Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers... specifically poblanos. Or maybe it was piquillos? No, it had to be padrons. Perhaps chef Maricel Presilla, Latin American cooking expert and author of Peppers of the Americas, can help us sort out which pepper Peter Piper picked. Her encyclopedic reference on all things capsicum is sure to hold the answer. Presilla begins her book with the fascinating history of the pepper, with its first appearance in Boliva, and tracks its travels around the world, covering the botany, people, and cultures which have had a hand in making the pepper one of the most used ingredients in our cooking today.
The three-time James Beard Award winner has packed this visual guide with gorgeous photographs and botanical illustrations to showcase 180 different types of chilis. This is the capsicum bible. It is the one reference you need to help you identify peppers, to learn how to grow these berries on your own, and to master how to buy and store peppers -- be it canning or drying. Presilla even includes 40 pepper centric recipes spanning pastes, hot sauces and entrees.
Peppers of the Americas is an exhaustively researched manual with an astounding amount of information. As a cookbook enthusiast and a pepper addict, I was excited about the recipes that I would find in this book, but what really won me over is the combination of science, history, and storytelling that comprise this volume, what Chef Maricel characterizes as “a highly subjective record of my own garden."
Note: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.