Jump to content

Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the society.


"Gran Cocina Latina" by Maricel Presilla

  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 heidih

  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 10,989 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles

Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:29 PM

Cruising through the local food news I came upon this post. Has anyone seen the book or have thoughts on it? Does it take on too much?

Amazon link

#2 kalypso

  • participating member
  • 723 posts
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:32 PM

I own this cookbook. It is a tour de force and deserves the accolades it's gotten.

It is also a rather daunting book at 900+ pages. There is a ton of pretty well researched information in it and the sections are reasonably well organized. Rather than split the book into chapters that focus on each country, Maricel has chosen to organize the book by ingredient/typcial menu categories and then provide supporting material and recipes that actually show the interrelationships and regional differences in the way dishes are prepared or ingreidents handled. I have not yet cooked from the book, but in reading through some of the recipes, I have no doubt they are doable. But at 900 pages how do you figure out where to begin :wacko:

The book for me is a bit unweildy becuase of it's size. I find it a bit awkward to handle and am wondering how that will translate to real time usage in the kitchen. I would have preferred to have the book broken down into 2, possibly 3, volumes simply for ease of handling.

Edited by kalypso, 15 January 2013 - 11:34 PM.

#3 budrichard

  • participating member
  • 1,710 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 06:25 AM

After perusing a library copy, I put this book on my 'Wishlist' and received it for XMAS. I agree with the above comments basically.
It is a Tour de Force!
If you cook a lot of South Ameicna cusines, it's the best I have seen!-Dick

#4 Twyst

  • participating member
  • 296 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:40 AM

I have it and think its great. It's not flashy in the least bit, but its a huge book with an incredible amount of information inside. If someone is looking for a book to look through and see pictures to get inspiration for dishes to cook, this is not the right book, but if someone wants a reference book that thoroughly explores latin american food, this is the clear winner. Think of it as the latin american version of David Thompson's "thai food".

#5 rancho_gordo

  • participating member
  • 1,228 posts
  • Location:Napa, California

Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:29 PM

I've used the book twice, and with excellent results.
Mexican food is so different that I might have left it out. You can't have anything but a superficial look at it but she's done a great job with everything.
Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!
Twitter @RanchoGordo
"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

#6 janeer

  • participating member
  • 1,255 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:30 PM

just ordered it from amazon. Sounds great.

#7 Cyberider

  • participating member
  • 14 posts

Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:13 PM

I got mine a couple of months ago and it's a fascinating read for anyone interested in Latin American cooking. Even if I never cook anything from this book, I don't regret getting it because it is so interesting and so big! By the time I get done reading it, I'll be ready to start over again. If you are a member of The Good Cook book club you can get it for $10 on one of their "buy 4 or more books for $10 each" sales. A real bargain IMHO.