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From Gujarat to Latin America: our favourite cookbooks for February 2022

Recipes from South America and beyond.

By Gemma Croffie
Published 18 Feb 2022, 06:00 GMT, Updated 18 Feb 2022, 07:22 GMT
Recipes from South America and beyond book covers

Clockwise from left: From Gujarat with Love, by Vina Patel; Advent, by Anja Dunk; Mabu Mabu, by Nornie Bero; The Latin American Cookbook, by Virgilio Martinez; Black Food, edited by Bryant Terry.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller UK

1. The Latin American Cookbook

by Virgilio Martínez

From the tropical islands of Mexico to the tip of Argentina, Virgilio Martínez’s latest cookbook offers up recipes from all over Latin America. Martínez, the chef-restaurateur behind Lima’s acclaimed Central, is known for his reverence for Peruvian ingredients, and here he takes that one step further to celebrate the best produce from across this vast region. 

Recipes are interwoven with the histories of particular ingredients, from beef tongue to sea urchins, offering an overview of how colonisation, geographical variety, immigration and creativity have shaped Latin American cuisines. You’ll also find stories about certain dishes and the traditions that have arisen around them, such as the Guatemalan practice of bringing fiambre, a cold salad, to cemeteries on All Saints’ Day. 

Among the 600 recipes are Chilean hot dogs and Bolivian cheesy cassava skewers, as well as dishes made using unusual ingredients, such as Mexican maguey worm tacos. Sweets, meanwhile, include Venezuelan sticky buns. £35, Phaidon

Cookbook author Virgilio Martinez.

Photograph by Gustavo Vivanco

2. From Gujarat with Love

by Vina Patel

California-based Patel has compiled a volume of vegetarian recipes inspired by her home state of Gujarat, western India. Dishes range from the traditional to the original (the latter including kheer with cherries, and samosa soup) and there are tips on assembling the perfect thali. £20, Pavilion Books

3. Black Food

edited by Bryant Terry

Author and chef Terry has compiled a collection of recipes, poems, essays and art from a variety of black diaspora historians, chefs, artists and poets. The book explores the past, present and future of black food. Recipes include charred red cabbage and peach hand pies. £27.50, 4 Color Books

4. Mabu Mabu

by Nornie Bero

Hailing from Mer Island in the Torres Strait, Bero is chef-owner of Melbourne restaurant Mabu Mabu, where she celebrates the food of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Her book does the same, with dishes such as fresh squid ragu, and hibiscus and quandong (wild peach) frangipani cake. £22, Hardie Grant

Published in Issue 14 (winter 2021) of National Geographic Traveller Food (UK)

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