Every country should have a Diana Kennedy, someone steeped in its culture and cooking who cruises around recording all the local recipes and sharing them with the world. My Mexico is Kennedy's rambling record of forays in pursuit of dishes that might be of interest. Based on the recipes she found, such as Posole de Camarone, a brothy shrimp and dried-corn stew, sweet Green Mango Roll, and tiny new potatoes cooked Shepherd style, Kennedy's travels have been quite fruitful.
Anyone may enjoy the wealth of recipes in this book, but only connoisseurs of Mexican cooking familiar with the varied and regional nature of its food are likely to appreciate the unusual nature of Kennedy's finds. Concentrating on what is unique, the author refers readers to her previous five works on Mexico for fundamental techniques or other background. Even the method for making masa in My Mexico is an uncommon one, presented to Kennedy by the woman who waters her plants.
This literate work is rich in almost novelistic descriptions. Long passages describe her graphic observations. She shares her love of the country where she has lived since 1957 with equal measures of loving passion and curmudgeonly criticism.
Charts and photos help show the variety of chiles and other foods that help give Mexican cooking its constant, often subtle variety. When recipes call for pulque, a mildly fermented juice from the agave plant, sour tunas, a kind of cactus fruit, or other ingredients you can't get, move on to her more accessible dishes or, as Kennedy did, let this book be a journey of discoveries. --Dana Jacobi
From Publishers Weekly
In a deeply knowledgeable celebration of the diverse regional cuisines of Mexico, acclaimed gastronome Kennedy (The Cuisines of Mexico, etc.) presents a tour de force, with the emphasis on authenticity. She incorporates family heirloom recipes (e.g., Sra. Redondo's Steamed Tacos Filled with Vermicelli; the Andrea Family's Stuffed Ancho Chiles) with traditional signature dishes of various locales, as well as adaptations of restaurant favorites and classics collected over her 40-year sojourn south of the border. Kennedy divides chapters by geographical region and takes readers on a meandering culinary journey, replete with detailed accounts of local topography, seasons, sights, sounds and scents. Departing from the didactic tone and careful organization of her previous works, Kennedy dispenses with in-depth discussions on ingredients, equipment and technique, referring readers instead to her The Art of Mexican Cooking. While there are condiments like Salsa Verde, Guacamole of Jerez and Jalape?o Chile Relish that even inexperienced cooks can easily render, the recipes, most of which are laborious and involve hard-to-find ingredients, speak largely to well-traveled culinary aficionados or Mexican expats eager to replicate foods of their homeland (e.g., creamy, cheesy Zucchini Michoacan Style; pastry turnovers like Gorditas from Hidalgo; Oaxacan Squash Vine Soup). This book is as much a work of cultural anthropology as it is a recipe reference. Color photos not seen by PW. Author tour.
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