that Mexico was famous for ice cream? I didn’t, until my first trip many
years ago, and saw all the heladerias stirring
up ice cream and pushcarts, parked on sidewalks, handing out popsicles.
It was my first visit and I had no idea what a remarkable range of
flavors Mexicans incorporated into their scoops and paletas. There was
chocolate, corn, coffee, cheese, peanut, and rice ice creams, as well as
lime, soursop, cucumber, and hibiscus sorbets. I tried them all.
I was in
the Yucatan, which was so blazing hot that by midday, you had no choice
but to retire in your hotel room for a siesta, waking up later in the day
when the sun was tolerable, as people returned the streets and zocalos (town
squares), lapping up the local flavors late into the evening.
Stephanie Danler's debut novel,
SWEETBITTER, belongs in the modern coming-of-age canon—which is far too
often missing the works of female writers. Delving into the realities of
white, middle-class life in NYC in the mid-2000s, SWEETBITTER is a smart
read that would pair perfectly with a glass of sauvignon blanc or with a
day spent on the beach. This book, from the eye-catching jacket, Danler's
origin story, and the literary acclaim, screams trendy.