NEW HAVEN — Every bite into a taco, quesadilla, burrito or other Mexican dish will take on a deeper meaning after reading a Southern Connecticut State University professor’s new book, “Food Cultures of Mexico: Recipes, Customs, and Issues.”

Spanish professor Rafael Hernandez-Rodriguez, chairman of the World Languages and Literature Department, said the book is an introduction to the spectrum of Mexican food and interrelated issues such as the history of Mexico, including the revolution, the epidemic of obesity and diabetes, and food around identity, gender and culture.

“Food means so much more than satisfying your taste buds,” he said. “Food is communication around gender, status and symbolizes different meaningful moments in a person’s life,” such as weddings, funerals and birthdays.

The volume, part of Greenwood Publishing Group’s “Global Kitchen” series, examines the history, meaning and influences of everything from appetizers to dessert.