The 8 Best Mexican Cookbooks
Mexican food is everywhere. Whether you’re in the United States, the streets of London, or here in Mexico, you’ve undoubtedly enjoyed some delicious Mexican food. Tacos, enchiladas, mole, tamales, and other popular Mexican foods can provide a wonderful way to dive into Mexican cuisine. We’ve written about the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen, but many people have to go home eventually! Here we’ve compiled our list of the best Mexican cookbooks we know of, all tested personally! Living in Playa del Carmen, we have explored the food for you!
1. Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition
Our absolute favorite Mexican cookbook is Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition by David Sterling. This book is more than just a cookbook. Yes, it has incredible recipes for all kinds of food from the Riviera Maya and Yucatán Peninsula. In addition, the book covers history, culture, and some backstory for the dishes. It’s a beautiful book that makes an interesting read, and provides practical guides to common Mexican fruits, vegetables, and staples. We use it quite a bit in our own home, and believe it to be the best Mexican cookbook out there. Check out the pan dulce recipes for some of our favorite snacks!
2. Mayan Cuisine: Recipes from the Yucatán Region
Mayan Cuisine: Recipes from the Yucatán Region by Daniel Hoyer is another book relevant to the area in which we live. A close second to the previous book, Mayan Cuisine is a fantastic book of recipes, stories, and insights into the local culture. Influenced by various cultures across the Caribbean and Europe, this book compiles recipes that span a wide range. You can read the pages between recipes to learn about the culinary history of the area, find delicious recipes for traditional Mexican food, and find an index of useful basics.
3. Hartwood: Bright, Wild Flavors from the Edge of the Yucatán
Hartwood: Bright, Wild Flavors from the Edge of the Yucatán by Eric Werner, Mya Henry, and Christine Muhlke is an amazing cookbook that won an award for travel cookbooks from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, among many other awards. As a young couple, Eric Werner and Mya Henry left their New York City restaurant to move to the town of Tulum, Mexico
4. Mexico: The Cookbook
Mexico: The Cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte was a New York Times Bestseller and Publisher’s Weekly Top Cookbook. Unlike the previous books on this list, this one contains recipes from all over Mexico, covering various regions and cuisines. With over 700 recipes, this cookbook could be your bible of Mexican recipes, and is certainly the most comprehensive Mexican cookbook in our experience. Margarita Carrillo Arronte is a master of her craft, and this book is no exception.
5. Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen
Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen by Gonzalo Guzmán and Stacy Adimando won the James Beard Cookbook Award for International Cookbooks, and was a finalist in the IACP Book Awards. Gonzalo Guzmán is the head chef at the popular San Francisco restaurant Nopalito, and the recipes in the cookbook are inspired by dishes he creates and serves himself. Dishes come from Mexico City, the Yucatán Peninsula, Puebla, and various other regions of Mexico. With recipes for special quesadillas, pork rinds, tamales, aqua frescas, and cocktails, this cookbook provides a way to take your Mexican cooking to the next level.
6. Wahaca: Mexican Food at Home
Wahaca: Mexican Food at Home by Thomasina Miers may not have the resume or awards, but it still is hands-down one of our favorite cookbooks on Mexican cuisine. The recipes in this book are unique to the region of Oaxaca, providing a different take on popular dishes and snacks. Our favorite part about this cookbook is that it contains many recipes for small and healthy appetizers, snacks throughout the day, and easy dishes to prepare. Although it has main courses and the full set of recipes, the small bites are what make this book unique.
7. Pati’s Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking
Pati’s Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking by Pati Jinich comes from Pati’s PBS show Pati’s Mexican Table and is a wonderful cookbook with easy-to-follow instructions. This cookbook is unique in that the recipes are quick, easy, and approachable. Pati’s goal in crafting these recipes of authentic Mexican cuisine was to make the dishes accessible to everyone, especially those with busy lives. The dishes are healthy, offer alternatives to keep the food lighter, and are perfect for families!
8. Simple Food, Big Flavor: Unforgettable Mexican-Inspired Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours
Simple Food, Big Flavor: Unforgettable Mexican-Inspired Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours by Aarón Sánchez is one of the best Mexican cookbooks for many reasons. First, we love Sánchez. If you’ve ever watched the Food Network, you’re probably familiar with this celebrity chef. Simple Food, Big Flavor starts with basic recipes to build your foundation, and builds into more complex recipes. The great part about this format is that it works for all experience levels. If you’re new to Mexican cooking, you can work your way through the book as an instruction guide. If you have experience, you can find unique takes on classic dishes sure to inspire.