\nThe drama of Mexico's tumultuous history--the rise and fall of the Olmec and Maya civilizations, the magnificent Aztec world that greeted Cortes, the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, and the turbulent revolutionary years--is vividly reflected in the cuisine of this vast country. Mexican food is history itself, a culinary marriage of native Indian foods such as corn, beans, squash, chocolate and "chiles" with the Spanish contribution of wheat, rice and meats. The merger resulted in one of the world's most intriguing and least understood cuisines.\n"Mexico the Beautiful Cookbook" captures the fascinating culinary heritage of Mexico in one stunning volume. The recipes, prepared by Acapulco-based Susanna Palazuelos, represent a vast selection of authentic Mexican dishes, from all of the states of Mexico. Many of them are unusual regional dishes that have been passed along by word of mouth, such as garlic chicken from Veracruz, and San Luis Potosi's own version of "enchiladas." The traditional favorites are here--"chiles en nogada, tamales, pozole," tortilla soup--along with some contemporary surprises such as tequila mousse, cilantro soup and lobster crepes. With pine nut sauce. Other well-known Mexican cooks have also contributed their own special recipes to the book.\nAll 250 recipes have been photographed by Ignacio Urquiza, one of Mexico's foremost food and travel photographers. He also provided the scenic photographs, which lead the reader through the regions of Mexico, revealing the markets, the countryside, the way the people live and eat in this varied and beautiful country. Marilyn Tausend's text provides an informative accompaniment to the recipes and photos, exploring Mexico's dramatic history through its food.\n"Mexico the Beautiful Cookbook" is the essential cookbook for anyone interested in Mexico and Mexican food.