Book Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Amalia Moreno-Damgaard’s cookbook cajoles and lures you into becoming a participant in her Guatemalan kitchen—and to leave thoroughly satisfied. Her recipes make even the most complicated traditional dishes, such as Mole de Plátano and a spicy chicken and pork vegetable stew, Pepián Negro, quite easy to prepare, just as though she is leaning over your shoulder as you prepare the foods she obviously cares for passionately.”

Marilyn Tausend, author of Cocina de la Familia, Mexico the Beautiful, Savoring Mexico: Recipes and Reflections on Mexican Cooking, and La Cocina Mexicana: Many Cultures, One Cuisine

“Amalia is a true ambassador for Latin American cuisine. Each dish she prepares brings a new and exciting adventure of flavors to the table. Her food is genuine and amazingly delicious!”

Jim Kleinsasser, former NFL football player for the Minnesota Vikings

“Amalia’s recipes are fresh, healthy, and enticing with flavors of the Latin culinary cultures. Her robust and bold dishes make guests feel like they are having a family feast right in her grandmother’s kitchen, cooked the way her grandmother taught her, with love, attention, and dedication.”

Tom McKinney, executive director, Make-A-Wish–Minnesota

“Amalia is a rising star in the international culinary world and, with this new guide to Guatemalan cooking, has proven she can write as well as she cooks. These are savory, authentic dishes, but also absolutely cookable! Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen is the place where I’ll hang when I’m hungry for good food. Buen provecho, indeed! Happy cooking!”

Bill Huebsch, chair of the board, Common Hope

Amazon Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent cook book,November 19, 2012
This review is from: Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen – Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair (Hardcover)

My wife Rosa, who is Guatemalan, bought this excellent cook book. She bought it because she says that the recipes are not only genuine but they are in English which is also very helpful and useful. The presentation is very delicate and the pictures are so vibrant. I cannot wait to start cooking with my wife some of these delicious meals and enjoy each bite! Jeffrey Kolnick and Rosa Tock

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Option to Expand Cuisine,November 17, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen – Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair (Hardcover)

Amalia’s cookbook is extremely well organized for chefs of all levels. She has incorporated wonderful pictures with simple, easy to understand (and follow) instructions. This is a great way to incorporate up to 170 different recipes into your routine, many of which will become family staples. Buen Provecho!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very unique,November 2, 2012
This review is from: Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen – Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair (Hardcover)

These dishes are so fresh and different. I didn’t realize what a cooking rut I was in, until I got my hands on this cookbook.

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Wow!,January 25, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen – Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair (Hardcover)

This book is absolutely beautiful! I’ve peeked through the recipes and photos, and started planning what I might try first. Most of the recipes also appear to be something I can manage to duplicate as well. I suspect this book will be a staple in my kitchen. Thank you!!

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic,January 20, 2013
This review is from: Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen – Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair (Hardcover)

This cookbook is simply excellent. The recipes are easy to follow and delicious, the cultural information is interesting and enlightening, and the book itself is beautiful with its colorful page borders and photographs. I believe that any “foodie” would enjoy the recipes in this book, and I highly recommend it for any adoptive family seeking to keep the heritage of their Guatemalan children present in a tangible way.

5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful addition to any kitchen!,January 16, 2013
This review is from: Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen – Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair (Hardcover)

I usually get my recipes online but love having Amalia Moreno-Damgaard’s beautiful book: Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen; Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair in my kitchen for many reasons. First, it is an absolutely beautiful book! The colors and gorgeous photographs are fun to look at. I get ideas from the history she shares as well as what to keep in your kitchen to be able to prepare these recipes quickly and easily. Plus, it is so interesting to read her stories of growing up in Guatemala and how certain foods became part of this culture. Having photos of most of the recipes helps me to chose what looks good to eat. These are recipes that help my family to eat fresh healthy meals that taste great. I love it when I have time to just sit and read through this beautiful book. There is so much more than simply recipes here. I look forward to many years of trying out these dishes and making some of them family favorites. Becky Henry Hope Network, LLC

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Inspiring,January 13, 2013
This review is from: Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen – Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair (Hardcover)

Amalia shares her recipes (with secrets!) and her love of her Guatemalan heritage in this gorgeous coffee-table cookbook. Recipes are presented simply, with suggested variations and helpful ‘notes.’ This cookbook is a testament that ethnic recipes cannot only be interesting, but healthy, easy and delicious.

5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book!,January 11, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen – Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair (Hardcover)

It is difficult to find recipes for Guatemalan food. This book remedies that problem. The pictures for the recipes are stunning. The book is beautifully done. Nice thick pages that will stand the test of time because I plan on using this book often. Thanks Amalia!

5.0 out of 5 stars Chef Amalia’s cookbook hits a homerun!,December 18, 2012
This review is from: Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen – Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair (Hardcover)

I have been a huge fan of Chef Amalia’s Guatemalan Gourmet cuisine for years. I’m so pleased that she now shares with us in her first cookbook “Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen ” her top 170 recipes with beautiful photographs and presentations of her dishes in this easy step by step gourmet cookbook. I am really looking forward to inviting friends and family over so that we can cook Chef Amalia’s inspiring and delicious recipes together, such as her Mayan Lasagna on page 163 or her Seafood Chowder with Tomatoes, Green Plantains, and Coconut on page 238. Chef Amalia has put her heart and soul into these fresh, innovative, flavorful and healthy recipes and goes as far as offering vegetarian, and gluten free versions. That’s why this cookbook stands out from the rest and HITS a Home-run. Great for giving as a gift so pick up extra copies!!

5.0 out of 5 stars My new favorite cookbook!,December 15, 2012
This review is from: Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen – Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair (Hardcover)

Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen is my new favorite cookbook! Beautifully illustrated, deliciously inspired! Fifteen chapters of wonderful and unique recipes that have me cooking Guatemalan…happily!

 

5.0 out of 5 stars This Cookbook is AMAZING!,December 8, 2012

This review is from: Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen – Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair (Hardcover)

I received the cookbook yesterday and spent hours looking through the amazing recipes and photos. Amalia has inspired me to cook different things and to push myself out of my comfort zone. I thank you and my family thanks you. Today I even bought a tortilla press – it was really fun to use. To go along with the tortillas I made the Subanik, and one of the rice dishes. WE LOVED IT!

5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious, Nutritious and Experiential,December 2, 2012
This review is from: Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen – Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair (Hardcover)

This is an amazing book. Filled with not only the delicious cuisine of Guatemala, but the cultural context of the foods. I’ll treasure it for years to come!

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Cuisine – Wonderful Teacher!,December 1, 2012
By
Amanda Munoz (Minneapolis, MN) – See all my reviews
This review is from: Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen – Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair (Hardcover)

I have been anxiously awaiting Amalia’s cookbook! My husband’s family is from Guatemala, and we were first introduced to Amalia through a cooking class. I was thrilled to be able to learn something about Guatemalan cuisine and also pick up some culinary tips from Amalia – she taught us the right way to chop an onion, and lots of other tricks of the trade. If you’re not able to take a class from Amalia in person, this cookbook is the next best thing. The photography is gorgeous, the recipes are straightforward and easy to understand, and each one features “Amalia’s Notes” with tips for preparation or serving. I’m looking forward to making my first tamale soon. Felicidades, Amalia!

on September 14, 2015
Just purchased this cookbook and I love it! It’s so colorful and includes notes and variations for most of the dishes. I also love that it includes definitions for many of the ingredients as well as some history of the Guatemalan culture and foods. I hope to be using this cookbook for many years!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2015

As a white American mom of a Guatemalan child, I have spent a lot of time collecting all kinds of books about Guatemala for both my child and for my own learning about his country of origin. I love to cook, so this has meant looking for Guatemalan cookbooks too. The choices on the whole are pretty narrow, either verging on the ethnographic in their technical accuracy to the homegrown in their idiosyncracy.

Amalia’s cookbook is definitely the one we’ve all been waiting for. Trained in France, and writing now for an American audience, but with a Guatemalan childhood, heritage, and tastebuds to guide her, she beautifully interprets Guatemalan cuisine for a North American audience. The recipes vary from fancy to simple. I’ve cooked a lot of Mexican, and it’s really helpful to see where the common ground and the differences are between Guatemala and its northern neighbor. Everything I’ve made has been delicious.

The only reason I don’t give it 5 stars is because all the recipes have been edited for fat content. That may be a virtue in some people’s eyes, but I would much rather have had the original, “fatty” version of the recipes than the ones adjusted for the current anti-fat fad in US American cooking. Of course, it’s not that hard to add fat back in, but it would have upped the general authenticity level of the book to stick to the original proportions.

Still, you can’t do better for Guatemalan cooking. Way to go, Amalia!

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on July 29, 2015
I have been very happy with this cookbook. The recipes are written very clearly, the ingredients are generally easily obtained in any U.S. supermarket, and they do turn out as described. There is a lot of interesting variety to the recipes. I would highly recommend this cookbook.
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on July 18, 2015
Absolutely love this book!! I’m Guatemalan and I love Guatemalan food but it was hard to adapt recipes to U.S. Ingredients. This book is amazing because you can get pretty much everything you need. I live in a small town and I can find ingredients!! Gracias Amalia por este maravilloso libro!!!
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on May 10, 2015
This cookbook is beautiful, colorful–what an aesthetic! Not to mention the history and recipes, story-telling and love that obviously went into writing it. Thank you, Amalia, for creating this work of art!
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on May 9, 2015
I was hesitant to buy this cookbook since the first time I saw it two years ago–I couldn’t believe a cookbook could have so many 5 star reviews and no negative reviews. I wish I wouldn’t have waited so long! This book is awesome and has just about every Guatemalan recipe that you’d want to learn. And it’s kind of neat because it has great photos and extra information about the culture and the language. It’s just a really cool book all around.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2015

I can’t thank Amalia enough for writing this cookbook! I first saw it two summers ago at the Latin American Heritage Camp for Adoptive Families in Colorado then went home and bought a copy for my daughter’s 12th birthday. My daughter was adopted from Guatemala at a young age. We use the fabulous recipes from the cookbook for my daughter’s Adoption Day, for her birthday, and other times as well, it is truly wonderful! Our favorite is the Carne Asada Con Chirmol, what a delicious combination of flavors!

I have been using the cookbook even more in the last 4-5 months since I am co-chairing a fundraising dinner on May 2nd. We need the funds to send a group of 10 teens and 5 adults on a mission trip from our church to Guatemala to work with Safe Passage for one week. My older biological daughter is going on this trip. Her cookbook has been absolutely instrumental in preparing for this dinner. I would not have thought of suggesting to our church that we do a dinner without it. I am excited to have people attending experience Guatemalan food and learn more the country. We have paired up the teens and they made posters on a topic about the country. When people check in they get a list of 5 questions about Guatemala and then have to stop at the teen presentations to get the answers. We will also have your delicious appetizers at each table, too, to lure them in! This way we get different generations interacting, a goal at our church. We are decorating with some huipiles on the walls, Guatemala table cloths and each person will have a worry doll to take home. All this because of Amalia’s cookbook! Also, one person I have worked closely with to plan the event with is a very skilled cook. She has marveled at the cookbook’s recipes, lovely layout, and pictures. I will have to get her a copy for her help! It would not be the first time I have given as a gift, that honor went to my daughter’ Godmother.

And, if the above isn’t enough to convince anyone to purchase this cookbook my Guatemalan daughter’s recent experience using it will. She left the house late last week with her middle school cultural fair poster project. There was an array of topics kids could pick from and of course she picked ethnic food. Again your cookbook was instrumental in this project. It wasn’t the just recipes, it was also the extra information provided about the cultural context of a variety of foods and their importance today to Guatemala as well as a wealth of other important information about the country. This past weekend we made a meals worth of dishes including tamales and took pictures of her preparing the different recipes at each step. Later this week all the kids doing the project will display their posters and most will bring in a dish to share. We will bring the black bean rice, another favorite, and she will be proud to serve it. Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen cookbook is truly doing what she intended it to do; teach people more about Guatemala and its unique cuisine, and provide a wonderful cultural connection for those Guatemalans now residing outside the country. It is a job well done!

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on April 22, 2015
As it’s quite hard to find good Guatemalan recipes online, this cookbook is a real treasure if you’re interested in Central American cuisine. I am very excited to try making many of the memorable and delicious foods I had while on my recent visit to Guatemala. I can tell that this book is well-researched and provides much more informative side-notation and cultural references than most cookbooks ever do. Very special! Can’t wait to start cooking!
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on March 29, 2015
A better buy here in the states than Guatemala. A great book for creative Guatemalan cooking. Nice pictures too.
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on December 6, 2014
My wife is from Guatemala and I bought this for her hoping it could be a helpful aid to sharing her culture and it was. For the difficulty it has been over the years to get recipes shared from her family and friends, we solved that all in this step. She was like a little child at Christmas time! I lived in Guatemala myself and these are spot-on. It is in English and easy to understand. The pictures are wonderful. All of a sudden, difficult holiday meals and ones she couldn’t completely recall are easily made. It covers simple to extensive: beverages, desserts to breakfast, dinner and in between. Moreover, preparation details and even helpful hints are included. Your personal Guatemalan chef is standing by to help as you go. I especially loved the suggestions for harder to find ingredients. Novices will do well on these. Fiambre, tamales, atoles, salsas, postres, frijoles, platanos, tortillas, it is all here!

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