Book review: Taqueria | Paul Wilson

Mexican cuisine is one of the fastest growing and most progressive parts of the modern food scene. The food truck craze sweeping Australia, can be attributed in part to the popularity of Mexican food trucks in the southern states of the USA (California included). It’s a versatile yet inventive option.

Taqueria is a celebration of the vibrancy of Mexican taco culturel. Written by Chef Paul Wilson – regarded as Australia’s foremost expert on Latin-American food culture – the book dives into the art and craft of Mexico’s greatest culinary export.

But it comes with a twist.

The book is more an interpretation of Mexican food culture. It includes a creative lineup of tacos, sides (encompassing salads, salsas and pickles) as well as cocktails. And there’s a healthy dose of new-age ingredients too. Think chia-crusted mackerel with pomegranate mojo, prawn and quinoa quesadillas, nectarine and sweet potato salad and duck breast tacos.

On the cocktail front the book makes use of Australian ingredients (hello frozen finger lime margarita) as well as dishing up twists on old favourites. There’s recipies for coffee margarita, mango and chilli margarita and a smoky cold medina.

From the citrusy notes of the yucatan Peninsula to the rich, earthy sauces of Oaxaca, Paul’s book demonstrates that there’s so much more to Mexican food than the ubiquitous lime and jalapeno.

Taqueria will undoubtedly appeal to foodies and home cooks, but it’s also a visually appeal guide to the highlights of Mexican food, with stunning photography. Reading the recipes provides inspiration for tweaking your own favourite Mexican recipes with local and exotic ingredients.

Taqueria is out now via Hardie Grant Books.

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