Print this page

Latino Heritage Month - Cookbooks & Food

Updated: November 19, 2018

There is not just one Latino/Hispanic 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 which Spain conquered. Here is a sampling of some cookbooks. This list is a small selection of books on this subject.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.