The Art of Mexican Cooking

Diana Kennedy, Author, Susana Martinez-Ostos, Illustrator, Michael Calderwood, Photographer Bantam Books $24.95 (544p) ISBN 978-0-553-05706-5
The intrepid Kennedy ( The Cuisines of Mexico ) here gives us an excellent new collection of traditional Mexican recipes and keenly observed culinary habits, crisscrossing her adopted country with the zeal of Sir Francis Drake. From a Yucatan fisherman she gathers regional secrets for preparing an octopus dish, and a recipe for steamed cactus is surrendered by a bus driver. Celebrating the increasing availability of Mexican ingredients in North America, and aiming ``to perfect things,'' Kennedy has modified recipes from previous books for partisans of ``honest, authentic food,'' urging us to process tamale dough from dried corn and grind it at home. Plucking a chicken or stuffing blood sausage may be too much for the faint-hearted, but accessible dishes are presented in abundance (e.g., Mexican masa ball soup). Kennedy's labor of love and scholarship belongs in the home library as a chronicle of culinary culture, regardless of whether or not cooks decide to turn their kitchens into cantinas. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
Discover what to read next