Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America

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Overview

The 2013 James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the YearHow to cook everything Latin American.Gran Cocina Latina unifies the vast culinary landscape of the Latin world, from Mexico to Argentina and all the Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean. In one volume it gives home cooks, armchair travelers, and curious chefs the first comprehensive collection of recipes from this region. An inquisitive historian and a successful restaurateur, Maricel E. Presilla has spent more than thirty years visiting each country ...

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Overview

The 2013 James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the YearHow to cook everything Latin American.Gran Cocina Latina unifies the vast culinary landscape of the Latin world, from Mexico to Argentina and all the Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean. In one volume it gives home cooks, armchair travelers, and curious chefs the first comprehensive collection of recipes from this region. An inquisitive historian and a successful restaurateur, Maricel E. Presilla has spent more than thirty years visiting each country personally. She’s gathered more than 500 recipes for the full range of dishes, from the foundational adobos and sofritos to empanadas and tamales to ceviches and moles to sancocho and desserts such as flan and tres leches cake. Detailed equipment notes, drink and serving suggestions, and color photographs of finished dishes are also included. This is a one-of-a-kind cookbook to be savored and read as much for the writing and information as for its introduction to heretofore unrevealed recipes.

The 2013 James Beard Foundation Book Award Cookbook of the Year
Winner of the 2013 IACP Cookbook Award in the General Category

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Presilla, who runs a restaurant in Hoboken, N.J., and holds a doctorate in medieval Spanish history, offers this bible of Latin American food. Well researched, organized, and impressive, this book covers dishes from Mexico, Argentina, and the Hispanic Caribbean. Born in Cuba, Presilla has a passion for Latin food that’s beautifully illustrated in her latest work. Her goal, she explains is “to adapt and transform the elemental beauty and tastes of Latin American cooking to the modern kitchen, while respecting the food’s primary flavors, and to create earthy, intensely flavored dishes.” Presilla includes more than 500 recipes for everything from tropical roots to empanadas and meat dishes of every kind. Some are dishes that Presilla learned as a child cooking with her family (she combines personal stories with her recipes) like “My Grandmother’s Ajiaco,” a soup made with starchy vegetables and dried beef. Others have been interpreted for the home cook, such as yucca bread. Presilla describes the primitive tools used by native people of the Orinoco and Amazon basins, but provides a recipe that uses a food processor to grind the yucca. This comprehensive collection is fascinating, informative, and stunning. (Oct.)
Booklist
“Starred review. This comprehensive and meticulously wrought reference book belongs in every library’s cookery collection.”
José Andrés
“This book not only answers the how but the why as well. Maricel is our bridge to the past, the history of Latin American cocina, describing the original connections to Spain and its cooking and then what has evolved... more aromas, more textures, more flavors, more sexy ingredients. We can now understand Latin America better because of Maricel and the amazing foods that tell its rich history.”
Pete Wells - New York Times
“[A] serious but accessible study.”
Jacques Pépin
“The food of the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking New World is complex, intricate, and has variety and range, extending from Cuba to Ecuador and from Mexico to Brazil. Maricel Presilla, a chef and food historian, takes us through that whole continent in a comprehensible, intelligent, original, and delicious voyage.”
Jose Andres
“This book not only answers the how but the why as well. Maricel is our bridge to the past, the history of Latin American cocina, describing the original connections to Spain and its cooking and then what has evolved... more aromas, more textures, more flavors, more sexy ingredients. We can now understand Latin America better because of Maricel and the amazing foods that tell its rich history.”
Rick Bayless
“I know of no other book that approaches the scholarship, passion and decades-long dedication that Maricel Presilla has lavished on Gran Cocina Latina.”
Harold McGee
“Gran Cocina Latina is a book as grand as its subject. It’s a beautifully written distillation of Maricel Presilla’s decades of experience in the markets and kitchens of Latin America. I can’t imagine a better guide to this vast and underappreciated region. Maricel is a scholar, food importer, restaurateur, tireless explorer, and above all is passionate about everything she does. Gran Cocina Latina explains clearly how to bring the special flavors of Latin America to our own tables.”
Lynne Rossetto Kasper
“Books like this don’t happen very often so drink it in and know it will still be in your kitchen ten years from now.”
Jacques Pepin
“The food of the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking New World is complex, intricate, and has variety and range, extending from Cuba to Ecuador and from Mexico to Brazil. Maricel Presilla, a chef and food historian, takes us through that whole continent in a comprehensible, intelligent, original, and delicious voyage.”
Library Journal
Presilla (The New Taste of Chocolate) is a Cuban-born chef and renowned culinary historian who won the 2012 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic. Her latest, a bible of Latin American cuisine, presents more than 500 recipes for both authentic and modern dishes, from adobos and sofritos, to popular empanadas, tamales, and ceviches, to the less familiar cachapas (corn griddle cakes) and picadillo (a seasoned beef hash). Expertly blending history with travel narrative and memoir, Presilla brings Latin American food culture to life. The comprehensive treatment makes it difficult to isolate information about individual countries, but most readers won't mind. VERDICT An indispensable reference. Highly recommended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393050691
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2012
  • Pages: 912
  • Sales rank: 72,822
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 2.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Maricel E. Presilla is the co-owner of Zafra and Cucharamama, two Latin restaurants in Hoboken, New Jersey. She holds a doctorate in medieval Spanish history from New York University and lives in Weehawken, New Jersey.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    My niece highly recommends this book.

    I bought this book as a Christmas present for my niece, and after she opened her package, you would've thought that she'd just won the Lottery. She was SOOOOOOOOO happy.
    From what I could see, this book has great recipes and the photos are incredible. I may have to borrow it from her.
    Also, B & N shipped this out to me in no time flat. I was expecting it on Friday, but got it on Thursday, so I was very pleased.
    Thanks B & N.

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