Oaxaca Al Gusto
An Infinite Gastronomy
By Diana Kennedy
(University of Texas Press, Hardcover, 9780292722668, 436pp.)
Publication Date: September 2010
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No one has done more to introduce the world to the authentic, flavorful cuisines of Mexico than Diana Kennedy. Acclaimed as the Julia Child of Mexican cooking, Kennedy has been an intrepid, indefatigable student of Mexican foodways for more than fifty years and has published several classic books on the subject, including The Cuisines of Mexico (now available in The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, a compilation of her first three books), The Art of Mexican Cooking, My Mexico, and From My Mexican Kitchen. Her uncompromising insistence on using the proper local ingredients and preparation techniques has taught generations of cooks how to prepare--and savor--the delicious, subtle, and varied tastes of Mexico.
In Oaxaca al Gusto, Kennedy takes us on an amazing journey into one of the most outstanding and colorful cuisines in the world. The state of Oaxaca is one of the most diverse in Mexico, with many different cultural and linguistic groups, often living in areas difficult to access. Each group has its own distinctive cuisine, and Diana Kennedy has spent many years traveling the length and breadth of Oaxaca to record in words and photographs "these little-known foods, both wild and cultivated, the way they were prepared, and the part they play in the daily or festive life of the communities I visited." Oaxaca al Gusto is the fruit of these labors--and the culmination of Diana Kennedy's life's work.
Organized by regions, Oaxaca al Gusto presents some three hundred recipes--most from home cooks--for traditional Oaxacan dishes. Kennedy accompanies each recipe with fascinating notes about the ingredients, cooking techniques, and the food's place in family and communal life. Lovely color photographs illustrate the food and its preparation. A special feature of the book is a chapter devoted to the three pillars of the Oaxacan regional cuisines--chocolate, corn, and chiles. Notes to the cook, a glossary, a bibliography, and an index complete the volume.
An irreplaceable record of the infinite world of Oaxacan gastronomy, Oaxaca al Gusto belongs on the shelf of everyone who treasures the world's traditional regional cuisines.