This gorgeous cookbook (256 pages) was published in May of 2014 by Ten Speed Press. The book takes you to Peru. Melissa read Ceviche and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if she didn't recommend it.
Martin Morales has been cooking since he was 11 years old, learning his way around the kitchen with his great-aunts Carmela and Otilia. He may have started cleaning rice and peeling potatoes for his aunties, but now he calls the shots at his restaurants in London. This gorgeous book lets you bring his food into your kitchen.
Morales is the founder of Ceviche Family, a collection of six restaurants, a bakery, a record label, and an art gallery, all celebrating his home country of Peru. He also hosted the YouTube show Martin’s Peruvian Kitchen . He’s pretty much the goodwill ambassador for the fusion powerhouse that is Peruvian food.
Combining native ingredients with flavors and techniques from Spain, Africa, China, Japan, and Italy, Peruvian food is colorful, complex, sometimes spicy, and made up of surprising combinations: a stir-fry with tomatoes and soy, a chicken dish with spaghetti, scallops with parmesan cheese, ceviche with mirin and ginger.
The book opens with a quote from his Aunt Carmela, ‘Aquí se cocina con cariño,’ which means ‘here we cook with loving care.’ That sentiment shines on every page; there is no mention of food with an emotional attachment, a family story, a detail that connects the dish to Peruvian culture or history.
He recounts going to the beach with his father, sitting on the sand, eating ceviche from food stalls. Peru’s national dish, it’s a bold and elegant combination of the freshest fish and a marinade called ‘tiger’s milk’: lime juice spiked with salt and chiles. Along with a handful of recipes for ceviche, the book includes recipes for Peruvian staples like lomo saltado (beef stir-fry), antichuchos de corazón (beef-heart skewers), grilled fish, slow-simmered chicken, and crispy Andean corn, as well as irresistible desserts and cocktails made with the pride of Peru: pisco.
Morales does a bang-up job adapting recipes for home cooks, so they’re easy to make, even if you haven’t been cooking since you were 11. He also recommends substitutions for ingredients that are difficult to find outside Peru. A welcoming host and supportive guide in the kitchen, Morales also embellishes his how-to tips with charming personal stories of his life in the kitchens of Lima and London with friends, family, and food.
I spent as much time as I could on Makaha Beach in Lima, learning to surf and trying to tame the waves. I loved the Pacific Ocean and relished eating all the delicious fish and seafood that came from it. My father would take us to stalls in the nearby district of Chorrillos for ceviche. Sitting on the beach with the sun pounding down on me and my mouth alive with the lime and chile kick of ceviche was as exhilarating as riding the tallest wave. — Martin Morales
Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.
Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.
This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.
We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.
This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Content on this site is ©2023 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.