Books, TV series, and movies to learn about Mexican gastronomy

Mexican culture represents different ways of life and carries distinctive aspects of our country.

For us, art is expressed where things are crafted with the heart, exteriorizing emotions that bring us together as a nation. That said, we can affirm that gastronomy is an art that reconciles us with culture through our senses and appetites. 

Experiencing gastronomy is done exclusively with our tastebuds because it is also possible to experience it through words and/or images. This is why we have selected some books, TV shows, and movies to teach you about Mexican gastronomy and what makes it so unique. Enjoy!

Diccionario enciclopédico de la gastronomía mexicana (Encyclopedic Dictionary of Mexican Gastronomy)

Some classify it as the most comprehensive book on Mexican gastronomy because it contains more than 4000 terms and definitions. The ingredients, utensils, dishes, and techniques described are always oriented to Mexican cooking.

Larousse edited this 700-page dictionary, and it is one of the most recognized books by the Mexican chef and food researcher Ricardo Muñoz Zurita. Undoubtedly, the twenty years of research the book took him can be appreciated on every page.

This is an exhaustive reading experience for those foodies who love detailed investigations of food culture and history. (To explore Mexican history and food for yourself in Mexico City, we recommend you join us for our Coyoacan Food Tour.

Cultura gastronómica en la Mesoamérica prehispánica (Cultural Gastronomy in the Prehispanic Mesoamerica)

Alberto Peralta de Legarreta, teacher, and researcher in cultural and gastronomic tourism wrote this book, considering Mesoamerican social practices and culinary traditions to explain the importance of gastronomic culture as an expression of a group’s identity.

In addition, his book describes how humans devour symbols via food and includes a gastronomic inventory with detailed descriptions of Mesoamerican ingredients, dishes, utensils, and techniques.

An in-depth journey through the wonders of Mesoamerican food culture.

Taco Chronicles

This Netflix series shows how people inside and outside of Mexico live our culture through tacos.

The first-person narration is told from each taco’s point-of-view, and the amazing photography and close-ups are mouthwatering.

Whether they’re talking about tacos al pastor, de canasta, carnitas, barbacoa, asada or guisado, the chefs, writers, cultural guides, and taco makers (taqueros) in these chronicles always have something to say that compliments the story of this classic Mexican dish.

Como agua para chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate)

Alfonso Arau’s 1992 motion picture was a success, as was Laura Esquivel’s eponymous novel on which it was based.

The magical realism of this intimate, personal Mexican love story makes us want to watch it a thousand times.

However, apart from the story, the way gastronomy is used as a link and metaphor for each character’s feelings makes it unique. Last but not least, home cures and authentic Mexican recipes are described through the story, making it a highly valued Mexican cinema motion picture that everyone should get to know.

A Tale of Two Kitchens

This Netflix documental tells the story of Mexican chef Gabriela Cámara’s sister restaurants, “Contramar” and “Cala.”

The short film shows the divergence between the two places, Mexico City and San Francisco, respectively.

With everyday images of the restaurants’ services, backstage examples from inside the kitchens, and testimonies from Gabriela and her team, “A Tale of Two Kitchens” shows how compromise, empathy, and love for food can change lives.

With these books, series, and movies, you’ve got a whole new way to entertain yourself while connecting with Mexican gastronomy at home.

And if you’re traveling to Mexico City for a trip, why not join us for one of our Mexico City Food Tours – we have something for everybody.

Have a sweet tooth? Book a place on our Friends & Chocolate Experience, where you’ll discover the long story of chocolate in Mexico and indulge in an array of delicious food pairings. Fancy a Mexican alcoholic drink while meeting like-minded people? Our Taco Tour in Mexico City with Beer and Mezcal would be perfect for you!

If you have any questions about our tours, please contact us.

Article by: María José Ordóñez Platas