A Taco Testimony: Meditations on Family, Food and Culture

Overview

Acclaimed author/actress Denise Chávez explores the history, lore, and preparation of tacos—and other art forms—in a warm and exuberant memoir, with recipes.

"Tacos are sacred to me," writes Chávez, who's set many a fictional scene in a Southwestern restaurant or around a dinner table. And here are her special recipes, including her mother's Tacos a la Delfina ("I swear these tacos are really good cold!") and Granma Lupe's Pasta (not macaroni ...
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Overview

Acclaimed author/actress Denise Chávez explores the history, lore, and preparation of tacos—and other art forms—in a warm and exuberant memoir, with recipes.

"Tacos are sacred to me," writes Chávez, who's set many a fictional scene in a Southwestern restaurant or around a dinner table. And here are her special recipes, including her mother's Tacos a la Delfina ("I swear these tacos are really good cold!") and Granma Lupe's Pasta (not macaroni but a savory mincemeat-like taco filling). Here, too, are tips on shopping, cooking, and serving: "Offer up the meal with gratitude and remember: Tacos are one of life's greatest things!"

"We live in chile country," she adds. "We are blessed to be here. Food is more than food; it's a culture. And tacos are more than tacos."

Chile country is the setting for Chávez's magical, tragicomic fiction. And in A Taco Testimony she also tells wonderful stories that connect literature with culture and food with life along the Mexican-American border.

"Time and love are the essence of all Mexican cooking," Chávez says—including her spicy, juicy writing, and this feast of a book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781887896948
  • Publisher: Rio Nuevo Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/8/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 8.15 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Denise Chávez has her roots in New Mexico, Texas, and México and learned to love tacos in all of these places. An award-winning fiction writer, playwright, actress, and teacher, Chávez considers herself a "performance writer." In 1995 her first novel, Face of an Angel, won the American Book Award as well as many other honors. Her works include the novel Loving Pedro Infante, nonfiction, fiction for children, and more than 45 plays. Her writing and her many community projects have been supported by the Fulbright Commission, the Lannan Foundation, and a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award. Chávez founded the Cultural Center of Mesilla and the Border Book Festival, of which she is executive director. She lives with her husband in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2007

    A Taco Testimony: Meditations on Family, Food and Culture

    I can only imagine who the multicultural maven is that wrote the stinging review. Obviously this person is not from the southwest nor do they understand the cultura here. For the majority of people who live in the author's city and others understand what Chavez was trying to convey. She exposes herself and her family so that we get a view of what occurs and how the thread of food runs in our family life. It is sad when people cannot comprehend anothers views or culture and then proceed to make obnoxious comments.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2007

    A Huge Disappointment

    As a resident of the author¿s city, I was looking forward to reading her much anticipated release. Unfortunately though, I was sorely disappointed. In fact, the reviewer who awarded A Taco Testimony two stars was generous. Unlike the 2-star reviewer though, I stuck with it, reading page after dull page, hoping it would improve (but never does), much like a monotonous ¿Saturday Night Live¿ skit that doesn¿t know when to end. Without semblance of structure, she haphazardly places poems, recipes, and anecdotes at random, repeating herself ad nauseam utilizing the sophomoric ¿Taco is life¿ metaphor. Moreover, her inchoate thoughts lack depth and detail. Riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions, full of fluff and devoid of content, her style resembles that of a grade-groveling high school sycophant, trying to con her audience with melodrama and malaise, but inevitably saying nothing of note. In her weak attempt to explain ¿Culture¿, for example, she affirms that it is lack of cultural awareness that results in our inability to know and respect others which ultimately causes violence in the world. Here, I agree. Yet her very example epitomizes HER ignorance of culture. With awkward phrasing she states, ¿A man who lives here but is not from here is trying to sue the city to get the three crosses, the symbol of our town, removed from all public displays.¿ Not only does she promote divisiveness by insinuating that he is an outsider, despite claims throughout her book that we are all one people, she fails to acknowledge that the crosses of Calvary are recognized worldwide as the autograph of Christianity ¿ that the triumvirate could represent centuries of violence perpetrated against non-believers. By failing to recognize the identities of non-adherents of Christianity, she obliterates them from the landscape, engaging in her own brand of cultural imperialism. Thus, the crosses are not merely the symbol of our town, the simplistic notion that the author would like us to believe. Perhaps the author is better suited to writing fiction. I can only hope her tacos are better than her book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2006

    A Taco Testimony: Meditations on Family, Food and Culture

    I heard Denise read from her book at a recent book festival. All our social and family event revolve around food. There are some foods that no one can make as good as your mom did. The collection of stories is heart warming and funny. If you get a chance, listen to Denise read from her book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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