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Peppers of the Americas

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by Maricel E. Presilla
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Winner of the James Beard Foundation’s Book of the Year award for La Gran Cocina Latina, Maricel Presilla is both a restaurant chef and a cultural historian. Her handsome new book combines botanical rigor, culinary insight, and historical curiosity.

With entries for more than 170 peppers cultivated throughout the Western Hemisphere, Presilla details varieties such as aji aribibi gusano, a creamy white Bolivian pepper “intense enough for a single pod to flavor a full pot of food;” bonda ma Jacques, used in Martinique and Guadaloupe with an “herbal, fruity aroma;” and chile cobán from Guatemala, which is typically dried and “very hot with a tart undertone and… subtle notes of menthol.”

Nearly every pepper is photographed, and Presilla’s entries describe flavor and appearance as well as traditional uses and name variants. She includes chapters on basic cultivation and preservation, as well an attractive smattering of recipes illustrating the diverse range of flavors found in peppers.

Color photographs throughout. Hardcover.

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