From Publishers Weekly
This year PBS is pushing a variety of regional cookbooks, companion volumes to their cooking shows. Martinez (The Food and Life of Oaxaca), PBS's star this fall, ably represents the fascinating and spicy world of Veracruz, the narrow state along Mexico's Gulf Coast. In her fact-filled introduction, Mart¡nez covers the region's cultural and culinary history, explaining, for instance, that the cuisine's African influence began in the cruel time of Corts, when African slaves were brought over to harvest sugar cane. Several of the most interesting traditional recipes involve fruit wines and liqueurs: Pollo en Mora mixes shredded chicken in blackberry liqueur sauce with green olives and almonds; Carne en Salsa de Licores combines pork, garlic and scallions with orange and blackberry liqueurs. Seafood is plentiful and used variously. Red Snapper Veracruz Style is baked with bay leaves and thyme. Appetizers include Hashed Seafood Melange, with pickled jalape¤os, and Hashed Crab with Capers augmented by jalape¤os and plum tomatoes. Desserts and drinks are offbeat and fun: Beso del Duque (the Duke's Kiss) is a cake made of crushed Animal Crackers, eggs, almonds, raisins and sesame seeds and topped with a cinnamon and sugar syrup. Toritos de Cacahuate (Milk Punch with Peanuts) sounds harmless enough until you reach the end of the ingredient list: milk, peanut butter, vanilla extract and one cup of cane liquor or 96 proof grain alcohol. Full-color photos. (Sept. 18)Forecast: With publicity from her TV show and a 15-city tour, the effervescent Zarela is sure to draw attention and sales.parenting
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"When it comes to real Mexican food, Zarela is one of our great teachers, and this book is a lot like Zarela herself: smart, lively, colorful and full of truth. Also, reading it makes me very, very hungry!" Linda Ellerbee
"Praise be indeed to Zarela Martinez, impassioned evangelist for Mexican food."
The Wall Street Journal