Food/Foodways and American West

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Tortillas, Tiswin, and T-Bones: A Food History of the Southwest

Gregory McNamee

2017 Southwest Books of the Year

In this entertaining history, Gregory McNamee explores the many ethnic and cultural traditions that have contributed to the food of the Southwest. He traces the origins of the cuisine to the arrival of humans in the Americas, the work of the earliest farmers of Mesoamerica, and the most ancient trade networks joining peoples of the coast, plains, and mountains. From the ancient chile pepper and agave to the comparatively recent fare of sushi and Frito pie, this complex culinary journey involves many players over space and time. Born of scarcity, migration, and climate change, these foods are now fully at home in the Southwest of today—and with the “southwesternization” of the American palate at large, they are found across the globe. McNamee extends that story across thousands of years to the present, even imagining what the southwestern menu will look like in the near future.


Gregory McNamee is the author or editor of more than forty books, among them Gila: The Life and Death of an American River, Updated and Expanded Edition (UNM Press). He lives in Tucson, Arizona.


“Those with a taste for Southwestern cuisine will find their hunger satiated by this readable, authoritative culinary and cultural history.”


Kirkus Reviews

Tortillas, Tiswin & T-Bones is more than a food study, it’s also the fascinating human history of a region like no other.”


Foreword Reviews

6 x 9 in. 256 pages 33 halftones