Peppers of the Americas: The Remarkable Capsicums That Forever Changed Flavor

Peppers of the Americas: The Remarkable Capsicums That Forever Changed Flavor

by Maricel E. Presilla


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Peppers of the Americas: The Remarkable Capsicums That Forever Changed Flavor by Maricel E. Presilla

Winner of the 2018 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Cookbook Award for "Reference & Technical"

A beautiful culinary and ethnobotanical survey of the punch-packing ingredient central to today's multi-cultural palate, with more than 40 pan-Latin recipes from a three-time James Beard Award-winning author and chef-restaurateur.

From piquillos and shishitos to padrons and poblanos, the popularity of culinary peppers (and pepper-based condiments, such as Sriracha and the Korean condiment gochujang) continue to grow as more consumers try new varieties and discover the known health benefits of Capsicum, the genus to which all peppers belong. This stunning visual reference to peppers now seen on menus, in markets, and beyond, showcases nearly 200 varieties (with physical description, tasting notes, uses for cooks, and beautiful botanical portraits for each). Following the cook's gallery of varieties, more than 40 on-trend Latin recipes for spice blends, salsas, sauces, salads, vegetables, soups, and main dishes highlight the big flavors and taste-enhancing capabilities of peppers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399578922
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 08/01/2017
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 376,934
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

MARICEL PRESILLA is the chef-owner of two pan-Latin restaurants (Cucharama and Zafra) and a cooking atelier (Ultramarinos), president/founder of Gran Cacao Company (a cacao importer), a frequent contributor to Saveur, and a former medieval Spanish history professor (Rutgers). She has been profiled in the New York Times and Washington Post, and led the White House's Latin culture showcase in 2010. She was named the James Beard Best Chef Mid-Atlantic in 2012; her opus, Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America, won the James Beard Book of the Year in 2013; and she was inducted into the Beard Foundation's Hall of Fame in 2015.

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Excerpted from "Peppers of the Americas"
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Copyright © 2017 Maricel E. Presilla.
Excerpted by permission of Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


A Pepper Epiphany vii 

The Silent Gardeners 1 

Pepper Anatomy and Heat 13 

The Capsicum Clan 24 

Peppers into Words 41 

The World Travels of Peppers 66 

Gallery of Fresh Peppers 81 

Gallery of Dried Peppers 195 

Into the Pepper Garden 219 

Cooking with Peppers 227 

Resources 330

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Peppers of the Americas: The Remarkable Capsicums That Forever Changed Flavor 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
summer_no9 More than 1 year ago
This book was remarkable writing and compelling to read and very inspire and giving us a lot of knowledge that will guiding to one of the most important ingredients of food industry is the peppers. We learn how the paper grow and travel around the wold plus some of the cooking receipt with the paper. I highly recommend to everyone must to read this book. " I received complimentary a copy of this book from Blogging for Books programs for this review".
Rosemary-Standeven More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, and before I was even half way through the ARC computer download I ordered a hard copy. I have been a fan of peppers – particularly the hot ones – for a long time. Mainly to cook with and to eat, but also to admire the look of the fresh fruit. But even so, I was really gobsmacked by the incredible variety and beauty of the many peppers pictured and described in this book. With each picture is an idea of how the pepper is best used, what sort of heat, flavours, perfume etc that is commonly has, often where it grows, and sometimes a bit of history attached to that particular cultivar. I wanted to grow and taste every single one of the peppers – though I have had to realise that won’t really be possible. Still I can dream. And that is just the dictionary part in the middle of the book. The book begins with an exhaustively researched and fascinating history of peppers, starting with their first appearance in Bolivia and Peru, and then tracking their branching into the five main species: Capsicum annum; C. frutescens; C. chinense;, C. pubescens and C. baccatum, by looking at archaeological findings going back eight thousand years and up to the Hispanic conquests, and then the writings of Spanish and Portuguese invaders, missionaries and travellers, onto the spread to the rest of Europe (particularly through the monasteries), to India, Asia, to Africa – basically everywhere – through recipe books, travellers, physicians and botanists’ reports … This is a completely new way to examine the history of Columbus’ trips to discover the Americas – via the continent’s food and food related customs. From there, it is a history of how the now regarded as traditional chili laden cuisines of Thailand, Szechuan China evolved, and how the agribusiness of producing peppers has grown and mutated worldwide, along with its potential ecological and social repercussions. The final section is the recipes. I have tried a few, such as the excellent “Red Snapper in a Spicy Creole Sauce”, “Panfried Pork Steaks in Guajillo-Puya Adobo” and the very moreish “Spicy Pickled Cucumber” (made that one twice). There are several that I still want to try, but will wait until I get the hardback book – and the correct peppers. The recipe section by itself is not especially outstanding – though it does contain a wide range of good recipes. But in combination with the encyclopaedia of peppers, you get a real insight into why you are asked to use particular peppers, what flavors, aromas and particular heat you should expect from the recipe, and which peppers could be used as possible substitutes. I feel I will now have the tools I need to re-examine recipes from other books, which also use peppers, to improve my cooking and understanding. As someone who has previously mainly categorized chilies according to their heat, I have had my eyes opened to how much I have been missing out on. Unlike the author, I cannot readily buy a variety of fresh peppers at local markets (despite living in London), but luckily can order some by mail order from The South Devon Chili Farm (my order went in today!). So, soon I will embark on more pepper laden meals, and hopefully start growing some too. This is an exceptional book for anyone interested in cooking, the history of food, world history, archaeology, botany, beautiful plants … it has something for everyone. I can hardly wait until my own hard copy arrives. I received this copy from publisher via NetGalley