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Add a Bit of Spice to Your Holiday Meals this Season with Sonoran-Style Recipes

Photo reprinted with permission from:
Taste of Tucson by Jackie Alpers / West Margin Press/2020

This holiday season take a trip to the culinary region of the American Southwest with a delicious new cookbook dedicated to foods inspired by the cultural and culinary diversity of the area. Cookbook author, blogger and award-winning food photographer, Jackie Alpers has created a delicious love letter to the influential food of the Southwest in TASTE OF TUCSON: Sonoran-Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona.  The book celebrates, through more than 70 recipes and photos, the unique mix of cultures that create Southern Arizona’s incredible Sonoran-style cuisine. 

Alpers shares her own inspired recipe creations in this book as well as recipes from 16 of her favorite regional restaurants and chefs, while incorporating the history of the region, the mysticism and lore, and how it has contributed to the food of the people who live there. 

“TASTE OF TUCSON is about how the evolution of food culture in my community inspired me,” Jackie says. “The cuisine of this region emphasizes its connection to Sonora a state in Mexico. Though the borders have been redrawn over the years Sonora (which Tucson was part of until only very recently) remains only sixty miles away. This cookbook is about inclusion and it is also about diversity. You will see the merging of cultures over time and the way food has progressed in one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in North America.”  

The city of Tucson was designated as the first food capitol of gastronomy by UNESCO. The city’s agriculture heritage extends back thousands of years, its rich and diverse culture celebrated in the delectable food dishes and vibrant local ingredients. Building from tried-and-true basics and tutorials on tacos, enchiladas, carne asada, and huevos rancheros, Jackie reveals secrets to making the Tucson area’s most unique Sonoran style savories and sweets. Chapters include Sonoran-Style Staples; Salsas, Dips & Toppings; Beans, Rice & Calabacitas; Breakfast Anytime; Soups & Salads; Main Dishes; Street Snacks; and Desserts. The book also includes chapters about the cuisine of Tucson, history, and timeline. Recipes in the book include:

–    Calabacitas con Queso
–    Molletes
–    Teresa’s White Menudo
–    Red Pozole
–    Quick & Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup
–    Topopo Salad
–    Potato Salad with Chile Lime Vinaigrette & Red Onion
–    Carne Asada Tacos
–    Coctel de Camarones (Sonora-Style Shrimp Cocktail)
–    Mini Chimichangas
–    Spicy Citrus Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas
–    Chicken Mole Amarillo
–    Shrimp with Creamy Goat Cheese–Poblano Sauce
–    Beanie Weenie Tacos
–    Duros with Calamari
–    Lemon Tres Leches Poke Cake
–    Dark Chocolate and Coffee Figgy Pudding Cakes

“In addition to my recipes, I collected recipes from local chefs whose recipes are excellent examples of Sonoran cuisine. Some are local classics and old favorites, some are new. All are outstanding representations of Sonoran cuisine at this time, and in this place.”

Some of the Tucson chefs who contributed recipes include: Daniel Contreras: El Guero Canelo; Suzana Davila: Café Poca Cosa and The Little One; Carlotta Flores and the Flores family: El Charro Café; Benjamin Galaz: BK Tacos; Amanda Horton: Desert Provisions; Teresa Matias and the Matias family: Mosaic Café; Maria Mazon: BOCA Tacos y Tequila; Isela Mejia: El Sur Restaurant; Erika Mattson Munoz: Seis Kitchen and Bruce Yim: Hacienda Del Sol.  

“I’d like for TASTE OF TUCSON to be a jumping off point for readers to explore new culinary adventures. I hope these recipes and ideas inspire them to create their own recipe creations.” 

For cooks of all levels, from anywhere in the world who loves to dine on this Southwestern region’s foods, this cookbook welcomes you to bring the Sonoran region’s best and most iconic tastes into your own kitchen this holiday season.

Jackie Alpers is an award-winning professional food photographer who cooks, styles and photographs food and recipes in her natural-light studio and documents food & travel on location. Her popular food photography and recipe blog “Jackie’s Happy Plate” showcases her culinary adventures as a Midwesterner transplanted to the Sonoran Desert. She is especially interested in the emotional, psychological and spiritual relationship that people have with food and drink. Food lends itself to vast symbolism and interpretation and she loves the rituals surrounding it. She is based in Tucson, Arizona.

Alpers writes and photographs a monthly column for the and also contributes recipes and photography to Refinery29, Random House’s Tastebook, TheKitchn, TodayFood, Real Simple, National Geographic and Edible Baja Arizona Magazine among others. She has been featured in articles for Reader’s Digest, CNN, Good Morning America, The New York Times & NPR. Recipes and food photography from her blog, Jackie’s Happy Plate has been featured in numerous online publications including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Glamour, Better Homes and Gardens, MSN, Brit + Co. and Buzzfeed Food.  To learn more visit

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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