Veracruz, the lush strip of land bordering the Gulf, is home to the most accessible cooking in all of Mexico. There could be no better guide to this exciting region than the joyfully extroverted Zarela Martinez, chef and owner of New York's best Mexican restaurant and author of two widely acclaimed cookbooks. Now, as the tour guide and host of a nationally broadcast public television series filmed on location, she introduces the culture and food of Veracruz to a North American audience for the first time. In this major new cookbook, Zarela provides a mesmerizing travelogue and absorbing portrait of the region, with more than 200 irresistible recipes.
The cuisine of Veracruz is exceptionally inviting, even to cooks who may think they don't like Mexican food. Complex blends of difficult-to-find chiles and other spices are nearly absent. Thanks to the Spanish influences, the dishes often seem almost Mediterranean in character, with lively indigenous and Cuban notes.