The Food and Life of Oaxaca, Mexico Reviews

The Food and Life of Oaxaca, Mexico

The Food and Life of Oaxaca, Mexico

Praise for The Food and Life of Oaxaca

“There’s a whole new and surprising world of flavor and texture contrasts described in this intriguing cookbook, along with lore and history of the exotic and artistic Oaxaca. No one is better equipped than Zarela to present clear and delectable recipes for the tantalizing dishes of this little-known regional cuisine.”
— Mimi Sheraton, author of The Whole World Loves Chicken Soup

“I’ve watched Zarela weave her culinary magic from the first dinner party I attended at her home, beginning with intensely flavored salsas presented in lava bowls. How apt that a chef who prepares such dazzling Mexican food should lead us through Oaxaca. The soul and lore of this magical place will add new life to your table through Zarela’s recipes.”
–Shelia Lukins, author of USA Cookbook, Food Editor of Parade Magazine

“Food in Mexico, especially in Oaxaca, smacks of so much more than trends and nutrition. Zarela Martinez knows this passionately and has bestowed on us a book that will enrich the lives of all that are really hungry, all that are seeking more than the latest flavor. Filled with honest glimpses of an extraordinary place, The Food and Life of Oaxaca offers the most intimate understanding anyone can gain of another culture–the understanding that comes through flavor. For many in Oaxaca, eating is the perfect act of celebration, consecrating every aspect of life. The warm flavors Zarela Martinez has captured here are the perfect expression of Oaxaca’s generous spirit.”
–Rick Bayless, author of Authentic Mexican and Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen Visit us online at: www.mcp.com/mgr

The Food and Life of Oaxaca, by New York restaurateur Zarela Martinez, is a fascinating cultural study disguised as a great cookbook. Martinez is part of the new renaissance of Mexican food writers and chefs, including Rick Bayless and Diana Kennedy, who reaffirm that culinary awareness goes hand in hand with cultural awareness.

In fact, Martinez, a Mexican, credits her time in Oaxaca as “redefining my whole understanding of Mexico.” Oaxaca is one of the most biologically and culturally diverse regions in Mexico, echoed throughout The Food and Life of Oaxaca in both the recipes and the accompanying essays. Martinez adamantly insists that to cook a dish, you must first understand it. She provides not only the how-to of a recipe, but also the why. In the chapter on moles, she provides seven outstanding recipes and explains beautifully why the sauces predominate Oaxacan cuisine. Her section on tamales is simply one of the best available, providing solid instruction and Oaxacan variations of the traditional Mexican party food. Chefs new to Mexican cuisine will find the glossary of ingredients indispensable. And any chef will find Martinez’s passion for her subject inspiring.–Mark O. Howerton

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