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Dec 31, 2012 10:43 AM

Diccionario Enciclopédico de la Gastronomía Mexicana

Good friends spent Christmas in Oaxaca. They lugged back 3 copies of the newly released and updated version of Ricardo Muñoz Zurita's Diccionario.

Not a cookbook, but probably the best reference and resource out there on Mexican cooking and cuisine. It covers just about everything from A to Z in 644 pages. In it Ricardo defines ingredients, cooking styles and methods, the cooking in various regions, utensils, festivals, foodways and more. There are also lists of antojitos, moles, mushrooms, chiles fresh and dried in handy dandy chart form that make it easy to figure out where a dish originated, what the major components are and what it might be called in the various areas of Mexico.

This is an update of his earlier (10+ years ago) Diccionario and was published by Larousse. They've done a bang up job with the new edition. It's beautiful, well laid out, easy to use and enhanced with many color photos.

This is a tremendous resource for serious students of Mexican cuisine. Yes, it is in Spanish.

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  1. Oh wow. I would love to own that book. I see it isn't available easily online :(

    Found this youtube vid on it, makes me want it more, he rambles a lot but his descriptions of the book are really exciting:

    Hmmm, I wonder if I could find someone to get me that book. My sister in law's mom lives in Laredo and my brother and everyone went to Tamaulipas last Thanksgiving. I could have asked my bro to hunt for it then if I had known about it.

    Do you think it is the kind of book that one could find in a major border town like Nuevo Laredo or Juárez cuz I might be able to source it from some family connections. Also, do you know approximately how much it costs? They guy in the video says it is expensive.

    4 Replies
    1. re: luckyfatima

      My friends actually picked this up at Ghandi in Mexico City and had Ricardo sign it, which thrilled me to pieces. It was on sale for $480 pesos (regularly $660 pesos), which translates to about $40. Books, especially hardbound, are not inexpensive in Mexico so $660 or even $480 pesos is probably not affordable for many.

      You could check the Ghandi web site and see if they'll ship internationally?

      If not, have your relatives try Sanborns. They have a book section. I've purchased other books by Ricardo there and I know that they often carry the Larousse books.

      I have the original version and this one is much nicer. If your relatives can't find it, let me know. I go to Tijuana fairly frequently and can look for it there and then ship it to you.

      1. re: DiningDiva

        Awww, that's so kind of you. I will try through connections but if that doesn't work, you might just hear from me :) Thanks for the offer.

        1. re: DiningDiva

          After asking two connections to look for this unsuccessfully, I finally checked on Amazon and saw it was finally there. I ordered it for my own Valentine's Day present (pretext!) and it came yesterday. Have been reading through it off and on since then. It is beautiful! I love it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention by posting about it here, DiningDiva.

        2. re: luckyfatima

          Hi Lucky, I was just in Laredo this past week and could not find it. The problem with Nuevo Laredo is that there is really no bookstores. You can find it in Monterrey at the Ghandi bookstores and in Juarez.

        3. Here is another review

          It says the cost is MXN650. This is close to Amazon's price for Larousse Gastronomique. The article also says it should be in major bookstores in Jan or Feb.

          I will probably get a copy when it hits Amazon.

          1. i may be mistaken (or only wishful thinking), but i dimly remember that someone is putting together an english translation.

            3 Replies
            1. re: FED

              No English as of yet. But in the Amazon reviews someone said that someone at University of TX might be doing a translation so it could be available in the future.

              1. re: FED

                The English translation has been completed. University of Texas Press will be publishing it some time in late 2015.