Latinx Heritage Month: Cookbooks & Food

Updated: October 15, 2022

There is not just one Latinx cuisine, instead there are great varieties with recipes from unique regions in Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean Islands, Spain and other parts of the world. This list is a small selection of books from LAPL's major cookbook and food collection.

1,000 Spanish recipes
Casas, Penelope.
Call Number: 641.5946 C335-5

Penelope Casas was one of the modern food experts on Spanish cuisine.  Greek-American, with a passion for the food of Spain, she delineated it from Mexican and South American cuisine. This is her last book which has recipes that are easy and attainable for the most challenged of home cooks.

America's first cuisines
Coe, Sophie D. (Sophie Dobzhansky), 1933-1994.
Call Number: 641.0972 C672

Corn, potatoes, beans, peanuts, squash, avocados, tomatoes, chocolate and chiles were indigenous to the cultures and cuisines of the Aztecs, Mayas, and Incas. For many millennia, long before the Spanish invasion, these foods were cultivated for use in cooking. The individual foods, which have become ubiquitous, and their preparation are examined by Coe in a thorough and interesting style.


Chicano eats : recipes from my Mexican-American kitchen
Castillo, Esteban
Call Number: 641.5972 C3515

This cookbook/memoir matches vibrant recipes with vibrant photographs and illustrations. The creator of the award-winning blog Chicano Eats presents traditional and fusion recipes that are easy to prepare and share.


Cuba cooks : recipes and secrets from Cuban paladares and their chefs
Pernot, Guillermo,
Call Number: 641.597291 P452

A modern take on Cuban food that encompasses its diverse culinary history with innovative new techniques.

Delicious El Salvador: 75 Authentic Recipes for Traditional Salvadoran Cooking
Maher, Alicia
Call Number: 641.597284 M214

Alicia Maher's award-winning book features traditional Salvadoran recipes and techniques, which has a recipe for Quesadilla Salvadoreña or Salvadoran sweet quesadilla cake.

Dulce : desserts in the Latin-American tradition
Flores, Joseluis.
Call Number: 641.8 F634

Master pastry chef Joseluis Flores presents a wonderful array of desserts: flans, puddings, cookies, sweet breads, cakes and pastries, fruit desserts, chocolate desserts, ice cream, sorbert and granita.

El Cholo cookbook : recipes and lore from California's best-loved Mexican kitchen
Shindler, Merrill.
Call Number: 641.5972 S556

El Cholo Cafe is a Los Angeles institution dating back to 1922, where there are fourth and fifth generations working at the restaurant. This book combines history, memories and some of the old time recipes.

The food of Spain
Roden, Claudia.
Call Number: 641.5946 R687

Claudia Roden is an authority on the foods of the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Italy.  She brings insight, history and thorough research on the regions and foods of Spain.  This is a massive work.

Grape, olive, pig : deep travels through Spain's food culture
Goulding, Matt,
Call Number: 641.0946 G698

More than a travel and culinary adventure, Matt Goulding explores and delivers mouth-watering insights about the culture, foods, wines, agriculture in eight cities and one region in Spain.

Guerrilla Tacos : recipes from the streets of L.A.
Avila, Wesley,
Call Number: 641.821 A958

Bend the taco like Wesley Avila and you have guerrilla tacos  He takes basic tacos and serves them up with mouthfuls of surprises.

Havana salsa : stories and recipes
Carballo, Viviana.
Call Number: 641.597291 C263

Stories and recipes are combined in this memoir of Cuba in the 1940s and 1950s.  This was the heyday of partying with lots of good food and drinks, tourists, music, and government corruption.  Viviana Carballo's family was charming and adventurous, with big personalities. Almost all of the recipes are prefaced with some anecdote relating to family or cultural events.

Hugo Ortega's street food of Mexico
Ortega, Hugo, 1965-
Call Number: 641.5972 O767

Hugo Ortega, award-winning chef and restaurateur, steps outside to bring us recipes for street food of Mexico. More often than not street food is the best food. Included are full-page color photographs of food, people and markets.

L.A. Mexicano : recipes, people & places
Esparza, Bill,
Call Number: 641.5972 E773

Bill Esparza has written the ultimate book about Mexican food in Los Angeles, which includes:  history about people and places, recipes, resources, neighborhood restaurants listed by region and by specialty. In addition there are vibrant color photographs by Staci Valentine. In the introduction Gustavo Arellano best summarizes who Esparza is and what he has created.

"He is America's finest chronicler of Mexican food right now, the Livingston of lengua, the Magellan of menudo, the Captain Cook of carnitas. He tracks down the most obscure Mexican regional dishes, whether in a tiny Mexican village or an alley in the middle of the San Fernando Valley, and lets the world know about it, bringing big, necessary business to mom-and-pop shops. And he does this with no formal journalism training and while playing sax across the world."

The book is also available on e-Media

Made in Spain : Spanish dishes for the American kitchen
Andres, Jose, 1969-
Call Number: 641.5946 A561

Restaurateur, TV presenter, food writer, and recent winner of the United States National Humanities Medal (2016), Chef José Andrés presents the best of regional Spanish cooking.

Mallmann on fire
Mallmann, Francis,
Call Number: 641.5982 M254-1

Argentine grill master and South American celebrity, Francis Mallman shares basic techniques and recipes, and adds a few secret family recipes.

Mexican ice cream : beloved recipes and stories
Gerson, Fany,
Call Number: 641.86 G382-1

Unusual ice cream and sorbet flavors such as Avocado-Passion Fruit and Corn and Cacao.

Mi cocina : recipes and rapture from my kitchen in México
Martínez, Rick (Chef)
Call Number: 641.5972 M38545

Rick Martínez, food writer and chef, takes readers on a tour de force, lip-smacking, journey through Mexico. His own recipes are glorious, accompanied by anecdotes and full-page color photographs.   


My Mexico : a culinary odyssey with recipes
Kennedy, Diana.
Call Number: 641.5972 K35-4 2013

Diana Kennedy is one of the key experts on Mexican cuisines. Married to a journalist who was stationed in Mexico, Kennedy became an expert historian because of her love and fascination with Mexico, its people, culture and definitely the great variety of foods.  She established the Diana Kennedy Center in Mexico to preserve the native foods, resources and cuisine.

My sweet Mexico : recipes for authentic breads, pastries, candies, beverages, and frozen treats
Gerson, Fany.
Call Number: 641.8 G382

Pastry chef Fany Gerson presents a personal and professional overview of Mexican sweets. Great recipes and their origins are traced, and Gerson includes personal experiences and insights. There are numerous color photographs of the desserts and local cooks and chefs in Mexico.

The new complete book of Mexican cooking
Ortiz, Elisabeth Lambert.
Call Number: 641.5972 L222 2000

Along with Diana Kennedy, Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz is the other Englishwoman who became enthralled with Mexican cuisine and its history.  As with Kennedy, Ortiz thoroughly researched the food, the people, their culture and history, and conveys her fascination and love with precision, ease and wit.  She traces Mexico's major contributions to world cuisine: chocolate, vanilla, corn, the great variety of chilies, tomatoes, avocados, green beans, dried beans, pumpkin, papayas, summer squashes, and other foods. The chapters on foods, with historical introductions, go way back to the original peoples of the country, the Aztecs, Mayans, Toltecs. The only dated section is for food resources. Here in Los Angeles/Southern California we have the world of foods within easy reach.

Nopalito : a Mexican kitchen
Guzman, Gonzalo Gonzalez,
Call Number: 641.5972 G9934

Gonzalo Guzman, head chef at San Francisco's neighborhood restaurant, give us 100 traditional recipes from Puebla, Mexico City, Michoacan, the Yucatan, Veracruz, and elsewhere, and add his own spin on all of them.

Oaxaca al gusto, an infinite gastronomy
Kennedy, Diana.
Call Number: 641.5972 K35-7

Diana Kennedy is the authority on all types of  Mexican cuisine. In this very large book, 10 inches by 12 inches and weighing about 10 pounds, she has organized her thorough research on Oaxacan gastronomy, which includes recipes, preparation and cooking of produce, plants, spices and delicacies.  Organized by region in the table of contents and in the index, the book includes numerous full-color pages of photographs and smaller images. There are three pillars of Oaxacan cuisine: chocolate, corn and the unique chiles of Oaxaca.  A terrific book to cook from and to read.

Oaxaca: Home Cooking From the Heart of Mexico
Lopez, Bricia
Call Number: 641.5972 L8635

The Lopez family shares the recipes from their Guelaguetza Restaurant that has served up traditional Oaxacan cuisine for over 20 years.

Puerto Rican cuisine in America : Nuyorican and Bodega recipes
Rivera, Oswald, 1944-
Call Number: 641.597295 R621 2015

In this revised edition of his original cookbook, Oswald Rivera adds more information about the history, food and culture of Puerto Rico, with the island's unique mix of Spanish, African and Caribbean peoples.

Taco USA : how Mexican food conquered America
Arellano, Gustavo, 1979-
Call Number: 641.0972 A679

There are Mexidan fast-food franchises all over the United States, and although the food does not resemble anything traditional, Americans love to eat at these places. Gustavo Arellano states that Mexican food is not new to the United States, and gives us some history of how this came about. In addition he rates some of the best Mexican restaurants, cafes and dives throughout the country.

Tapas, the little dishes of Spain
Casas, Penelope.
Call Number: 641.5946 C335-1

Tapas are part of a Spanish culinary tradition, eaten late in the evening as snacks or appetizers, with entire restaurants or bars devoted to them. Penelope Casas' book provides an enormous variety of recipes and ideas so that everyone can prepare, share and enjoy them with family and friends.

A taste of old Cuba : more than 150 recipes for delicious, authentic, and traditional dishes highlighted with reflections and reminiscenses
O'Higgins, Maria Josefa Lluria de, 1918-
Call Number: 641.597291 O37

The author remembers Cuba from the 1920s and 1930s, and the recipes are from her family and friends. 

Trejo's tacos : recipes and stories from LA
Trejo, Danny, 1944-
Call Number: 641.59794 T787

Who is that guy smiling, holding a chopping cleaver? Actor Danny Trejo has portrayed the scariest of bad guys, but he can do more. The man can cook. He has written a cookbook, a confession about his wild life, and tales of Los Angeles. As Danny says, “It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish.”

Vegetables unleashed : a cookbook
Andres, Jose, 1969-
Call Number: 641.65 A561

Spanish-American chef José Andrés brings his passion, verve and innovation to vegetable dishes.  There are easy-to-follow recipes for main dishes, side dishes, desserts and drinks with fabulous color photographs by Peter Frank Edwards.