Sobramesa: soap opera meets food journey.
Josephine Caminos Oria provides the reader with unfettered access to her every thought, doubt, insecurity and whim as she takes them through the period of her adult life right before, during and after her breakup with a boyfriend of ten years, her first love and on through her subsequent romance with the man she eventually marries (with a few stops in between).
This sort of soap opera has strong appeal among many. However, after the book was initially described to me, I looked forward to enjoying a book that focused on the Latin American tradition of Sobramesa – the important ritual of sitting around the table after a meal is finished, leaving the dishes and TV and electronic devices until after conversation, family decisions, gossip, stories, arguments and tall tales have all been shared.
This idea was of particular importance to me, because I live in a divided household when it comes to this topic. My wife describes herself as “a shark who has to keep moving or it dies“, which means clean-up begins shortly as the last bite is swallowed. Whereas I… ‘Sobramesa me, baby!‘ I’m happy sitting at the table until the last glass of wine is empty, chatting about whatever comes up.
While Camino Oria salts her novella with her great family food traditions and includes a recipe with each chapter, her soap opera takes the starring role in every chapter. Should you be looking for a tale of juicy romance that features Argentinian food traditions as a supporting cast, your money will be well spent here.