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.

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