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Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition
     

Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition

by David Sterling
 

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 Yucatán 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

Overview

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 Yucatán 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 Yucatán 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 Yucatán'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, Yucatán: 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 Yucatán coast to sample a bounty of seafood; shares "the people's food"at bakeries, chicharronerías, street vendors, home restaurants, and cantinas; and highlights the cooking of the peninsula's three largest cities—Campeche, Mérida, 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, Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition is the long-awaited definitive work on this distinctive cuisine.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - William Grimes
…a big book in every way. [Sterling]…has produced an authoritative account of a cuisine he has been immersed in for decades. Lavishly produced, with hundreds of photographs, Yucatán is part travelogue, part history, part encyclopedia, written in an unexpectedly casual, engaging style…If it's from the Yucatán, it's in there, either to marvel at or to make.
The Los Angeles Times - Russ Parsons
"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."
The New York Times Book Review
"Lavishly produced, with hundreds of photographs, Yucatan is part travelogue, part history, part encyclopedia, written in an unexpectedly casual, engaging style."
Saveur
"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."
Art of Eating Prize
"David Sterling’s Yucatán 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."
Albuquerque's Local IQ
"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."
Mexconnect
"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."
The Los Angeles Times
"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."
Katie at the Kitchen Door
"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."
Albuquerque's Local IQ - Dave DeWitt
"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."
Mexconnect - Karen Graber
"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."
Portland Book Review - Site owner
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.
Washington Post
"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. "
Washington Post - Bonnie S. Benwick
"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. "
Saveur - Oliver Erteman
"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."
Art of Eating Prize - Harold McGee

"David Sterling’s Yucatán 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."

Portland Book Review
"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."
Star News Online
"David Sterling has possibly penned the reader of the year with his six-and-a-half pound, 576-page Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition, surely the most authoritative tome that land’s cuisine has ever seen."
Library Journal
★ 06/15/2014
Sterling, founder of the Yucatecan cooking school Los Dos, invites readers on a gastronomic tour of the Yucatán Peninsula, challenging them to try something new and undertake recipes such as lomitos de Valladolid (cubed pork loin in tomato/chile sauce with creamy strained lima beans) and chocolomo (beef organ-meat stew in peppery broth). Some recipes are multiday affairs, but they're clearly written and intended for home cooks. An introductory index provides an invaluable reference to unique Mesoamerican ingredients. VERDICT The culmination of more than ten years of research, this is the definitive work on Yucatán cuisine and far more comprehensive than other books on "Mayan cooking."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780292735811
Publisher:
University of Texas Press
Publication date:
03/30/2014
Series:
The William and Bettye Nowlin Series in Art, History, and Culture of the Western Hemisphere
Pages:
576
Sales rank:
378,363
Product dimensions:
9.90(w) x 11.20(h) x 1.70(d)

What People are Saying About This

Diana Kennedy
"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 Yucatán."

Meet the Author

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, Condé Nast Traveler, and Frommer’s.

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