Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking Latin American
La Comida del Barrio : Latin-American Cooking in the U.S.A.
Published: May 6, 2003
Read More, Buy It
The Latin-American population is the fastest growing in the United States--over 30 million people. Just look at the starting lineup of Major League Baseball if you need deeper proof. It's a population rich in cultural diversity, roots
reaching back all over the place--Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Peru, Argentina. And the nice thing that happens in this country, as Aaron Sanchez so eloquently points out in his first cookbook, La Comida del Barrio, is that this multilayerd diversity melts
all over itself and becomes something new while suggesting something old and stable.
"This book is not about 'authentic' regional dishes," Sanchez writes in his introduction. Rather, it's about the real food of the real barrio, the Latin
neighborhood, wherever that may be these days in the US. You'll find a small soup stand, la fonda, in the marketplace and that's his first chapter--black bean soup, shrimp chowder, plantain soup, menudo. Then there's the home kitchen restaurant, el
paladar, open to the lucky ones who can find it. Stews are typical, and that's the next chapter--Brazilian cassoulet, roasted rabbit. The chapters march right up the Latin dining scale: la taquerand#237;a for street snacks, la rosticcerand#237;a for
roasted meats, el comedor (the restaurant) for salads and entrees, el Mercado for vegetables and side dishes, la panderand#237;a for baked goods and sweets, la jugerand#237;a for drinks, and a final chapter on essential recipes.
Latin culinary landscape as it's found throughout the US is captured between the covers of La Comida del Barrio. Sanchez has done a wonderful job. You can take this food into your own home. But what's especially nice, with this book tucked under your
wing, you can explore the barrio nearest you and taste it all for real. --Schuyler Ingle
In this groundbreaking cookbook, chef Aarand#243;n Sanchez explores the delicious food and exciting culture of the barrios-the vibrant
Latin-American neighborhoods from Miami's Little Havana and New York's Spanish Harlem to San Francisco's Mission, and the entire United States in between. These rich neighborhoods have spawned a new cuisine, melding tradition with experimentation, and
taking advantage of locally available ingredients and modern cooking methods. This book is a celebration of that cuisine: not the painstakingly authentic dishes of the homeland, or the hypercreative chef-y inventions of fusion cuisine, but the
comforting, delicious food that's enjoyed in home kitchens and mom-and-pop restaurants across the country, accessible to all cooks.
Since a defining aspect of Latin-American culture is the variety in eating establishments-from casual street
vendors to upscale sit-down restaurants, the meal is defined as much by the place as by the dish-La Comida del Barrio is organized by types of eatery:
and#8226;Fondas, market stands, for soups such as Pozole Verde and Black Bean
and#8226;Paladares, home-kitchen restaurants, for hearty entrées like Chicken Fricassée and Carne Mechada (Shredded Beef)
and#8226;Taquerand#237;as, street stands, for quick snacks that include tacos, tamales, gorditas, sopes, tortas, and
other portable foods
and#8226;Rotiserand#237;as, cafés, for roast meats such as Steak in Red Chile Sauce and Cuban Pot Roast
and#8226;Comedores, restaurants, for sit-down meals with starters like Cactus Salad with Shrimp and main courses like Arroz
and#8226;El Mercado, the market, for sides such as Refried Black Beans, Roasted Corn with Chile-Lime Butter, and Stuffed Plantains
and#8226;Panaderand#237;as, bakeries, for desserts that include Flan de Coco, Dulce de Leche, and Rice
and#8226;Jugoerand#237;as, juice stands, for drinks like Batidos (tropical shakes) and Sangrand#237;a
Read More, Buy It