Blog Post #3

Creating Something New

From the readings, I gather that for Encarnacion Pinedo that this was not just a large defining moment of writing a first all spanish cookbook, but it was ensuring that future generations understood the importance of food in their heritage. While in 1898, an all spanish cookbook was an impressive step in that direction, the other element was that it was written by a women in a male dominated field where many didn’t have a voice. Though the significance, for me, is leaving something behind for future generations to share and use to honor traditions before them. I believe that she left these books for her nieces to show that even marrying a “Yankee”, Pindeo would not leave behind her culture. Reading this made me think of all the brown stained note cards in cursive that my great-grandma’s had left behind for my family. Anywhere from polish soups to a simple cookie recipe, it is all written down and kept in a safe space for us to reference, mainly during the holidays. I believe my generation is fighting to understand all of our unique cultures and learning more about that people and ways we would come together as a family at the end of the day. So by Pinedo writing these cookbooks, she not only was paving the way for female writers and pushing against societal norms, she was leaving a physical copy of their culture for her family to look back on later on.

Blog Post 3

The reading for this week talked about how Pinedo’s cookbook was more than just a cookbook, and how it was an outlet of family traditions and culture. It was interesting that during the time this cookbook was being written, society around it was corrupt, as women were seen differently than men, as well as maintaining a complex social structure. Since Pinedo’s status was secure and made her an elite, she was able to write this cookbook and it was cherished. It was also very unique, as Spanish-written cookbooks were rarely appreciated, and this cookbook was one of the first. But since society wasn’t appreciative of Mexican food and culture, it was unfortunate that her work and recipes were not as appreciated as they should have been.

Blog Post #3

Pinedo was among the very few Hispanic women to be publishing and writing during her time period. In her cookbook there was over a thousands of recipes and it was translated from Spanish to English. In this reading it goes over how Pinedo talks about what happened to her family and her with the Americanization of the culture and food. It talks about where the origin of the food she makes came from, for example she talks about mole de carnero which is lamb mole and how she adapts it to what she has locally and they come from Mexican and Spanish influences. Then it goes on to state that there is no “Spanish recipes” due to the colonization and the adaptation to culture and how its changed the way we see things which also relates to how it become Americanized some ideas/recipes that Pinedo has. With some of her family being from California it helps with the movement of making the dishes more reachable to that demographic.


This reading tells the story of Pinedo and her cookbook, El Cocinero Espanol, which was published in 1898. The cookbook is California’s first cookbook made in the Spanish language. The author is arguing that the cookbook is a greatly significant tool that can be used to reveal the cultural context and stories of the time. Pinedo dedicated El Cocinero Espanol to her nieces so that they would not lose this important aspect of their culture after marrying “Yankee” men. This cookbook shows how Pinedo grapples with identity and culture, as she, at times, emphasizes her Spanish heritage over her Mexican heritage to increase her social standing, while also leaving Yankee recipes out of her book and drawing from different international cuisines. A quote from the text which sums up the story of this cookbook is, “The Spanish Cook goes significantly beyond being just a cookbook. It is a sociological document that serves as a testimony of a lost culture.” It took until the 1930s for major Mexican cookbooks to be written by Hispanic women, showing how significant Pinedo’s contribution was at the time. The recipes in her cookbook are varied, from savory marinades, to fruit syrups, to tamales. However, the lasting implications of El Concinero Espanol go far beyond that of just recipes.

Blog Post-3

In both readings of Encarnacion’s Kitchen inform us about Encarnacion Pinedo’s bring about and purpose in creating her “El Cocinero Español” cookbook. In the first reading, Victor Valle goes on about how the importance of Encarncaione’s Mexican roots comes into play in creating a voice for Mexican women in a time where they were silenced by both American and European men. This piece of information helps us understand the structuring of how Encarnacion wrote her cookbook due to the negative stereotypes put into poor Mexicans of that period by the conquest of California . However, Encarnacion still included her bitterness towards Americans and Europeans in her book up to a point that does not limit her recipes beyond Mexican dishes, she expresses that her cookbook is a gift for her nieces so that they can pass on their cultural dishes their hybrid families since at that time women of Encernacion’s age were getting married, there were not many Mexican or Spanish cookbooks written by women , that her nieces could look into. Overall, she did not want her family’s descendants to forget about their Mexican origins even if they were to marry into different cultural families.

The second reading, talks more about Encarinacion’s family tragedy and the reasoning behind her negative view of American and European dishes and cookbooks, but that did not stop her from learning dishes beyond Mexican dishes. This was influenced by her education and how she integrated her knowledge into her own invented dishes and used ingredients that California provided to keep Mexican dishes alive. The knowledge she gained helped her construct her cookbook to keep her identity in her dishes and maintain her culture from being segregated in California. Overall, Encarinacion’s “El Concinero Espanol ” cookbook was a gift dedicated to her nieces and for future generations to not lose their culture, since due to Encarinacion’s experiences of cultural segregation in California, she wanted to make sure that they do not lose touch on their culture when living in times were negative stereotypes of Mexicans existed and the tendency to drift away from culture was forming.

Blog Post 3- Encarnacións Kitchen

El cocinero español is a historically and culinarily significant work written by Encarnación Pinedo in 1898. This work is of importance because she was a hispanic woman who published after the conquest of Alta California. This book provided recipes while also identifying how her family dined and reimagining cultural identities. Through the use of ingredients and explanation of how to use them in the recipes Pinedo connects her past life to the present, and allows her culture to live on despite the rapid decline post conquest. The author states that Pinedo’s recipes “allowed her to recover some of her families former dignity” and the cookbook itself stands as a testimony of a lost culture.

The book itself is a significant piece of food history because it is the first fusion of Mexican and Californian culinary publishing. In addition, it’s significant because there were no other books printed that contained such a large number of Mexican recipes. At the beginning of the 20th American publications began to focus on Mexican cooking, but they were produced by Anglos, which distinguished these from Pinedos work.

Within the book are recipes of wide variety that have Hispanic, French, and Italian roots in addition to recipes of her own creation. These recipes also involved the use of newfound technology within the kitchen such as the stove and more complex mills. She also involves foods of the time such as selections of preserves, jams, and syrups (lemon, blackberry, almond, and raspberry). The recipes are tailored toward Mexican cuisine, but are also adapted to local ingredients, many of which are not commonly available today. Overall, her book serves as one of the most complete and balanced Mexican cookbooks published in California, and is evident of a major culinary production.

Blog Post #3

Encarnacions 1 and 2 gave me an interesting perspective on how much meaning can be behind the food someone makes. These readings were from Encarnacion Pinedo’s cookbook, which was among the first Spanish cookbooks to be published in the States. This cookbook is unique because it tells the story of Pinedo and her family. It is also unique for the time because it was written by a woman during a time where there were not many female authors. The cookbook does not follow the typical layout of a cookbook because there are no measurements or pictures of what the food is supposed to look like. This leaves room for people to interpret the recipes in their own way and be able to put their own culture into it. Pinedo wrote this cookbook to give to her nieces in order to have a way to pass on their Mexican heritage. It offers a look into the period of time, as the book was published in 1989 in San Francisco. While creating a way to pass on her culture, she was also using it as a way to contrast the typical “American” meals, which were part of the way people were pressured to assimilate. This cookbook also served as a way for her to stand up to the struggles her and her family had faced while trying to survive in America.

Blog Post 3

In the Encarnacion’s reading she talks about how the cookbook is much more than just a book full of recipes, but a book full of culture and cuisine. The book is not limited to one cuisine but multiple including: Hispanic, French and Italian. She added recipes from all these cuisines and sometimes added her own interpretations. The cookbook was not traditional, she did not use measurements or give much indication of the type of ingredients, she left the instructions vague. She wrote this cookbook as a testimony to the lost culture of Hispanic cuisine. During the time that she wrote the book when other women her age were getting married, but she went a different route. “So that you may always remember the value of a woman’s work, study this volume’s contents.” She began her cookbook dedicated to her nieces so they would know some of the traditional recipes from Mexico, the book was designed to save her culture for her nieces. Since many of the women in that time were getting married, making most of the book authors men. There were very few Spanish cookbooks, when she printed hers in the US, there were only two other Spanish cookbooks. Her education exposed her to a significant amount of cooking literature which helped her shape the cookbook. She was comfortable cooking in many styles, and never confined herself to one cuisine. She created traditional dishes but had unexpected interpretations because her cuisine was more Mexican, she had to make do with the local ingredients in California since they were different than what she was used to.

Excerpts from Encarnacion’s Kitchen, Blog Post #3 Tim McCarthy

In the Encarnacion’s Kitchen excerpt “A Curse of Tea and Potatoes”, the author Victor Valle goes into detail about the life of the cookbook’s author Encarnacion Pinedo. This figure was particularly influential as they were one of the first if not the first women author of Californio heritage to publish a cookbook in a non-english language at a time where the culinary field of writing was dominated by men and Californios faced American conquest. This book not only contained recipes of a unique culture, but preserved the memories of the author through its sharing of her family’s identity in a period of major change where many were lynched and had their property stolen. The second excerpt by Dan Stehl goes further into detail about the family history of Incarnation Pinedo, who’s lineage traces back to one of the earliest and most affluent settlers of today’s northern California and their downfall. It explains that Encarnacion dedicated the book to her nieces in order to keep the dying culture alive and further explains how she included recipes that featured flavorful spices and chilies along with expressions for her distaste for the bland Anglo recipes. The book, which contained many more page than other cookbooks did at the time, serves as a memorial to the widely diverse Californio culture from a period where cultural segregation and violence led the changes of that time.

Blog Post Summary #3

In this reading The author explores the idea of Encarnacion’s Kitchen being more than a simple cookbook. It’s a combination of recipes and identity, specifically from a female perspective. The cookbook gives It readers a look into what life was like for a young Hispanic woman living in America during the late 19th century. It talks about the violence and discrimination she and her family faced and the actions members of her family were forced to take in order to simply survive in a world where their very identity was seen as criminal or as a threat.  The reading also goes into detail about the hardships Pinedo faces as a young woman in the culinary world which at the time was a heavily male dominated field and still continues to be to this day. The cookbook contains a variety of different food traditions including those from Italian, Hispanic, and French cuisine. The cookbook itself takes a very different approach in writing compared to the cookbooks of today. Rather than a bullet point list of measurements the cookbook is written in paragraphs with about 3- 4 recipes a page. Overall the cookbook gives a very unique approach on culinary traditions and Pinedos personal journey in the culinary world.