tacopediaFact: The average resident of Mexico consumes 135 pounds of tortillas per year.

Nixtamalization (the process of creating maize dough) was developed at the beginning of Mesoamerican civilization between 1000 and 800 B.C.

Taco culture, however, has only been popular for the last two centuries.

These and other exhaustive facts are featured in the new book, Tacopedia, at all DPL locations.

This travel guide/recipe book has a healthy amount of photos, and quite a bit of scholarly information on the sundry variety of regional variations.  It is an excellent way to learn the difference between suadero and al pastor.

It is frustrating, however, to know there is no way this gringo would ever be able to obtain the correct meat cuts, much less come close on the meticulous recipes.   What’s worse, most of these featured taquerias are hundreds of miles from any all-inclusive resort.

Thankfully, the Quad Cities supports a population that enjoys authentic cuisine.  Armed with what I’ve gleaned from this book, I may brave outside of the burrito at one of our fine local establishments.

Happy Cinco de Mayo to one and all.

cevicheCeviche the Peruvian Kitchen is the first major Peruvian cookbook published for a US audience, featuring 100 recipes from the owner of London’s critically acclaimed restaurant Ceviche.

Flavor-driven and captivating, Peruvian dishes are unique and familiar at the same time. This cuisine combines native ingredients that are becoming increasingly popular in their own right (such as quinoa and amaranth) with Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese techniques and ingredients to create fresh, multicultural gourmet dishes that appeal to America’s ravenous taste for ethnic food.

From sizzling barbecued beef anticucho skewers, superfood salads featuring quinoa and physalis, and piquant ceviche to airy giant choclo corn cakes and lucuma ice dessert, Ceviche the Peruvian Kitchen is the first authoritative cookbook to bring the delicious dishes from Peru’s lush jungles, Andean peaks, and seaside villages to US kitchens. (description from publisher)