." —Katie Weed, freelance writer and reviewer

"[Sobremesa] took me on a culinary and cultural tour of Argentina, revealing the many foods, traditions, places, and people that make that country so special." —Gem, Founder, Hawaii Mom Blog

“the author exudes inspiration and motivation here.” —Booklist Online

"Truly genre-defying, this is a bildungsroman, a love story, and a story of searching for belonging where one doesn’t fit in." —Book Riot

“The book details her trip to Argentina to reconnect with her family's past and their heirloom recipes, and the cross-cultural, cross-national love story and career transformation the journey leads to." —Publishers Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9781735305189
ISBN-10: 1735305189
Publisher: Scribe Publishing Company
Publication Date: May 4th, 2021
Pages: 400
Language: English