Taste of Tucson
Sonoran-Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona
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RUSA BOOK AND MEDIA AWARD WINNER • READING THE WEST AWARD FINALIST • AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHY 37 WINNER • IPA INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD WINNER • INTERNATIONAL COLOR AWARDS NOMINEE: Named one of the best cookbooks of the year by The Arizona Republic, Phoenix New Times, Arizona Daily Star.
“Jackie’s delicious book takes me back to Tucson, with each incredibly delicious recipe, tied to stories and wonderful characters. It will connect you to the one and only place that Tucson is. What a delight!” ~Pati Jinich, Chef, Cookbook author and host of PBS Pati’s Mexican Table
A collection of delicious Sonoran-style recipes from local restaurant experts and the author’s own original recipes, all inspired by the rich culture of Southern Arizona.
A cookbook dedicated to the foods inspired by the region’s beauty and diversity, Taste of Tucson discovers through recipes and photos the unique mix of cultures that create Southern Arizona’s incredible Sonoran-style cuisine. Award-winning photographer and cookbook author Jackie Alpers shares her own inspired recipe creations in this book as well as recipes for her favorite restaurants’ dishes, while incorporating the history of the region, the mysticism and lore, and how it has contributed to the food of the people who live there. Building from tried-and-true basics and tutorials on tacos, enchiladas, carne asada, and huevos rancheros, she divulges secrets to making the Tucson area’s most unique Sonoran style savories and sweets, including Chicken Mole Amarillo, Adobo Pulled Pork, Red Pozole, Dark Chocolate and Coffee Figgy Pudding Cakes, and more.
For cooks of all levels, from anywhere in the world who loves to dine on this Southwestern region’s foods, this cookbook welcomes you to bring the Sonoran region’s best and most iconic tastes into your own kitchen
“A love letter to Tucson and Sonoran food, food photographer Jackie Alpers takes us not only through southern Arizona cuisine, but also to her favorite spots in the Old Pueblo. The book also notes the culinary influence of the Tohono O’odham people on Tucson.
Pandemic bread hobbyists can learn how to make award-winning baker Don Guerra’s Barrio Sonoran Sourdough Bread, a three-day labor of love with local ingredients, or pistachio compound butter, a recipe from chef Bruce Yim of Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort. Alpers also shares her personal touches, such as the time she was inspired by Passover to make Matzalbondigas, her version of Spanish-style meatballs.
Tucson’s food scene seems to be underappreciated, despite being a UNESCO city of gastronomy. Thankfully books like these are a testament to the diversity of Sonoran cuisine and talent of local chefs.” The Arizona Republic
“Homey and yet polished, this small gem delivers a flavorful journey through southern Arizona cuisine. Bright, vivid photos and rich context convey the unique culture and spark any appetite. A glossary of pantry items, cheese, and most importantly peppers, round out this title, that while specific to a region, will be a pleasure to all. Barrio Sonoran Sourdough Bread with Pistachio Compound Butter is a treat.” 2021 RUSA Book and Media Awards
“its collection of recipes from some of southern Arizona’s favorite spots offers the chance to make the home kitchen a creative place.” Steve Goldstein, host of The Show on NPR
“Jackie’s Happy Plate blogger Alpers celebrates the cuisine of Tucson, Ariz., in this informative debut cookbook. Much of the fare is heavily inspired by Sonoran-style Mexican cuisine, and there are plenty of classics on offer, such as chunky guacamole, arroz con pollo, and Mexican street corn. Other tempting dishes include caldo de queso (potato and cheese soup), calabacitas con queso (cheesy squash with corn and tomatoes), and Sonora-style pico de gallo (fresh fruit and vegetables seasoned with chili and lime). Alpers also includes her own fun fusions, like matzalbondigas (she swaps the meatballs in the soup for matzo balls), and a Thai-Mex slaw spiked with a serrano chile. She also includes visual glossaries and helpful descriptions of staple ingredients, such as fresh and dried chiles (for ancho chilis, she writes, “Dried poblano chile with a sweet, fruity flavor and a mild heat level”) and Mexican-style cheese (cotija, she notes, is “crumbly and salty like grated parmesan”). Along the way, Alpers provides a history of Tucson and considers how the region’s past has influenced its cuisine (for the Cod Tlalpeo with chickpeas, she writes, “Chickpeas were introduced by the Spanish into the Southwest along the Rio Grande by 1630″). Fans of Southwestern cuisine will appreciate this flavorful recipe collection.” Publishers Weekly (Featured Review)
“Taste of Tucson is an inordinately fun and accessible guide to a distinctive regional American cuisine.” Foreword Reviews
“In addition to staples like cheese crisps, Alpers has an entire section on Mexican snack foods including El Guero’s Sonoran hot dogs, recipes for tostilocos and tostinachos, even a hot dog taco. This sets the book apart from previous Tucson cookbooks, which tend to focus on homestyle Mexican restaurants with servers and combo plates. (Although, the book does have some of that too.)” Arizona Daily Star
“Not just with regional appeal, this cookbook will find a welcome home among anyone looking to recreate Southwestern classics. Verdict: Highly recommended.” Library Journal
Five Arizona Cookbooks You Should Own: “If you’re looking for niche, Arizona-specific cuisine, Jackie Alpers focuses on Tucson-style Mexican favorites in Taste of Tucson: Sonoran-Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona. Recipes include her chicken mole Amarillo recipe, a less sweet yet nuttier version of the classic Sonoran dish. Also, she includes pantry staples that are a must for this kind of cooking. Think chiltepin peppers, dried Mexican oregano, and masa flour. There are also recipes for tacos, enchiladas, carne asada, huevos rancheros, and of course dessert, meaning her dark chocolate coffee pudding cake.” Phoenix New Times
“Taste of Tucson is a bold, colorful collection of recipes that include Molletes, an open-faced breakfast sandwich, Cream of avocado soup, and Shrimp with creamy goat cheese-poblano sauce. Jackie’s recipes are packed with a flavor punch and I am eyeing the Desert dessert nachos and Potato salad with chile-lime vinaigrette and red onion.” Eat Your Books
Taste of Tucson is A Certified Tucson City of Gastronomy Recommended Cookbook
While some of the chefs featured in this book are also on the Taste of Tucson Downtown food tour, neither this book nor its author are affiliated with the Taste of Tucson food tour.