Open Fany Gerson‘s My Sweet MexicoTen Speed 2010) and let her wonderful recipes help you celebrate the Mexican bicentennial and centennial (see Super Chef‘s “Celebrate Mexico: The Bicentennial and the Centennial”. This is a book rich in personal and national history. It covers “authentic pastries, breads, candies, and frozen treats with most of the chapters focused on traditional sweets. In the introduction, Fany writes about her own memories captured in a photograph:
Growing up in Mexico City, my favorite place to visit was a store downtown called Dulceria de Celaya. It is a family-owned store that has been around since 1874. Even after visiting countless times, I am transported to an era that has only existed in my imagination. The windows, ceilings, tile floor, wooden showcases, glass jars, and lamps allow me to escape the incredible noisy and busy city right outside. The showcases are filled with delicacies, and the hardest thing to do is not buy the whole store! (p. 2)
The whole store is her cookbook.
The book starts with an ingredients guide with some photographs of exotic fruit like mamey that might not be familiar. A chapter on beverages is rich with history. Chocolate Caliente (pp. 25-27) goes over the history of cacao in Mesoamerica. It is terrific served with Churros (pp. 101-102) the cinnamon-sugar fritter or Pan de Muerto (Dead Man’s Bread), orange flavored sweet yeast rolls (p. 109). Atole de Zarzamoras is a Blackberry Corn Beverage (p. 29) made with piloncillo and fresh masa.
The following chapter covers sweets from the convents, like Almond Stuffed Prunes (p. 42-3), Pumpkin Seed Candy (p. 47), and Milk Fudge (p. 51). The wonderful, earthy photographs by Ed Anderson show nuns, stack of fudge and artisans making candy.
There are plenty more chapters to explore, including an interesting one on corn sweets, and the final chapter on modern Mexican desserts.
Whether you get this book for the Mexican celebrations or to learn how to make Tres Leches Cake (pp. 142-144) there are wonderful treats in My Sweet Mexico.