This fascinating, large (550+ pages), handsome book offers a lush regional tour of Mexico's markets, from its bustling great cities to its bucolic villages, offering not only recipes but sidebars on remarkable ingredients, and profiles of vendors and cooks, all in the name of capturing the diversity of the country's foods.
The late David Sterling, who founded a cooking school in Yucatan and won extensive plaudits for his first cookbook, divides Mexico into five major regions in order to highlight the geographic and cultural factors that enrich the country's heritage. In these pages he is attentive to historical detail, tracing some customs to pre-Colombian practices, intrigued by resilience of traditions within different ethnic groups, curious about etymology, and alert to a wide variety of influences, such as food from monasteries and convents. Mercados is compellingly detailed, even as one must acknowledge that it can only begin to capture Mexico's abundance.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.