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This entry in the Food Culture around the World series helps those in the United States understand the new immigrants from Central America who have brought their food cultures with them. Food Culture in Central America illustrates the unique foodways of the region in depth--and in English--for the first time. Important foods and ingredients, techniques, and lore associated with food preparation are surveyed. Typical meals eaten at home are presented, with attention to the cultural context in which those meals take place, including regional or national differences. The book also examines various meal settings--street vendors, modest comedors, and fancy restaurants. The role of food in common festivals and life cycle rituals is explored as well, including Christmas, Semana Santa, and Quincineras. Author Michael R. McDonald emphasizes the living process of "metatezation," referring to the use of the traditional metate, a stone platform used to grind ingredients, resulting in the unique flavors and textures of the cuisines. The process echoes the concept of "mestizaje," the intense hybrid mixture of identities throughout Latin America, which is also explained. * Photographs * Maps * An extensive glossary * A resource guide * A selected bibliography to facilitate further research