Encarnacion’s Kitchen

When looking at a cookbook, I don’t usually think of anything other than if I’d like to try the recipes. This includes if I probably would like to eat the food, how long it would take to make, the accessibility of the ingredients, and so on. However, after our reading’s this week, it’s probably that cookbooks aren’t just for learning new recipes or trying new things. Some cookbooks, like The Spanish Cook, are historical artifacts that give a snapshot into political, ethnic, economic, and agricultural factors of a specific time. The Spanish Cook is a cookbook that was dedicated to her nieces to ensure that their heritage wouldn’t be lost since food is an important aspect of maintaining culture especially at a time where Americans were usurping land (& thus power) wherever they could. It shows the mixture of cultures like native Mexican, Spanish, French, and Italian influence through food in California. It also gives insight into the agriculture around them with recipes calling for things like beet sugar and cactus. It preserves the history of native Californios in a time where their history could’ve been lost and eclipsed by American settlers gaining power in the area. The recipes remind me of my grandma’s cooking because it’s ” a little bit” of this and “the usual” amount of that. Measurements were understood because in this time if you didn’t cook, you didn’t eat.

1 Comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *