Jackie Alpers

Taste of Tucson 

Sonoran-Style Recipes 

Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona

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LEARN HOW TO MAKE MEXICAN FOOD THE SONORAN WAY! A collection of delicious Sonoran-style recipes from local restaurant experts and the author's own original recipes, all inspired by the rich culture of Southern Arizona.

A cookbook dedicated to the foods inspired by the region's beauty and diversity, Taste of Tucson discovers through recipes and photos the unique mix of cultures that create Southern Arizona's incredible Sonoran-style cuisine. Award-winning photographer and cookbook author Jackie Alpers shares her own inspired recipe creations in this book as well as recipes for her favorite restaurants' dishes, 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. Building from tried-and-true basics and tutorials on tacos, enchiladas, carne asada, and huevos rancheros, she divulges secrets to making the Tucson area's most unique Sonoran style savories and sweets, including Chicken Mole Amarillo, Adobo Pulled Pork, Red Pozole, Dark Chocolate and Coffee Figgy Pudding Cakes, and more.
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.


"Jackie's delicious book takes me back to Tucson, with each incredibly delicious recipe, tied to stories and wonderful characters.  It will connect you to the one and only place that Tucson is. What a delight!" Pati Jinich, Chef, Cookbook author and EMMY Award winning host of Pati's Mexican Table on PBS

A love letter to Tucson and Sonoran food, food photographer Jackie Alpers takes us not only through southern Arizona cuisine, but also to her favorite spots in the Old Pueblo. The book also notes the culinary influence of the Tohono O’odham people on Tucson.

Pandemic bread hobbyists can learn how to make award-winning baker Don Guerra's Barrio Sonoran Sourdough Bread, a three-day labor of love with local ingredients, or pistachio compound butter, a recipe from chef Bruce Yim of Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort. Alpers also shares her personal touches, such as the time she was inspired by Passover to make Matzalbondigas, her version of Spanish-style meatballs.

Tucson's food scene seems to be underappreciated, despite being a UNESCO city of gastronomy. Thankfully books like these are a testament to the diversity of Sonoran cuisine and talent of local chefs." The Arizona Republic 

"Taste of Tucson is a bold, colorful collection of recipes that include Molletes, an open-faced breakfast sandwich, Cream of avocado soup, and Shrimp with creamy goat cheese-poblano sauce. Jackie’s recipes are packed with a flavor punch and I am eyeing the Desert dessert nachos and Potato salad with chile-lime vinaigrette and red onion." Eat Your Books

"Homey and yet polished, this small gem delivers a flavorful journey through southern Arizona cuisine. Bright, vivid photos and rich context convey the unique culture and spark any appetite.  A glossary of pantry items, cheese, and most importantly peppers, round out this title, that while specific to a region, will be a pleasure to all. Barrio Sonoran Sourdough Bread with Pistachio Compound Butter is a treat."  2021 RUSA Book and Media Awards

More of us have spent time in our own kitchens over the past year. For some, that has actually meant a lot of time by the microwave or unpacking the order that was just delivered. But for many others, it’s meant cooking — sometimes from old family recipes and others of a more innovative bent.

 "...its collection of recipes from some of southern Arizona’s favorite spots offers the chance to make the home kitchen a creative place."  Steve Goldstein, host of The Show on NPR

"Taste of Tucson is an inordinately fun and accessible guide to a distinctive regional American cuisine." Foreword Reviews

"Not just with regional appeal, this cookbook will find a welcome home among anyone looking to recreate Southwestern classics. Verdict: Highly recommended." Library Journal

"Jackie's Happy Plate blogger Alpers celebrates the cuisine of Tucson, Ariz., in this informative debut cookbook. Much of the fare is heavily inspired by Sonoran-style Mexican cuisine, and there are plenty of classics on offer, such as chunky guacamole, arroz con pollo, and Mexican street corn. Other tempting dishes include caldo de queso (potato and cheese soup), calabacitas con queso (cheesy squash with corn and tomatoes), and Sonora-style pico de gallo (fresh fruit and vegetables seasoned with chili and lime). Alpers also includes her own fun fusions, like matzalbondigas (she swaps the meatballs in the soup for matzo balls), and a Thai-Mex slaw spiked with a serrano chile. She also includes visual glossaries and helpful descriptions of staple ingredients, such as fresh and dried chiles (for ancho chilis, she writes, "Dried poblano chile with a sweet, fruity flavor and a mild heat level") and Mexican-style cheese (cotija, she notes, is "crumbly and salty like grated parmesan"). Along the way, Alpers provides a history of Tucson and considers how the region's past has influenced its cuisine (for the Cod Tlalpeño with chickpeas, she writes, "Chickpeas were introduced by the Spanish into the Southwest along the Rio Grande by 1630"). Fans of Southwestern cuisine will appreciate this flavorful recipe collection." Publishers Weekly (Featured Review)

" Reading it, you’ll feel like you’ve just strolled from restaurant to restaurant and house to house enjoying a true taste of Tucson." - Edible Phoenix, Edible Communities

"In addition to staples like cheese crisps, Alpers has an entire section on Mexican snack foods including El Guero's Sonoran hot dogs, recipes for tostilocos and tostinachos, even a hot dog taco. This sets the book apart from previous Tucson cookbooks, which tend to focus on homestyle Mexican restaurants with servers and combo plates. (Although, the book does have some of that too.)" Arizona Daily Star

Five Arizona Cookbooks You Should Own: "If you're looking for niche, Arizona-specific cuisine, Jackie Alpers focuses on Tucson-style Mexican favorites in Taste of Tucson: Sonoran-Style Recipes Inspired by the Rich Culture of Southern Arizona. Recipes include her chicken mole Amarillo recipe, a less sweet yet nuttier version of the classic Sonoran dish. Also, she includes pantry staples that are a must for this kind of cooking. Think chiltepin peppers, dried Mexican oregano, and masa flour. There are also recipes for tacos, enchiladas, carne asada, huevos rancheros, and of course dessert, meaning her dark chocolate coffee pudding cake." Phoenix New Times

Cookbook trailer for Taste of Tucson: Sonoran-Style Recipes! Video by Jason Willis. Music by Audios Amigos.

While some of the chefs featured in this book are also on the Taste of Tucson Downtown food tour, 

neither this book nor its author are affiliated with the Taste of Tucson food tour.

Sprinkles! Recipes and Ideas for Rainblowlicious Desserts

Buy It Now

“...bursting with colorful inspiration...”—Taste of Home

"Prepare to enter sprinkles heaven."—Yum Sugar

"With quirky, visually arresting recipes, award-winning food photographer Alpers illustrates the many ways that sprinkles can be used to add whimsy to desserts and edible gifts."—Library Journal

"What is extraordinary and makes the book a worthy addition for anyone who is really involved in creativity in baking, especially if you have children or a friend or spouse with a sweet tooth, is the decorating tips."—The Sun News

The first cookbook dedicated entirely to the appreciation and understanding of sprinkles. I explore the science of sprinkles (Sprinkology!), share crafty methods for sprinkling, and offer a comprehensive guide to identifying and cooking with them. Over 50 recipes provide inspiration on ways to use the beauty of sprinkles to unleash your creativity and have fun. Sprinkles truly add an element of joy to everything they encounter.

Learn how to custom tint your own sparkling sugars, mix up sprinkles cocktail rims, and even craft your own sprinkles from scratch. When it comes to sprinkles, the possibilities are endless—and so much fun!

Sprinkles!: Recipes and Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts features step-by-step recipes for making the world a sweeter more sparklier place one pinch at a time. Published by Quirk Books. Available wherever books are sold. 

The Sprinkles book trailer was made by Sundance award winning filmmaker Jason Willis.

Learn how to make my cover cake is the video we made for the Food Network. 

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