Central American and South-Central Mexican Cuisine & Culture
With a wide array of edible plant biodiversity and historical wealth, Mesoamerica offers naturally vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free foods, and more. But fully enjoying the dishes of this region isn't possible without understanding how the ancient cultures behind them came to be. In Amalia's Mesoamerican Table, chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard uses her signature blend of timeworn culinary traditions with modern infusions to create fresh and healthy recipes sure to entice home cooks and trained chefs alike.
Besides vivid photography of every dish, Amalia's Mesoamerican Table features 132 recipes plus variations of traditional dishes from Amalia's upbringing in her native land and travels in South-Central Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama, as well as historic and personal anecdotes of her time cooking with multiple generations of indigenous natives in the area. From tantalizing drinks and cocktails to appetizers, scrumptious rice and vegetable creations, light and hearty soups, ancestral cookery, coastal delights, baked goods, artisan sweets, and more, this cookbook takes readers on a comprehensive trip across Mesoamerica without ever leaving the kitchen. Amalia's Mesoamerican Table will leave every reader with deep appreciation for this biodiverse, pluricultural, and multi-ethnic region.
AMALIA MORENO-DAMGAARD is a bilingual chef entrepreneur born and raised in Guatemala and author of the nine-time award-winning, bestselling book Amalia's Guatemalan Kitchen: Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair. Amalia is an advocate of regenerative farming, sustainability, and DEI. She helps individuals and organizations of all sizes develop a broader understanding and appreciation of Latin cultural nuances using traditional, healthy gourmet cuisine as a platform for keynote speaking, representing brands, consulting, and teaching. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu with a master's in international business, a prior corporate career, and travels in all seven continents, Amalia is also the cofounder and chief board advisor of Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota. Her community work includes board service, philanthropy, media-driven food and culture education, and empowering and mentoring women. She was named Woman in Business Champion of the Year by the US Small Business Administration-Minnesota District Office and received the Catalyst and Advocate Awards by Women Venture and NAWBO-National Association of Women Business Owners-Minnesota, respectively, among other accolades.
"Amalia's Mesoamerican Table brings the culinary landscape of this vast, diverse region into our kitchens. In one volume, she's gathered a comprehensive collection of recipes, history, traditions, lore, plus new interpretations of beloved dishes. With a glossary of ingredients; techniques and tips; foundational moles, salsas, and adobos; menu suggestions; and sumptuous color photography, this is a book to be used and savored." - Beth Dooley, James Beard Award–winning food writer
"It's rare to find a book that wraps important issues like sustainability, biodiversity, regenerative agriculture, and native food culture restoration into one published piece. Congratulations, Amalia, for accomplishing the task in stunning, compelling, and delicious form! And thanks for setting us all up with the Native Mesoamerican edible glossary, pantry, and images, so we can take a trip to Guatemala without having to leave home!" - Michel Nischan, author of Sustainably Delicious, founder of Wholesome Crave, and four-time James Beard Award–winning chef
"This book oozes tradition and authenticity with updated twists. Every page celebrates Chef Amalia's skill with fresh, colorful, exciting ingredients and recipes. What a treasure—more than just a recipe book, it shares history, customs, and traditions, using indigenous ingredients. Flipping through this book feels like an exotic vacation focused on food." - Chef Gale Gand, author, teacher, and TV personality
"Amalia describes a colorful, diverse, and appealing foods of her native Guatemala that go way beyond corn tortillas and hot peppers. The depth of flavors and colors make me want to go straight to the kitchen and start cooking or to pop into her kitchen to absorb some of the aromas of this exotic but accessible cuisine." - Beatrice Ojakangas, James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame author
"Amalia has written a delicious piece of history about a beautiful part of the world, full of educational information, tasteful traditions, and gorgeous artwork. She gives readers deep insight into Mesoamerican homes, families, foods, and festivities with organized lists, incredible recipes, and amazing colorful photographs in her remarkable second cookbook." - Sue Zelickson, James Beard Award winner; food reporter, Minnesota Monthly Magazine and WCCO Radio; founder of Women Who Really Cook, Kids Cafe, the Charlie Awards, and the 1006 Summit Ave Society