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Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico

by Bricia Lopez and Javier Cabral

Oaxaca is the culinary heart of Mexico, and since opening its doors in 1994, Guelaguetza has been the center of life for the Oaxacan community in Los Angeles.

The first true introduction to Oaxacan cuisine by a native family, each dish articulates their story, from Oaxaca to the streets of Los Angeles and beyond. Showcasing the “soul food” of Mexico, Oaxaca offers 140 authentic-yet-accessible recipes using some of the purest pre-Hispanic and Indigenous ingredients available. Sections and recipes include:

  • The Staples of Oaxaca
    • ​Masa
    • Huevo en Frijol
  • Antojitos Oaxaquenos (Tamales and Finger Foods)
    • ​Tamales de Mole Negro
    • Tacos de Chapulin y Chicharrón
  • Sopas y Caldos (Soups)
    • ​Pollo en Salsa Verde con Papas y Nopales
    • Caldo de Pata
  • Our Moles
    • ​Mole Negro
    • Mole Verde con Puerco
  • Family Meals
    • ​Chiles Rellenos de Picadillo
    • Tacos de Barbacoa de Chivo
  • Breakfast
    • ​Chilaquiles
    • Huevos Rancheros
  • Salsas
    • ​Salsa de Tomatillo
    • Guacamole
  • Mezcal Cocktails, Aguas Frescas, and Our Michelada
    • ​Pasión de Oaxaca
    • Sparkling Limonada
  • And more!

Lopez writes in her introduction, “In Zapoteco, the thousand-year-old Indigenous language still spoken in Oaxaca, the word for aciento (pork rind paste) is the same word that is used for children, which is the name of the toasted chicharron paste that we smear on tortillas. That is how important food is to us. In our Indigenous languages, we use our staple food to describe us as children.” When you try her recipes, you’ll know why food and life are so connected, vibrant, and essential to the people of Oaxaca.

From their signature pink horchata to the formula for the Lopez’s award-winning mole negro, Oaxaca demystifies this essential cuisine.