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Seasons Of My Heary
Seasons Of My Heart
A Culinary Journey Through Oaxaca, Mexico
by Susana Trilling

370 pages, hardcover, The Ballantine Publishing Group, N.Y.; $25.00
ISBN 0-345-42596-0
Reviewed by Mary Kay Etcheverry

From the pages of Epicurean

For a small state in Mexico on the Pacific Ocean, according to Susana Trilling Oaxaca is made up of seven distinct gastronomic regions and her book takes the reader through each of them. Susana Trilling, a caterer and restaurateur from New York city has for the past 10 years run Seasons of My Heart cooking school and Bed and Breakfast in Oaxaca. This book is a companion to her PBS cooking show of the same name.

From each of the seven regions, Trilling presents traditional recipes for soups, salsas, meat and poultry, fish (where appropriate), vegetarian dishes, even drinks. Oaxacan cuisine utilizes corn, squash, chiles, beans, chocolate, tamarind, tomatoes and onions in various combinations, and with fish, beef, pork and rabbit.

By the time Trilling moved to Oaxaca she had more than fifteen years of experience in cooking, including running a Cajun restaurant in New York. She was further influenced by her Mexican grandmother, and her husband who once had his own restaurant in Spain. Her broad cultural experience, and her experience as a professional chef has led her to come up with some her own twists on the regional cuisine, presented at the back of the book, that incorporate Mexican ingredients with a little more polished technique.

Trilling is cognizant of the difficulties Americans may have in coming up with the right ingredients and suggests substitutions whenever possible. The difficulty level varies from recipe to recipe; some are quite simple, others more difficult or at least more time consuming.

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