March 20, 2007

The Best Book on Mexico

Last night, 5 days after our return, I finally finished The People's Guide to Mexico.

First, let's just get it out there that I'm not the biggest fan of the ultra hippy pro-marxist types. Berkeley will do that to you. So, you can imagine how thrilled I was at the title of this book. But the reviews were so enthusiastic, and their website was full of great advice, so I bought it.

What a great purchase!

The authors began their treks in Mexico in the late 60s, and sold the first copies of the book in front of Cody's in 1972. Now in its 13th edition, this book is a veritable gold mine of Mexican folklore, knowledge, observations, information, and, of course, hilarious travel stories! Not the least bit pedagogical, it merely provides observations, advice, and opinions for the traveler who is interested in understanding more about their experience.

Many of the chapters are the types of things you wish you'd see in other guidebooks -- cultural explanations, market days, food definitions. And, of course, one of my favorite chapters contains the authors' favorite Mexican recipes. Tonight, we made their sopa de ajo recipe. Simple. Light. Delicious. A perfect base for experimentation. Next time I'm going to use more herbs & chili oil.

But for now, I'll content myself with the knowledge of just how much I'm gonna stink tomorrow!

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