The book: Mexico by Margarita Carrillo Arronte
The angle: An encyclopedic collection of all the regional foods of Mexico
Recipes for right now: Green Chilaquiles with Chicken, Amaranth Salad, Bay Scallop Ceviche, Garlic Soup, Fish in Charred Corn Husks, Slow-Cooked Pork in Tequila, Goat Stew, Pan de Muerto, Mango Meringue Puddings
Who would enjoy this book? Anyone eager for a deep-dive into authentic Mexican cuisine.
• Who wrote it: Margarita Carrillo Arronte
• Who published it: Phaidon
• Number of recipes: 650
• Other highlights: Where do I start?! From the hot pink cover to the stunning photos to the fact that there are a heaping 650 recipes between these pink covers — this cookbook is an absolute show-stopper. It is by far one of the most comprehensive collections of regional Mexican cuisine that I have ever encountered. Margarita Carrillo Arronte has been steeped in the Mexican food culture for decades, as the leader of the Slow Food Movement in Baja and serving as the culinary ambassador for the Ministry of Agriculture; she definitely has the chops to write a book like this one.
This book assumes that we are fairly confident and experienced home cooks with at least some familiarity with Mexican ingredients. Arronte doesn't hold our hands through recipes, but her directions also feel comprehensive. If you get deep into cooking from this book, you will likely have to do some treasure hunting to find specific ingredients, but there are plenty of recipes that can be made with a just quick trip to the grocery store.
It feels incredibly ungrateful to quibble when this cookbook already contains so much knowledge, but I do wish that the recipes included headnotes. Even just a little information would be helpful for giving the recipes context or explaining terms — What makes "Tlalpan-style" chicken unique? How did "Quarantine Broth" get its name? What are papadzules? It feels like a missed opportunity to do such an incredible job of cataloging all these recipes without saying anything about them.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Mexico by Margarita Carrillo Arronte
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.