HIS mum’s tacos from a packet served on summer holidays sparked Tasmania’s Ben Milbourne’s interest in Mexican food.
Making the final five in last year’s MasterChef series gave Milbourne the chance to visit Mexico with winner Andy Allen, and the platform to write this book on the food he says doesn’t let your mouth get bored.
The former Devonport teacher is unlikely to work in a classroom again.
There’s not a packet in sight in Mexican Craving as Milbourne supplies recipes for tortillas to make tacos with ( soft not snappy), tostadas ( fried tortillas) and more.
These are the building blocks and edible “plates’’ for the lively, vibrant street and finger foods that comprise at least half of the book.
Mexican street food is called antojitos ( meaning literally “a sudden craving’’) and includes morsels such as beer bubble oysters in a puffy batter and sweetcorn cobs crusted with flavoured crumbs.
The salads, salsas and sauces have a particular zing.
I’m not going to quibble over the authenticity of desserts such as pineapple chilli upside- down cake or Mexican mess.
There is a glossary for unfamiliar ingredients and terms, but this is an approachable collection, made, as Milbourne says, for sharing the cooking as well as the eating.