Yucatan : Recipes from a Culinary Expedition

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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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  • Hardback | 576 pages
  • 259.08 x 302.26 x 45.72mm | 2,880.3g
  • University of Texas Press
  • Austin, TXUnited States
  • English
  • 385 colour and b&w photographs, 36 drawings, 3 maps
  • 0292735812
  • 9780292735811
  • 664,617

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"The book runs through all the sub-regions of the Yucatan, almost a food-driven road trip in text. And beyond Sterling's encyclopedic and meticulously-researched knowledge of Yucatcan 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. The photographs capture scenes from the streets, food stalls, and home kitchens, as well as landscapes from the region. Nothing feels staged; the images of the recipes are mouth-watering, yet homey, imperfect, and entirely in tune with the rest of the book. The recipes, too, are surprisingly accessible." - Saveur "This is not just a cookbook; it's also a labor of love that well documents places, people, and, yes, food on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula [...]The more than 275 recipes are gathered in groupings based on the heartland, the coast, the cities, and the villages, populated, too, with excellent photographs of many Yucatan natives (meet 73-year-old Hernan Perrera Novelo, who still farms his plot). Ingredients are featured with a description and their culinary uses, including both familiar and indigenous, such as avocado, cashew apples, oscillated turkey, and lobster, to mention a handful. It will be difficult not to turn on all the burners and oven to try pilikanes, turkey in maize, fish-head soup, pan dulce, or crispy fried pork skin." - Booklist "The Yucatan Peninsula encompasses 132 miles for every page of this epic endeavor, surely the largest and most comprehensive exploration of Yucatan cook-ing to be found north of the Gulf of Mexico [...]mong the more than 275 recipes, are savory options like pork belly confit and mincemeat-filled maize dumplings, and sweets that make ample use of Mayan chocolate, such as the chocolate frozen custard with achiote, vanilla, allspice, and chile. A chapter on basic techniques, such as making tortillas and cooking tamales, rounds out the work, while an excellent categorical index of the recipes makes it easy to search out entrees based on ingredients rather than region." - Publishers Weekly "Sterling has compiled the archaeological history of the Mexican peninsula with more than 275 authentic recipes. It might look like a coffee table tome, but don't be fooled - the recipes are easy to follow and fit just about any lifestyle from hardcore gourmand to busy eater." - SA Current "[Yucatan] has more than 275 recipes and truly captures the cuisine of the region. But more than that, 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 great regional cuisines... I totally agree with Diana Kennedy's assessment of Sterling's work: "I know of no other book in print today, or in the past for that matter, that explains so meticulously the ingredients and history of the foods of Yucatan." - Burn Blog "[Diane] Kennedy's seal of approval says plenty about the integrity of Sterling's approach to Yucatecan cuisine... he delves deep into the history of the peninsula, filled with recipes from as far back as the pre-Columbian period, as well as dishes that are made and eaten today. (There is plenty of overlap, as I learned.) The abundant photographs and short essays on nearly every page, giving the book vibrancy and clear sense of place... Sterling's adaptations of this food are all deeply, deeply satisfying." - Serious Eats "A stunning new addition ... Yucatan: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition by David Sterling offers not only tons of incredible recipes and gorgeous photography, but a wonderful introduction to the Yucatecan people, culture, history, and environment as well. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to explore this beautiful book, and can say with no hesitation that it holds a feast of delights in store for both newcomers to and seasoned gourmands familiar with Yucatecan cuisine." - BookPeople blog

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