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Yucatan : Recipes from a Culinary Expedition

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Winner, James Beard Foundation Best Cookbook of the Year Award, 2015 James Beard Foundation Best International Cookbook Award, 2015 The Art of Eating Prize for Best Food Book of the Year, 2015 The Yucatan Peninsula is home to one of the world's great regional cuisines. With a foundation of native Maya dishes made from fresh local ingredients, it shares much of the same pantry of ingredients and many culinary practices with the rest of Mexico. Yet, due to its isolated peninsular location, it was also in a unique position to absorb the foods and flavors of such far-flung regions as Spain and Portugal, France, Holland, Lebanon and the Levant, Cuba and the Caribbean, and Africa. In recent years, gourmet magazines and celebrity chefs have popularized certain Yucatecan dishes and ingredients, such as Sopa de lima and achiote, and global gastronomes have made the pilgrimage to Yucatan to tantalize their taste buds with smoky pit barbecues, citrus-based pickles, and fiery chiles. But until now, the full depth and richness of this cuisine has remained little understood beyond Yucatan's borders. An internationally recognized authority on Yucatecan cuisine, chef David Sterling takes you on a gastronomic tour of the peninsula in this unique cookbook, Yucatan: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition. Presenting the food in the places where it's savored, Sterling begins in jungle towns where Mayas concoct age-old recipes with a few simple ingredients they grow themselves. He travels over a thousand miles along the broad Yucatan coast to sample a bounty of seafood; shares "the people's food"at bakeries, chicharronerias, street vendors, home restaurants, and cantinas; and highlights the cooking of the peninsula's three largest cities-Campeche, Merida, and Valladolid-as well as a variety of pueblos noted for signature dishes. Throughout the journey, Sterling serves up over 275 authentic, thoroughly tested recipes that will appeal to both novice and professional cooks. He also discusses pantry staples and basic cooking techniques and offers substitutions for local ingredients that may be hard to find elsewhere. Profusely illustrated and spiced with lively stories of the region's people and places, Yucatan: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition is the long-awaited definitive work on this distinctive cuisine.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 576 pages
  • 259.08 x 302.26 x 45.72mm | 2,880.3g
  • University of Texas Press
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • English
  • 385 color and b&w photos, 36 drawings, 3 maps
  • 0292735812
  • 9780292735811
  • 727,567

Review quote

"David Sterling must have taken great joy in putting this book together, for it reflects tireless research that was surely driven by an intense desire to learn as much as possible about the cuisine and the culinary traditions of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula." -- Karen Graber Mexconnect "Whether you want to learn how to cook this cuisine or just want to take a trip (without the airplane ride) this book is worth the effort to consume." Portland Book Review "Lavishly produced, with hundreds of photographs, Yucatan is part travelogue, part history, part encyclopedia, written in an unexpectedly casual, engaging style." -- William Grimes The New York Times Book Review "Endorsements from Mexican culinary expert Diana Kennedy come few and far between, so Sterling, the founder of Los Dos Cooking School, must know what he's doing. At 500-plus pages and coffee-table size, the book is sure to be a long-term, definitive reference guide. " -- Bonnie S. Benwick Washington Post "Beyond Sterling's encyclopedic and meticulously-researched knowledge of Yucatecan food, his love for and connection to the region and its fare are evident on every page; it is rare to find such humble passion and vigor in a volume that is so comprehensive and informational." -- Oliver Erteman Saveur "David Sterling's Yucatan would be a remarkable book in any year and sets a high bar for future aspirants to The Art of Eating Prize. It's an impressively synoptic portrait of a little-known region and its rich food culture, the product of years of immersive experience and study, whose genial prose, copious photographs, and approachable recipes work together beautifully to communicate the vitality of Yucatecan cooking." -- Harold McGee Art of Eating Prize "Starting the book knowing nothing about the Yucatan, except that it looks like a nice place to go on vacation, I quickly realized I was in the hands of an expert. I was easily drawn into the narrative of this ideologically isolated peninsula, even when that narrative had nothing whatsoever to do with food. History, geography, biology - you'll get a little bit of everything with this book. Of course, eventually it all ties back to food and cooking, and I don't know if there was a single recipe in this book that I wasn't interested in trying." Katie at the Kitchen Door "Sterling does a great job as a culinary travel guide, offering the inside scoop on the people, places, and ingredients of one of the world's greatest regional cuisines." -- Dave DeWitt Albuquerque's Local IQ "David Sterling has possibly penned the reader of the year with his six-and-a-half pound, 576-page Yucatan: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition, surely the most authoritative tome that land's cuisine has ever seen." Star News Online "In the lavishly illustrated book, Sterling, who runs a cooking school in Mexico, pulls together the various ethnic and cultural strands that make up Yucatecan cooking-influences from France, Spain and Portugal, Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean." -- Russ Parsons The Los Angeles Times

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Table of contents

Acknowledgments How to Use This Book Introduction: !Explora Yucatan! Part One: The Yucatecan Market Overview Index to Ingredients Part Two: The Maya Heartland A Natural Continuum The Monte The Milpa The Solar Part Three: Fertile Shores Celestun Sisal Progreso San Crisanto San Felipe Tulum Punta Allen Part Four: The People's Food La Panaderia La Chicharroneria Comida Callejera La Cocina Economica La Cantina and el Restaurante Familiar Part Five: The Urban Matrix Empire Building Campeche Merida Valladolid Part Six: The Pueblos Felipe Carrillo Puerto: Nectar of the Gods Hunucma: Buried Foods Kanasin: Nexus of Yucatecan Tacos Lerma: A Feast for Kings Mani: Inquisition to Transformation Motul: Garnishing History Oxcutzcab: Land of Oranges and Chocolate Pomuch: Villa of Bakeries Temozon: The Ethereal Essence of Smoke Tetiz: The Sweetest of Pueblos Tizimin: Cowboy Country Pantry Staples Recados / Xa'ak' / Seasoning Blends Frijoles / Bu'ul / Beans Salsas / Sauces Other Staples Basic Techniques About Maize and Masa Arroz / Rice Basic Preparation Techniques Working with Chiles Preparing Meats for Cooking The Ethereal Essence of Smoke Resources Bibliography Photo and Drawing Credits Index to Recipes General Index

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About David Sterling

David Sterling is founder, proprietor, chef de cuisine, and teacher at Los Dos Cooking School, the first culinary institute in Mexico devoted exclusively to Yucatecan cooking. His work at Los Dos has been featured on The Martha Stewart Show ("Martha in Mexico") and Mexico: One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless. He's also been acclaimed by the New York Times, the New Yorker, Gourmet, Travel & Leisure, Globe & Mail, ELLE, National Geographic Traveler, Conde Nast Traveler, and Frommer's.

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