Latinísimo: Home Recipes from the Twenty-One Countries of Latin America

Knopf Oct. 2023. 592p. ISBN 9780525659259. $40. COOKING
This historically informed and both geographically and culturally driven wide-ranging recipe collection by the Les Dames D’Escoffier M.F.K. Fisher Grand Prize winner Gutierrez (a food historian and cooking instructor who was born in the United States and grew up in Guatemala) is organized by staple ingredients, including corn, beans, chiles, cacao, and coconut. The recipes span Latin America, covering 21 countries, from Mexico to Peru to Cuba, and traveling across widely disparate geographies and culinary traditions. Starting each chapter, heading most recipes, and appearing throughout the book are notes that provide detailed context for the history of the food, its importance, and its consumption. Gutierrez is a nationally known expert on the foodways she addresses and has written four books previous to this encyclopedic offering, including Latin American Street Food. Her focus is on educating readers while providing delicious example recipes for every foodway she covers.
VERDICT A key title for all collections. Try bori-bori, a corn dumpling soup, go all in making tortillas or arepas, or bake the pastel de quinoa, almendra y zanahoria, an almond, carrot, and quinoa cake served in the afternoon in Bolivia.
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