books with flavor

Latin American & Caribbean Cookbooks

Hispanic Heritage Month is the perfect time to explore the culinary traditions of Latin America and the Caribbean. Whether you’re looking for traditional recipes or modern twists on classics, these books have got you covered.

One of the great things about Latin American and Caribbean cuisine is that it’s incredibly diverse. You can find flavors from all over the world, including Spanish, Indigenous, African and Asian influences. This variety means that there’s something for everyone. So, break out your cooking skills and get ready to enjoy some delicious food.

The Fire Of Peru by Ricardo Zarate, Jenn Garbee

Lima-born Los Angeles chef and restaurateur Ricardo Zarate delivers a standout cookbook on the new “it” cuisine —the food of Peru. Zarate has been called “the godfather of Peruvian cuisine” for good reason: He perfectly captures the spirit of modern Peruvian cooking, which reflects indigenous South American foods as well as Japanese, Chinese, and European influences, but also balances that variety with an American sensibility; his most popular dishes range from classic recipes (such as ceviche and Pisco sour) to artfully crafted Peruvian-style sushi to a Peruvian burger. With 100 recipes (from appetizers to cocktails), lush color photography, and Zarate’s moving and entertaining accounts of Peru’s food traditions and his own compelling story, The Fire of Peru beautifully encapsulates the excitement Zarate brings to the American dining scene.

Dulce de Leche by Josephine Caminos Oria

Recipes, Stories, & Sweet Traditions

No matter where you come from, there will always be one food that is a part of your life — the flavor of comfort, where just a taste represents home. Without question, the humble boiled milk and sugar jam known as dulce de leche is just such a cultural phenomenon in many countries, from Argentina and Chile to Mexico and Brazil. In Dulce de Leche, you’ll discover the sweet soul of real dulce de leche, learning how to make the traditional recipe as well as several variations. The taste is pure ambrosia — far superior to most store-bought brands, with a light yet creamy texture.Then cook your way through the day with your dulce de leche, from breakfast muffins, medialunas, and panqueques to cocktail-hour picadas and dinner entrees to pies, alfajores and show-stopping layer cakes. Creamy and gently sweet, you’ll see how just a couple spoonfuls of dulce de leche enhances the flavor of a variety of foods: grains, fruits, vegetables, cheese and even poultry. In fact, you might find it becomes a new family tradition.

The Latin Table by Isabel Cruz

Easy, Flavorful Recipes from Mexico, Puerto Rico & Beyond

For more than two decades, customers have lined up outside the doors of west coast chef Isabel Cruz’s three popular restaurants. Cruz, who is known for her innovative and healthy twist on traditional Latin fare, balances her ingredients to cook the delicious food that she, her family, and her restaurant patrons love. This book is full of simple, easy-to-make recipes with the Latin flavors you’ll love producing in your own kitchen. Some recipes included are: three piggies tacos (carnitas, bacon, and chicharrón), crispy tofu with cilantro lime sauce and mango salsa, salmon with papaya-mango-mint-salsa, char-grilled rack of lamb with cinnamon and cumin, green chile posole with pork, and many more. By creatively blending Latin and Asian cuisine Cruz creates flavorful and health-conscious meals. In The Latin Table, Cruz shares her signature recipes and award-winning cocktails from her restaurants, teaching home chefs how to easily prepare flavorful Latin meals at home.

Rustic Mexican by Deborah Schneider

Authentic Flavors for Everyday Cooking

Traditional dishes from the Mexican countryside by the coauthor of the James Beard Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta.

With more than a 100 delicious, easy-to-follow recipes, a pantry primer and more, Rustic Mexican is the perfect cookbook to help you discover the diverse cuisine of Mexico. Full-color photography, illustrations and ingredient guides accompany recipes throughout, making it a comprehensive roadmap to discovering all the great flavors that Mexico has to offer.

Green Fig and Lionfish by Allen Susser

Sustainable Caribbean Cooking

A practical guide for cooking seafood: Bringing together the allure of the Caribbean Sea and Caribbean island life, this cookbook offers recipes for cooking with seasonal and unusual ingredients. While most of the recipes call for lionfish, the dishes are simple and flexible so any kind of seafood can easily be swapped in.

Eat fresh, local cuisine: Cooking seasonally and locally takes advantage of the best-tasting ingredients at peak ripeness. Chef Allen Susser, dubbed the “Ponce de León of New Florida Cooking” by the New York Times, expertly and effectively teaches us how to blend the spices of the Caribbean into our cooking while using easy-to-understand techniques.

Enjoy a meal that benefits the environment: The overbearing lionfish population has been threatening the balance of marine life and damaging coral reefs. By incorporating these delicious and nutritious fish into recipes, we can help ease the pressure on surrounding native fish and their fragile ecosystems.

Explore new and exciting recipes in this cookbook full of Caribbean flavor. Discover in Green Fig and Lionfish:

Cuban Flavor by Liza Gershman

Exploring the Island's Unique Places, People & Cuisine

A lush journey through Cuba, its paladars, and its flavorful cuisine. For Cubans, food is a complex story — a tapestry of love and loss woven so deeply into their culture that it goes well beyond that of history or sustenance. Gershman, who’s love affair with Cuba began long before her first visit, takes you along on a photojournalistic journey through the streets of Cuba and its paladares through her stunning photographs of the country’s glorious sights, the lively people, and, of course, the amazing variety of food.

Much more than a cookbook, Cuban Flavor is an introduction to a revolutionary era of Cuban cuisine: a new frontier. Growth and transition foster the seed of invention and innovation, and these shifts often begin with food. From the succulent spiced meat of the national Ropa Viejo, simmered in a tomato-based criollo sauce, to the sweet and sticky Arroz Con Leche or the local favorite, Flan served in a soda can, Cuban cuisine has something for every palate. Pair these delights with a warm, sultry night, an old convertible, and a jazz band, and sit back as you fall deeply in love again … or for the very first time.

This visually arresting volume features more than 50 Cuban recipes, from appetizers to main courses and drinks to desserts. Along with color photographs of the dishes, you’ll also get to meet the people who created them. This remarkable volume offers a taste of the little-known culture to a public that has long been deprived of its intoxicating flavors.

Please Wait to Be Tasted by Carla Perez-Gallardo & Hannah Black

Home cooks will love serving up bold-flavored tropical comfort food from Please Wait to Be Tasted, the first cookbook from Lil’ Deb’s Oasis, the James Beard Award-nominated hotspot in Hudson, New York. More than a recipe collection, it’s a big-hearted celebration of food, love, and community.

For flavor-craving, art-loving, community-celebrating home cooks, Please Wait to Be Tasted serves up tropical comfort recipes, alongside musings on wine, music, love, sex, friendship and fashion. At Lil’ Deb’s Oasis in the Hudson Valley of New York, chefs Carla Kaya Perez-Gallardo and Hannah Black, both art school graduates, have created a bright, welcoming, rainbow-colored, LGBTQ+ inclusive community, where guests are treated to “hot, sticky, juicy, moist fever dreams of flavor.” Their recipes mesh respect for cultural traditions with a twist: Ceviche Mixto with Popcorn; Charred Octopus in the Ink of Its Cousin, Sweet Plantains with Green Cream, Abuela’s Flan, and more. With “Please Wait to be Tasted” (a phrase featured in the restaurant’s waiting area), you can bring these recipes home.

In addition to some 70 recipes, Please Wait to Be Tasted shares the knowledge and love that go into making memorable meals at Lil’ Deb’s Oasis: essays on the restaurant’s beginnings and the chefs’ navigation of the colonial histories entangled in their recipes’ origins; tips on techniques, tools and pantry; and lessons on how to eat well together.

Salt & Silver by Johannes Riffelmacher & Thomas Kosikowski

Travel, Surf, Cook

Salt & Silver traces the journey of Johannes Riffelmacher and Thomas Kosikowski as they travel through Central and South America — reporting on all the best surfing locations, chronicling the stories of local surfers and restaurant owners, and compiling recipes representative of each area. The narrative begins in Cuba with beautiful images of the city and the beaches, as well as stories related to the Cuban surfing community and a discussion of popular Cuban dishes. Next is a tour of Mexico — first with street tacos, a trip through Mexican markets and day spent in the urban graffitiscene of Guadalajara; then with tostadas de pulpo (octopus crackers), shrimp and portobello burgers, and glimpse into small town life in the remote surfing town of San Pancho. The Mexican leg of the journey draws to a conclusion with seven-meter-waves, BBQ and Tajine in Rio Nexpa, as well as “a perfect righthander barreling of a point in the scenic La Ticla. After Mexico comes a long list of sites and sounds as the two men make their way through Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Peru and finally Chile, exploring the beaches and waves, as well as the kitchens of each location. Interspersed throughout the pages of the trip are more than 90 regional recipes, over 250 stunning photographs and a wide array of tips and stories ranging from social commentary on the Cuban surf scene to pointers on how to rent a Hamaquera in La Ticla for $3 a night.

These are just a few great titles in our collection. If you’re looking for some new cookbooks to add to your collection, be sure to check out the titles above or below. They’re sure to help you spice up your cooking repertoire.

Book List | Latin American & Caribbean Food

Chicano Eats: Recipes from My Mexican-American Kitchen
Turnip Greens & Tortillas: A Mexican Chef Spices Up the Southern Kitchen
The Food of Oaxaca: Recipes and Stories from Mexico
Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture from My Kitchen in Mexico
Everyday Mexican Instant Pot Cookbook
Taco Loco: Mexican Street Food from Scratch
The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors and History
My Modern Caribbean Kitchen: 70 Fresh Takes on Island Favorites
Spanish Made Simple: Foolproof Spanish Recipes for Every Day
The Chilean Kitchen: 75 Seasonal Recipes for Stews, Breads, Salads, Cocktails, Desserts, and More
The Taco Tuesday Cookbook: 52 Tasty Taco Recipes to Make Every Week the Best Ever
The Mexican Keto Cookbook: Authentic, Big-Flavor Recipes for Health and Longevity
Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America
The Latin Road Home: Savoring the Foods of Ecuador, Spain, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru
Vegan Mexico: Soul-Satisfying Regional Recipes from Tamales to Tostadas
Everyone Loves Tacos
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