The Essential Cuisines of Mexico

Diana Kennedy, Author, Craig Claiborne, Foreword by Clarkson N Potter Publishers $35 (544p) ISBN 978-0-609-60355-0
HThe prolific Kennedy revisits her adopted homeland in The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, a compilation of her first three books (The Cuisines of Mexico, The Tortilla Book and Mexican Regional Cooking). From Nuevo Le""n to the Yucatan, Kennedy strives to retain the authenticity of regional recipes: ""I have simplified the recipes when possible, bringing them up to date without losing the spirit of their generation."" Chapters reflect an assemblage of courses, including appetizers, corn dough cakes, vegetables, meats, egg dishes, light meals, sauces and relishes, sweet pastries and drinks. The concluding ""general information"" section provides helpful tips on equipment, chiles, cheeses, spices, herbs and other ingredients indigenous to Mexican cookery. Chapter introductions and detailed anecdotes (e.g., ""A Weekend and Barbecue in Oaxaca"") offer engaging glimpses of local Mexican life. Recipes will beguile aficionados searching for the ""real Mexican deal,"" with a cornucopia of earthy ingredientsDlike calf's tongue, pig's feet, tripe ""of different textures,"" pork lardDand exotic flavors, such as machaca (dried salted beef), nopoles (cactus paddles) and cuiclacoche (corn fungus). For novices, there are appealing, easy-to-make comfort foods, like Angel Hair Pasta in Tomato Broth and Chiles Con Queso (Chiles with Cheese), while seasoned cooks will appreciate challenging dishes such as Stuffed Chiles in Walnut Sauce and Turkey in Mole Poblana. Vivid prose chronicles the sojourns of Kennedy's curious palate, painting ""word pictures"" to describe ""a Mexico of the past."" Her efforts yield yet another classic, one that masterfully documents the rich diversity of Mexico's gastronomic heritage. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/16/2000
Release date: 10/01/2000
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 544 pages - 978-0-307-58772-5
Ebook - 664 pages - 978-0-553-41911-5
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