cover image Peru: The Cookbook

Peru: The Cookbook

Gatson Acurio. Phaidon, $49.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-7148-6920-9

In chef and restaurant owner Acurio’s first foray into English-language cookbooks, the cuisine of Peru shines. The color-coded sections book break down the usual Western groupings of dishes (appetizers, first course, etc.) with a more Peruvian sensibility in mind. For example, there is an entire section on ceviche that incorporates other seafood dishes as well. Acurio includes a section on the street food sold in Peruvian towns. Uniquely Peruvian dishes include tacu tacu, which involves mixing rice with canary beans and frying the mixture in a pan to make a patty; and the quinoa and seafood Atamalado, a thickened stew similar to a risotto. Other highlights include the carapulcra (pork and dried potato stew) and caigua rellena (stuffed caigua, similar in taste to a cucumber). While the book lacks cultural explanations of the dishes, this is a treasure chest of Peruvian cuisine. (May)