Cover image for Seasons of my heart : a culinary journey through Oaxaca, Mexico
Seasons of my heart : a culinary journey through Oaxaca, Mexico
Trilling, Susana.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Ballantine Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiv, 369 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), map ; 25 cm
General Note:
"Companion to the national public television series."

Map on lining papers.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX716.M4 T78 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Nestled in the heart of the Mexican state of Oaxaca is Rancho Aurora, home of the Seasons of My Heart cooking school and inn. Ten years ago, chef and owner Susana Trilling left New York City and a very successful catering business to follow what turned out to be her calling--to immerse herself in the foods, culture, and traditions of this remote and exotic region of Mexico and share her knowledge with the rest of the world. In this book and its companion PBS series, Susana shares her deep passion and anthropologic knowledge of this fascinating region whose cuisine remains virtually untouched by influences from the outside world. The pre-Hispanic and Spanish-influenced dishes, such as empanadas, nopales, quelites, and moles, are much more complex and delicious than the usual rice and beans found north of the border. Susana not only takes us on a fascinating journey through the city markets, mountain regions, coastal villages, and low-lying coffee and cacao plantations, she introduces us to the beautiful people who work and live there. Along the way, she shares traditional recipes from each region, with her own improvisations and improvements, showing us how to easily approach this rich and delicious food in a modern American kitchen. From Dona Josefa Sanchez's empanadas de betabel (beet empanadas), served to hungry shoppers at the Etla market in the Central Valleys, to the darkly luscious and mysterious Mole Negro Oaxaqueno (Oaxacan black mole) from the bustling heart of Oaxaca City, cooked up in quantity for the Día de los Muertos (day of the dead), to a tamale-making session given by the locally infamous Candida Blas Aguilar in the sleepy Isthmus region--this is truly a culinary journey through the heart and soul of Oaxaca.

Author Notes

Born and raised in the United States, Susana Trilling has fallen in love with the Mexican people and their culture. She was chef at her own restaurant, Bon Temps Rouler, in New York City, and the proprietor of the very successful New York City-based Seasons of My Heart catering company. In 1990 she opened the Seasons of My Heart Cooking School at Rancho Aurora, her home in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Just as the city of Lyon does for France, Mexico's Oaxaca province serves as the country's culinary heartland, representing the nation's most respected cooking. Trilling has microanalyzed Oaxacan cuisine, producing a comprehensive work that authentically chronicles the cuisine of each of the province's regions. Oaxacan moles are its most famous products. These sauces of chiles, nuts, and sweet spices are a hallmark of Oaxacan cooking, and the author gives directions for preparing each of them by hand and by machine. Trilling also records the vast numbers of soups and desserts produced in Oaxaca. So determined is Trilling to preserve authenticity that she provides a recipe for making chocolate directly from cacao beans. Although finding the required ingredients for many of Trilling's recipes may daunt Northern cooks, anyone serious about Mexican cooking will prize this volume. A public television series complements the cookbook and will increase demand. --Mark Knoblauch

Publisher's Weekly Review

Trilling (owner of a cooking school in Oaxaca City) has done for Mexico what so many have already achieved for Italy: she has picked one of its most culinarily rich areas, the state of Oaxaca, and explored it in depth. The results are outstanding. Chapters are arranged by region, with a few extra chapters on mole sauces and innovative twists on traditional cuisine. The chapter on the Ca¤ada region offers Chiled Chicken Wrapped in Herbs and Banana Leaves, and Layered Mango Pudding. The coastal region provides several fish dishes such as Shrimp and Potato Cakes with jalape¤os and queso fresco, and Warm, Spicy Shark Salad. Throughout, Trilling evinces a fond understanding of her adopted home and shares stories that personalize the recipes, such as the description of her relationship with Bartola Morales, founder of a local human rights organization in the Tuxtepec region and an expert on the local cuisine. The chapter on the seven moles of Oaxaca is simultaneously funny and reverent of the tradition behind such complex pastes as Oaxacan Black Mole, with peanuts, cinnamon and five kinds of chiles, among many other ingredients. A chapter on essential ingredients (many of which readers may find difficult to acquire) includes a list of mail-order sources and several helpful glossaries. Trilling triumphs in taking Mexican cuisine far beyond the knowledge of most American audiences. (Nov.) FYI: Seasons of My Heart is a companion to the author's PBS cooking series. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

With its seven distinct regions, Oaxaca offers some of Mexico's most intriguing food and culinary traditions. Trilling, a former New York City restaurateur, and her husband settled on a ranch in Oaxaca's Central Valley, where he raises corn, tomatoes, and other native crops and she runs Seasons of My Heart, her cooking school. There she teaches Oaxacan cooking to foreigners and international cooking to local women. Now, in the companion volume to a new PBS series, she introduces Oaxaca to a wider audience, exploring each region in turn. Knowledgeable headnotes provide an abundance of information on techniques, history, and specific regional dishes and traditions, and although the recipes can be complicated, the detailed instructions make them accessible to American home cooks. A worthy companion to Diana Kennedy's My Mexico (LJ 9/15/98); highly recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. viii
Introductionp. xii
Chapter 1 The Seven Regions and Gastronomic Culture of Oaxacap. 1
Chapter 2 The Central Valleysp. 7
Chapter 3 The Canada Regionp. 41
Chapter 4 The Coastal Regionp. 72
Chapter 5 The Mixteca Regionp. 104
Chapter 6 The Sierra Regionp. 135
Chapter 7 The Tuxtepec Regionp. 163
Chapter 8 The Isthmus Regionp. 191
Chapter 9 Oaxaca Cityp. 221
Chapter 10 The Moles of Oaxacap. 250
Chapter 11 Traditions Evolvep. 283
Chapter 12 Essential Ingredientsp. 317
Glossary of Spanish Wordsp. 353
Sourcesp. 355
Bibliographyp. 359
Indexp. 361