Bayless and his wile spent eight years exploring and charting Mexico's traditional cooking. The result is a work of depth and breadth deserving of high praise. There is something here for everyone. There are clear, straightforward, easy-to-follow recipes for those would like lo try their hand at truly Mexican fare (sauces, salads, soups, tortillas, tacos, turnovers, enchiladas, tamales, moles, fish, meat, poultry, rice, beans, vegetables, desserts, drinks). There is history, geography and anthropology for the scholarly. And, throughout, there is beautiful, lyrical, novelistic writing for those who look to cookbooks for a good bedtime read (""only after several careful and courteous inquiries was I hesitantly invited into the private patio of the chocolatera. Her cacao beans crackled as they roasted, her charcoal-heated metate coarsely ground the greasy beans back and firth with the cinnamon, almonds and sugar, and her hands patted the paste into fat cigar shapes""). A thinking-person's cookbook--thoughtfully crafted, meticulously researched, carefully conveyed. It raises the food of Mexico to world-class haute cuisine.