The Best Local Food Books of '05
The Spicy Food Lover's Bible
Dave DeWitt and Nancy Gerlach
Stewart, Tabori & Chang, hardcover, $29.95
Just as its name implies, The Spicy Food Lover's Bible should be kept as a pantry staple for hot-heads, filed right alongside the garam masala, hot sauce and red chile flakes. "Pope of Peppers" Dave Dewitt (editor of Fiery Foods & BBQ magazine) and expert partner-in-peppers Nacy Gerlach investigate the hot stuff from every angle, penning a hardbound school of spice that delves into the science, history, geography, nutrition and flavors of piquant foods everywhere. The Bible's collection of recipes is extensive and takes its inspiration from virtually every heat-seeking place on the planet.
The Wines of New Mexico
University of New Mexico Press, paperback, $19.95
The first New World vineyards were introduced right here in New Mexico more than 400 years ago, setting the stage for a winemaking tradition that remains firmly rooted along the Rio Grande river valley today. Just ask author Andy Sandersier—his Wines of New Mexico takes readers on a virtual tour of 29 of New Mexico's most prominent wineries. Maps, a list of facilities, festival dates and other useful swatches of information make the book an ideal guide for weekend road-tripping. Best of all, the book is appropriate for oneophiles of all levels, from the wine-curious on up: all that's required is a taste for adventure, New Mexico-style.
Culinary New Mexico: The Ultimate Food Lover's Guide
Fulcrum Publishing, paperback, $18.95
It's not as comprehensive as a name like The Ultimate Food Lover's Guide would lead you to believe, but as far as the shifting sands of the New Mexico hospitality industry go, Culinary New Mexico does a fine job. East Coast expatriot Sally Moore has an obvious love for the people, landscape and, of course, foods of New Mexico, and she breaks the state into manageable chunks of information and distinct culinary regions, which are allocated to Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos, then northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast New Mexico. Moore's book covers restaurants and bakeries, food festivals, cooking schools, specialty food stores, farmers' markets and wineries with all the affection and familiarity of a local. Keep this one in your glove compartment.