Week Five Blog Post

Throughout Dan Strehl’s review, I noticed the repetitive theme of socioeconomic class playing a large role in Mexican recipes published in 19th century cookbooks. Pinedo was able to publish more elaborate and flavorful Mexican recipes due to her elevated status, but most Mexican recipes from the time were more simplified and published by Anglo authors. These recipes made it to Anglo cookbooks because the authors were introduced to them by hispanic home servants, reiterating the influence of socioeconomic status on the reach of one’s recipes. These women were also not credited to the fullest extent, merely called “Mrs. A” or “Mrs. B,” further denying them any recognition in the future for their efforts. I thought it was interesting that some of the first cooking manuscripts from Mexico were written in convents, which would have had the collective resources to record and preserve their inherited recipes. In the late 19th century, more cookbooks began to have “Spanish” sections, though these books were still published by Anglo authors. Although their cookbooks were still few and far between, hispanic authors began to publish in the 1930s. I wondered if this was because Mexican cuisine needed to become more marketable to Americans before hispanic authors could publish cookbooks of their own, or if they were unable to publish due to discrimination before this time. I think that Pinedo had the resources to publish her own book the way that she wanted it to be at the time, which was probably not a luxury other hispanic women enjoyed. Strehl also highlighted the importance of Pinedo’s family in her cookbook, which was reinforced by Valle’s review. Valle focused more on Pinedo’s family history and how it influenced her recipes. I think the most interesting family aspect of Pinedo’s cookbook is its intention; meant for her nieces to have family recipes to learn and pass on in a world becoming increasingly influenced by Anglo men. She named pudding recipes after her family members, and I think it goes to show how much love and joy she baked into her cookbook. It goes back to a very family-centric way of eating food as a way to spend time with loved ones.

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