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La Comida del Barrio: Latin-American Cooking in the U.S.A. Hardcover – May 6, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (May 6, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609610759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609610756
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,075,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Latin-American population is the fastest growing in the United States--over 30 million people. Just look at the starting lineup of Major League Baseball if you need deeper proof. It's a population rich in cultural diversity, roots reaching back all over the place--Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Peru, Argentina. And the nice thing that happens in this country, as Aaron Sanchez so eloquently points out in his first cookbook, La Comida del Barrio, is that this multilayerd diversity melts all over itself and becomes something new while suggesting something old and stable.

"This book is not about 'authentic' regional dishes," Sanchez writes in his introduction. Rather, it's about the real food of the real barrio, the Latin neighborhood, wherever that may be these days in the US. You'll find a small soup stand, la fonda, in the marketplace and that's his first chapter--black bean soup, shrimp chowder, plantain soup, menudo. Then there's the home kitchen restaurant, el paladar, open to the lucky ones who can find it. Stews are typical, and that's the next chapter--Brazilian cassoulet, roasted rabbit. The chapters march right up the Latin dining scale: la taquería for street snacks, la rosticcería for roasted meats, el comedor (the restaurant) for salads and entrees, el Mercado for vegetables and side dishes, la pandería for baked goods and sweets, la jugería for drinks, and a final chapter on essential recipes.

The entire Latin culinary landscape as it's found throughout the US is captured between the covers of La Comida del Barrio. Sanchez has done a wonderful job. You can take this food into your own home. But what's especially nice, with this book tucked under your wing, you can explore the barrio nearest you and taste it all for real. --Schuyler Ingle

From Publishers Weekly

The son of Mexican cooking legend Zarela Martinez, Sanchez is carving out his own reputation as co-host of the Food Network's Melting Pot. In keeping with the style of that show's offerings, Sanchez here serves up 120 recipes reflecting the heritage and contemporary tastes of Latinos living in the U.S. These are neither attempts to capture the authentic recipes of Central and South America nor fancified "nouvelle" interpretations. They are the dishes served in the homes and restaurants of North America's Latino neighborhoods. Most ingredients will be readily available in American supermarkets and the items that may require a visit to the local barrio (e.g., guajillo chile or frozen banana leaves) are described in short footnotes making them easier to find or replace. From Spanish-influenced Conejo Asado (Roasted Rabbit) to Caribbean Pescado en Salsa de Coco (Fish in Coconut Broth), the dishes range well beyond the predictable but remain within the grasp of an average home cook. Sanchez's homey introductions and sidebars give the book a personal slant that should help build his own brand name; his wonderfully active photos offer glimpses into Latino neighborhoods across the country.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By OJM on January 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Because I am Latin American I found these recipes to be familiar. I was looking for a cookbook that had traditional meals and I found it in this book. Having my share of cookbooks, I actually found this book to be one of the easiest. As I write this review, I am marinating a Pork Shoulder with Oregano, Salt, Galic and Olive Oil. It really can't get much easier than that. But if you are looking for quick easy cooking during the week, this might not be the best cookbook for you. My one complaint about this book is that it does not have any pictures of the food itself. For those that have never eaten or seen these recipes cooked it can be pretty hard to imagine what it's suppose to look like. Also, being familiar with these recipes I know what to leave out and what substitues I can use.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Chic Chef on December 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for latinos learning to cook the foods their families made. This is not however a "traditional" cookbook for regional dishes. These recipes were as close to my mothers recipes and she's a great cook. If you want to make various dishes from Latin America, this is the book for you.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By dihi548 on May 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i love this cookbook. i wanted to find a way to become familiar with latin cooking and this just does it. i have made so many of the dishes and keep many of the sauces and condiments on hand. i enjoy watching chef sanchez on chopped and heat seekers. his pure joy in food is addictive, as are the recipes in this book. i have only been using this book for a month, but i have made at least 10 dishes and most of the sauces and perhaps 2 of the salsas. i now have a nice collection of 6 different dried chillies. better yet i now know how to use them. some cookbooks you do have to make the dishes as they say then you play with them. this cookbook everything is fantastic right away. i'm having a great time with it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is yet another great book by a great chef. Aaron Sanchez takes you to the streets of Hispanic neighborhoods for a culinary extravaganza. I've made multiple recipes from this book and couldn't be happier. This book tells you what makes the recipes work and where they came from. This book is for anyone who loves to cook and loves food.
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