Diana Kennedy’s The Essential Cuisines of Mexico

Diana Kennedy – Background

Diana Kennedy moved to Mexico in 1957 after falling in love with Paul Kennedy who was a foreign correspondent for the New York Times. With encouragement from Craig Claiborne she began writing about Mexican food and The Cuisines of Mexico was born.

Some writers have called Diana Kennedy the Julia Child of Mexican cooking. Both were enthusiastic amateur cooks who became the spokesperson for an entire cuisine – Child for American cuisine and Kennedy for Mexican.

The Essential Cuisines of Mexico

The Essential Cuisines of Mexico is a bringing together of three of Diana Kennedy’s already published books including our well-worn The Cuisines of Mexico along with The Tortilla Book and Mexican Regional Cooking.

Recipes from each of these books have been allocated to the most appropriate chapter. We have included a list of the chapters below so you can get a feeling for how the book is structured. It is not the three books published under one cover, it is a restructuring of the topics to fit under the new format.

However, setting that aside we think this is an important book that should be included in every food lover’s cooking library.

The book is divided into the following chapters:


Masa fantasies

Tortillas and tortilla dishes



Soup stews

Beans, rice, and pasta

Egg dishes

Light meals



Sauces and relishes




Assorted meats



Sweet yeast breads

Desserts and cookies


General information.

As you can see from the above list the recipes are organised into either ingredients or courses rather than by region as we stated above.

The book ranges widely across Mexican food and reading them will give you a deeper appreciation of the complexity of the cuisines of Mexico. This book is also one that we have chosen to feature in our Foodtourist Top Fifty Cookbooks list.

You might also like to read this article in the Smithsonian Magazine which is an interview with Margarita Carillo Arronte who has published a book entitled Mexico: The Cookbook.

You can buy The Essential Cuisines of Mexico by clicking on the link below. We receive a small percentage of the sale which goes towards maintaining this site.

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