Some of my most fond memories are of going to my Abuela’s house every summer and feeling all my senses being taken over by the delicious aroma of her food. Food became a way for us to bond with one another, even if distance separated us most of the time.
I often yearn to have one of her warm meals, but I feel as if I’ve lost some of her sazón, all because we never wrote down her recipes. This is why it is essential to document everything from our culture — from history all the way down to recipes.
Sure, we can do a quick google search to find information, but how much of it is authentic? How much of it actually comes from the heart of our community?
So if you’ve been feeling nostalgic for Abuela’s cooking, and want to start cooking like her so you can preserve such an important part of your identity, here are some recipe books that will help you get your creative juices flowing.
‘Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America’ — Maricel E. Presilla
Finding authentic Latino recipes can sometimes be daunting. Some people diminish our culture to just tacos and burritos, while others may think we all have the same cuisine. Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America seeks to combat this very thing by bringing us recipes from all over Latin America.
As a chef and culinary historian, Cuban author Maricel E. Presilla has spent over thirty years visiting various countries in Latin America, gathering recipes for appetizers, main dishes, sauce/seasoning, all way to desserts.
‘My Abuela’s Table: An Illustrated Journey into Mexican Cooking’ — Daniella Germain
It’s evident that Daniella Germain put her heart and soul into this recipe book. An illustrator based in Melbourne, she wanted to bring life to her Mexican grandmother’s recipes in a beautiful nod toward her Latina roots. She even took the time to create an edition that depicted American measurements, so those living in the U.S. could navigate it more easily.
From empanadas, huevos rancheros, and churros, this recipe book has some of the Mexican cuisine’s most popular and memorable dishes. You can buy it here.
‘The Brazilian Kitchen: 100 Classic and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook’ – Leticia Moreinos Schwartz
We couldn’t end this list without thinking about our Brazilian neighbors. Leticia Moreinos Schwartz grew up in Rio de Janeiro and wanted to immortalize traditional Brazilian cuisine while incorporating recipes with a more contemporary twist.
From Salmon no Risotto de Caipirinha to Chocolate and Cupuaçú Pudding, this recipe book will have you cooking like your Brazilian Abuela in no time.