A culinary celebration for Hispanic Heritage month

Seira Wilson on September 29, 2020

A culinary celebration of Hispanic Heritage month

As we continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month, we turn our attention to one of my favorite things: food. The flavors of Latin America are as bold and varied as the people and cultures of that part of the world, but one thing is universally true: these are dishes that bring people together.  Here are six cookbooks we love that showcase the culinary delights of Mexico, Cuba, Chile, and more. 

Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico by Bricia Lopez with Javier Cabral

One of my favorite restaurants here in Seattle is La Carta De Oaxaca, where I can't get enough of their mole negro. This cookbook is from another Oaxacan restaurant, the iconic Guelaguetza Restaurante, in Los Angeles which I hope to try the next time I'm there. In Oaxaca, author and restaurant co-founder Bricia Lopez shares 140 dishes and the stories that go with them, including her signature mole negro. Accessible and inviting, if you love Oaxacan food and want to make it at home, this is your cookbook.

Chicano Eats: Recipes from My Mexican-American Kitchen by Esteban Castillo

Author Esteban Castillo is the founder of the blog Chicano Eats, and in his cookbook by the same name he focuses on chiles, beans, tortillas, corn, and tomatillos, the key ingredients at the heart of Mexican food, crossing many borders. 100 beautiful photographs accompany 85 recipes that marry traditional Mexican flavors with techniques and influences from across the States. Chicano Eats is a delicious introduction to crave-worthy dishes - both traditional and fusion - served up with Castillo's original style.

The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History by Ana Sofia Pelaez and Ellen Silverman

I was lucky enough to visit Cuba last year, and in the short time I was there I ate as many meals as I could possibly pack in. In the James Beard nominated cookbook, The Cuban Table, author Ana Sofia Pelaez takes home cooks on a journey into the recipes and the culture of Cuba, as shared through a variety of sources. 110 recipes demystify some of the closely guarded secrets of authentic Cuban dishes, including the quintessential Cuban sandwich and savory pastelitos. And don't forget that elixir of the gods, a Café Cubano. 

The Chilean Kitchen: 75 Seasonal Recipes for Stews, Breads, Salads, Cocktails, Desserts, and More by Pilar Hernandez and Eileen Smith

A brand new cookbook that showcases the flavors and "stay a while" approach of Chilean hospitality. The recipes in The Chilean Kitchen are divided into seasons, reflecting the style of cooking in Chile where fresh ingredients dictate what you'll find at mealtime. Each section orients the reader to the time of year and takes us on a virtual trip to this beautiful country.  Each of the 70+ recipes is authentic, many of them from Hernandez's family, handed down over generations, and all of them bursting with flavor. 

A Taste of Latin America: Culinary Traditions and Classic Recipes from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico & Venezuela by Patricia Cartin

A Taste of Latin America represents the culinary traditions of ten different countries, and highlights what is unique about each of them.  Hearty stews, bright seafood, and luscious desserts fill these pages. This culinary travelogue of a cookbook includes recipes for both the novice and advanced cook, so as your love for Latin American cuisine deepens, so too will your familiarity and skill at mastering the various techniques and ingredients that bring these dishes together.

The Mexican Home Kitchen: Traditional Home-Style Recipes That Capture the Flavors and Memories of Mexico by Mely Marti­nez

Author Mely Martinez grew up in Tampico, Tamaulipas and learned age-old techniques and recipes for Mexican dishes at her grandmother's farm in Veracruz.  In The Mexican Home Kitchen, Martinez replicates the home cooked meals of her childhood and her travels around the country, with dishes that reflect the best of each region. A helpful introduction to Mexican pantry staples and techniques gets readers off on the right foot before they dive into the 85+ recipes that cover basics like tortillas and salsas, as well as meals for special occasions, and weeknight soups, mains, and sides.

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