cover of book
 

A Desert Feast: Celebrating Tucson's Culinary Heritage
by Carolyn Niethammer
University of Arizona Press, 2020
Paper: 978-0-8165-3889-8 | eISBN: 978-0-8165-4202-4
Library of Congress Classification TX633.N54 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 641.59791776

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK

Drawing on thousands of years of foodways, Tucson cuisine blends the influences of Indigenous, Mexican, mission-era Mediterranean, and ranch-style cowboy food traditions. This book offers a food pilgrimage, where stories and recipes demonstrate why the desert city of Tucson became American’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy.

Both family supper tables and the city’s trendiest restaurants feature native desert plants and innovative dishes incorporating ancient agricultural staples. Award-winning writer Carolyn Niethammer deliciously shows how the Sonoran Desert’s first farmers grew tasty crops that continue to influence Tucson menus and how the arrival of Roman Catholic missionaries, Spanish soldiers, and Chinese farmers influenced what Tucsonans ate.

White Sonora wheat, tepary beans, and criollo cattle steaks make Tucson’s cuisine unique. In A Desert Feast, you’ll see pictures of kids learning to grow food at school, and you’ll meet the farmers, small-scale food entrepreneurs, and chefs who are dedicated to growing and using heritage foods. It’s fair to say, “Tucson tastes like nowhere else.”

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