|"Why my Mexico?" asks Diana Kennedy in her introduction to this
long-awaited book. The answer is simple and obvious: it is a highly personal book about
the Mexico she knows. And no one knows Mexico the way Diana does. When Diana Kennedy first
came to Mexico more than forty years ago, she did not intend to become the country's
premier gastronome. But that is what she has become, traveling endlessly, learning the
culinary histories of families, hunting elusive recipes, falling under the spell of the
beauty of a countryside that produces such a wealth of foods. She has published five books
and is referred to variously as the Julia Child, the Escoffier, and the high priestess of
Mexican cooking. Most important, she has taken as her eternal project to record not only
the wealth of Mexican culinary knowledge and folklore but also the fascinating stories
behind it all.
My Mexico records Diana's recent wanderings, along with memories
stored away from previous trips. With wondrous, novelistic prose, Diana tells the story
behind her discovery of each dish, from the Pollo Almendrado (Chicken in Almond Sauce) she
discovered in Oaxaca to the Estafado de Raya (Skate Stewed in Olive Oil) that delighted
her in Coahuila. Yes, there are some fairly simple recipes for inexperienced cooks--look
for the new guacamoles and the addictive chilatas. More complicated ones are for
aficionados who know the intricacies of the ingredients.
Times have changed greatly since Diana published her first book. More and more
ingredients are available in the U.S., and more and more people have learned of the true
joys of real Mexican cooking. One thing has not changed--Diana Kennedy's passion. For
those who already are familiar with her work, this volume is a much-needed addition to
your library. For those who are not, you are in for a treat of the first order.