Food Cultures of Mexico: Recipes, Customs, and Issues

Greenwood. (Global Kitchen). Oct. 2021. 228p. ISBN 9781440869235. $63. REF
Following the format of other titles in the “Global Kitchen” series, Hernandez-Rodrigues (Spanish, Southern Connecticut State Univ.; Splendors of Latin Cinema) covers the history of Mexican cuisine, including ingredients, courses, beverages, occasions, and issues (including food security, safety, and obesity but not GMOs or organic farming). Abundant recipes offer relatively easy home cuisine, noting equipment needs and serving suggestions. The chapter “Influential Ingredients” includes native foods (vanilla, tomatoes, peanuts) and those introduced from Spain; some ingredients not covered here are discussed in other chapters (without cross-reference). Sauces are described with the foods they accompany. Regional climates and distribution systems are not discussed. Only appetizers and sides are grouped regionally; the restaurants mentioned are mostly in Mexico City. There is some overlap and repetition, such as in the “Holy Days and Special Occasions,” “Street Foods and Snacks,” and “Dining Out” chapters). Much information is compiled (e.g., in Mexico, tacos do not have a hard shell or ground beef), though it is not always easy to access in dense, under-edited descriptive paragraphs. There are a few sidebars, a glossary, chronology, and a solid bibliography.
VERDICT Persistent general readers, travelers, and culinary students will find useful material here.
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