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Encarnación’s Kitchen

Mexican Recipes from Nineteenth-Century California, Selections from Encarnación Pinedo’s El cocinero espanol

Encarnación Pinedo (Author), Dan Strehl (Translator)

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Paperback, 222 pages
ISBN: 9780520246768
October 2005
$26.95, £19.95
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In 1991 Ruth Reichl, then a Los Angeles Times food writer, observed that much of the style now identified with California cuisine, and with nouvelle cuisine du Mexique, was practiced by Encarnación Pinedo a century earlier. A landmark of American cuisine first published in 1898 as El cocinero español (The Spanish Cook), Encarnación's Kitchen is the first cookbook written by a Hispanic in the United States, as well as the first recording of Californio food—Mexican cuisine prepared by the Spanish-speaking peoples born in California. Pinedo's cookbook offers a fascinating look into the kitchens of a long-ago culture that continues to exert its influence today.

Of some three hundred of Pinedo's recipes included here—a mixture of Basque, Spanish, and Mexican—many are variations on traditional dishes, such as chilaquiles, chiles rellenos, and salsa (for which the cook provides fifteen versions). Whether describing how to prepare cod or ham and eggs (a typical Anglo dish labeled "huevos hipócritas"), Pinedo was imparting invaluable lessons in culinary history and Latino culture along with her piquant directions. In addition to his lively, clear translation, Dan Strehl offers a remarkable view of Pinedo's family history and of the material and literary culture of early California cooking. Prize-winning journalist Victor Valle puts Pinedo's work into the context of Hispanic women's testimonios of the nineteenth century, explaining how the book is a deliberate act of cultural transmission from a traditionally voiceless group.
Acknowledgments
A Curse of Tea and Potatoes: The Life and Recipes of Encarnación Pinedo
In Encarnación’s Kitchen
El cocinero español—The Spanish Cook
A Note on the Text
Dedication
Introduction: The Art of Cooking

Recetas—Recipes
Sopas, Pan, Huevos—Soups, Breads, Eggs
Pescado—Fish
Aves—Poultry
Carne—Meat
Verduras y Maíz—Vegetable and Corn Dishes
Rellenos—Stuffings
Salsas—Sauces
Dulces—Desserts and Sweets

Ingredients and Procedures
Bibliography
Index
Dan Strehl, Manager of the Frances Howard Goldwyn Hollywood Regional Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, is the author of The Spanish Cook (1992) and One Hundred Books on California Food and Wine (1990). Victor Valle is Director of the American Communities Program at Cal State
Univerisity Los Angeles, Professor of Ethnic Studies at California Polytechnic
State University, coauthor of Recipe of Memory (1995), and a member of a Los Angeles Times team that won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the Chicano community in Los Angeles.
“A historic trove of 300 Mexican recipes from 19th-century California. . . . Pinedo's work offers a look into kitchens of days gone by, with a flavor whose influence is still apparent today.”—Associated Press
“The menu is sophisticated and unusual -- fish stuffed with cinnamon-spiced ground nuts, fresh fava beans cooked with lettuce and ham, corn pudding and, for dessert, tuberose ice cream. The latest at a trendy fusion cafe? No -- it's Old California cuisine, as revealed in an intriguing historic cookbook, recently republished by University of California Press. . . . More than a collection of recipes, the book gives a fascinating glimpse into the lifestyle of a vanished segment of California society.”—Barbara Hansen Los Angeles Times
“Deserves inclusion in both academic and large public library culinary history collections.”—Peter Hepburn Library Journal
“Though this bible of 19th-century California cuisine is now more than a century old, a new and seamless translation by Strehl (The Spanish Cook) proves that common sense culinary advice is timeless. . . .The book, with its Buñuelos, o Suspiros de Monjas (Puffy Fritters, or Nuns’ Sighs), serves as a window on another time, as a cultural document as much as a culinary one. And the simplicity with which these dishes can be recreated more than makes up for a deep-fried dependence on lard. Victor Valle (Recipe of Memory) provides an enlightening introductory essay that briefly chronicles the life and times of the remarkable woman who shaped present day Cal-Mex cookery.”—Publishers Weekly
“A landmark for anyone interested in learning about and preparing Mexican food. . . .Strehl’s sharp 300-recipe version . . .will ensure new generations of experts. There are more than 15 variations of salsa alone. Readers will recognize the roots of lots of additional still-popular traditional dishes, such as enchiladas and chiles rellenos, as well as many dishes they most likely have never prepared or tasted before. Recipes are presented just as Pinedo did, written out in paragraph form without separating ingredients and directions and without specifying exact amounts of ingredients or yields. Befitting most of history’s classic, well-loved cuisines, recipes are simple, yet memorably flavorful.”—Lisa Messinger Copley News Service
“The first cookbook written by a Hispanic in the United States, it succeeds on two levels. First, it presents many sophisticated and mouthwatering recipes. . . .While the measurements are not as precise as those found in today’s cookbooks, the recipes seem both workable and intriguing. Second, the book allows a glimpse at a proud woman whose culture was trampled by Anglo settlers. Readers will sense the place and the role of a woman—and an unmarried one at that—in a 19th-century kitchen, but, more important, they should gain a clear picture of how the Mexican populace in California clung fast to its heritage.”—Peter Hepburn Library Journal
"It's a rare cookbook that is as pleasurable to think about as it is to cook from. But that's what Dan Strehl has accomplished with his elegant translation of Encarnación’s Kitchen, a book that provides a fascinating look at the life and cooking of the wealthy Californios in the final days of the rich Rancho culture of California."—Russ Parsons, author of How to Read a French Fry

"At long last! It is with enormous pleasure that I greet Dan Strehl’s authoritative English translation, Encarnación’s Kitchen. I should like to have had the original Spanish edition as well, but I dream."—Karen Hess, author of The Carolina Rice Kitchen

"Encarnación’s Kitchen is far more than a historical curiosity, or a mere kitchen fragment that sketches silhouettes of ingredients and techniques. The recipes of Encarnación Pinedo’s kitchen, brought alive and set in context by Dan Strehl (and Victor Valle’s lucid introduction), offer rich examples of how California’s Mexican culinary culture developed as it bumped into—and cross-pollinated with—young, multifarious America. These dishes lay bare the often overlooked reality that food can be more than a reflection of culture. Food, as Encarnación understood, can be a seductively delicious catalyst for social understanding, change, even rebellious protest."—Rick Bayless, author of Mexico One Plate at a Time
A Curse of Tea and Potatoes

The Life and Recipes of Encarnación Pinedo

Victor Valle

There is nothing new in saying that cookbooks are read in bed or the garden as often as they are read inside the kitchen, for motives that have nothing to do with cooking. List all the cookbooks that have made the link between childhood memories and unsatisfied adult hunger, and you have filled a library with culinary nostalgia. But what about a recipe book that is intended to settle old scores, or one that is intended to protect its user from disappearing and doubles as a disguise from mortal enemies?

That, among other things, is what Encarnación Pinedo serves forth in El cocinero español (The Spanish Cook), a work of obvious importance for culinary historians. Published in 1898 in San Francisco, it is California's first, and clearly most extensive, Spanish-language cookbook. Anyone who reads Spanish and is lucky enough to get a copy of the thousand-recipe collection—you can find a copy in the Los Angeles Central Public Library—will discover a seminal text of Southwestern cuisine. Pinedo's Cocinero documents the start of California's love affair with fruits and vegetables, fresh edible flowers and herbs, aggressive spicing, and grilling over native wood fires. Her book also gives us California's first major collection of Mexican recipes, reason enough, it would seem, to translate and republish Pinedo's recipes. But recent scholarship suggests that she wrote more than just a memorable cookbook.

Pinedo and her book stand out in a time and place where men dominated the world of letters, and those letters were published in English. She was among that handful of nineteenth-century Latinas who published their works in the period following the conquest of Alta California. Moreover, Pinedo wrote exceptionally well, read and wrote in at least two languages, and received some formal education. Her literacy and education clearly mark Pinedo as a member of California's cultural elite.

A recent study by Rosaura Sanchez allows us to appreciate Pinedo's unique status. In her rereading of the nineteenth-century Californio testimonies collected by historian Hubert Howe Bancroft, Sanchez argues that his comprehensive history of California silences Mexican women in several ways. First, Bancroft allows the testimonies and histories written by Mexican, European, and American men to define Mexican female identity.1 The American and European writers, for example, typically stressed the beauty and subservience of the Californio women, and the indolence and effeminate character of the Californio men, in order to justify taking "possession of both land and women."2 Second, Bancroft and his collaborators collected fewer testimonies from female Californios. Third, although he utilized parts of their testimonies, he rarely identified them as sources. The silences he created gave him the liberty to fragment and reassemble their accounts in ways that suited his apologies for Manifest Destiny.3 These silences also hid the individual voices of his informants. We know now that the female informants Bancroft's collaborators interviewed did not speak with one voice, but instead interpreted the conquest from different and sometimes conflicting political and social perspectives. At moments, their testimonies challenged the idea that Anglo conquest represented progress, and at other moments acquiesced to the new order. Bancroft's glosses, however, effectively suppressed the complexity of the female Californio testimonies for more than a century.

Pinedo's Cocinero, meanwhile, fell into obscurity despite her best wishes. In the Cocinero's introduction, she addresses her subscribers, a clear indication of her efforts to defray the cost of publication. Like other nineteenth-century authors, Pinedo had sought advance sales of her book to demonstrate its sales potential to her printer, a Mr. E.C. Hughes. Judging from his publishing record, Hughes did not run a vanity press. The steam-driven press he operated in his shop published government and technical manuals, corporate bylaws, travel guides, commemorative speeches by visiting diplomats, and an occasional literary work.4 Nevertheless, Pinedo's book suffered the fate of others written in a recently conquered language.

As a result, El cocinero and other seminal Californio texts languished in private libraries, while the life stories of other nineteenth-century Latinas collected dust in Bancroft's folios. For decades, few scholars thought to call upon these women as historical witnesses of the conquest and its aftermath. Instead, they preferred images of beautiful señoritas as objects of description. In recent decades, however, scholars from a number of disciplines have unearthed these nineteenth-century texts in an effort to reconstruct their voices. These efforts have yielded important cultural texts.

Published in 1885 in San Francisco, María Amparo Ruiz de Burton's novel, The Squatter and the Don, would be the first to retell California's conquest from a Mexican perspective. Written in English, her historical romance revisits the past in order to question "the 'American way' as a just, democratic and liberating system." Ruiz de Burton also subverted the negative Mexican stereotypes circulated by the Anglo press of her day. She created Mexican characters—though economically and politically subordinate—that were culturally and intellectually superior to their Yankee counterparts.5 Pinedo's Cocinero, which was published in the same city fourteen years later, appears to have nothing in common with Ruiz de Burton's novel. It does not narrate a history; it does not create an imaginary world, or redress wrongs. It does not appear to be any more than it is—a book filled with culinary instructions, or so it would seem.

Scholars from various disciplines have now begun to read memoirs, letters, personal testimonies, and even cookbooks as literary texts rich in cultural meanings. Pinedo's Cocinero is simultaneously a book of recipes and identities. She shows us how her family dined, and how she reimagined her identity during a period of violent upheaval. By listing the ingredients of family recipes, she invoked the ghosts of a culture that was fast disappearing. By explaining how these ingredients were combined, she reconnected the fragments of her life, her individuality, and sense of feminine self-worth in a present filled with uncertainty. Pinedo's recipes can thus be read as testaments of hunger. She hungered for culinary and cultural continuity in a time of upheaval. Yet sating her special appetites depended upon her creative powers of memory and imagination. Through such an exertion of memory, she recalled the recipes of her childhood. The recipes she recorded summoned her past to the table. Once published, the recipes fixed her formulas for invoking that past, especially for family and friends who had not lived the glory of the ranchos. Pinedo, a custodian of memory, thus emerges as a precursor of such Latina memory artists as Denise Chavez, Maria Helena Viramontes, and Sandra Cisneros.

As with her literary descendants, however, her act of remembering was fraught with ambiguities and contradictions. Dead worlds revived by memory are not replicas of the past. They are interpretations riddled with gaps; the survivors fill in these gaps with their own inventions. These inventions of a past recreated in the present reveal much about the author's desires. The title of El cocinero español also betrays the author's desires. In her cookbook, she elected to bring aspects of her past to the foreground, while pushing others to the background.

Before Anglo conquest, Pinedo's ancestors had used the label of gente de razón (people of reason) to stress their status as Catholic settlers, and to downplay their mestizo ambiguities. Among the racially mixed population of settlers, culture, religion, wealth, and regional loyalty counted more than skin color alone as social descriptors. Like other settlers in the borderlands, Pinedo's ancestors did not want to be confused with heathen indios. And by calling themselves Californios they stressed their local loyalties and their distance from the administrative centers of Guadalajara and Mexico City. But after conquest, Lisbeth Haas argues,

That comparatively ample tolerance for color difference was not shared by the Anglo population, which had generally accepted a set of ideas about "white" racial superiority just prior to the Mexican War of 1846. After 1900, difference in terms of skin color superceded all other distinctions, and it became harder for Californios to negotiate a favorable status.6

While the new Anglo majority invariably racialized poor Californios by labeling them "Mexicans," some elite Californios insisted on calling themselves Spanish. Some chose this label because they believed it. Some elite Californios had fashioned their Spanish cultural identities before the Yankees arrived, while others deployed the label to pass as second-class whites. Some Anglos were inclined to accept the ranchero elite as honorary whites, and ignore antimiscegenation laws, if doing so brought them land, money, or higher social status. European Americans "were not oblivious to the advantages of marrying into wealthy ranchero families," writes historian Tomas Almaguer. "With eligible white women being scarce in the territory, fair complexioned, upper-class Mexican women were among the most valued marriage partners available."7 Few Californio women could have matched the social prestige of the women in Pinedo's family tree. Not surprisingly, many of the women of Pinedo's generation and social station used their family names and reputations, real or embellished, to marry into the new Anglo elite. As Pinedo's family history reveals, a woman's decision to marry the conqueror often provoked a sense of bitterness, disappointment, and betrayal among her immediate relations.

On June 28, 1846, at San Rafael in the northern borderlands of Alta California, a group of Bear Flag rebels led by Kit Carson noticed a small boat in which a pair of teenage boys rowed an older gentleman toward shore. José de los Reyes Berreyesa, one of California's wealthiest ranchers, had just crossed San Francisco Bay with his two nephews, Francisco and Ramón de Haro. He had traveled north from San Jose to find his son, who, at that moment, was jailed in Sonoma for allegedly conspiring against the rebels, an allegation that was later proved false.8 Carson intercepted the party, suspecting them of spying. He had been instructed by Major John C. Frémont to take no prisoners, an order he interpreted with perverse literalness. Carson gave the signal to fire. Some accounts report that Carson's men fired upon Francisco and Ramón as they rowed to shore.9 The Berreyesa descendants, however, say the men executed don José's nephews after they had disembarked.10 Both accounts agree that the sixty-one-year-old don José then flung himself over the bodies of the young boys, asking Carson's men why they had not taken his life instead. They promptly obliged don José's request.11

Eight years later, in a bid to take control of the New Almaden Mine—a fabulously rich mercury deposit that soon proved invaluable in refining the Gold Rush ore—a gang of hooded men lynched Nemesio Berreyesa, don José's son. By 1856, Yankee miners and vigilantes had lynched or shot eight Berreyesa men, including the brother, named Encarnación, of Pinedo's mother, María del Carmen Berreyesa. Crooked lawyers and squatters also beset the family's 160,000 acres of Santa Clara Valley land. And so it went until this family, once one of the most land-rich among Californio families, lost everything. Broke and mired in litigation, the seventy-member clan had no choice but to beg the San Jose town government for a small plot on which to build new homes. The family blamed treacherous Yankee lawyers, freebooters, and squatters for robbing and murdering them, and the Mexican government for failing to protect their vast holdings. To other disillusioned Californios, the Berreyesa tragedy came to symbolize the measure of their collective defeat.12

For Encarnación Pinedo, that decade must have seemed a nether world in which a dying past coexisted with a hostile future. Pinedo, the daughter of María del Carmen Berreyesa, was born May 21, 1848, a year before the second onslaught of Yankee miners into California. She lived close enough to her past to invoke its presence, and long enough to see its decline.13At age fifty, a spinster living upon her married sister's generosity, she preserved her family's recipes even as the world to which they belonged was ending. She began her book with a dedication to her nieces: "So that you may always remember the value of a woman's work, . . . study this volume's contents."14 Her dedication does not mention that her nieces married Anglo men. The omission disguises the dual nature of her gift: the recipes would not only contribute to their domestic happiness, but her descendants would also use these formulas to transmit the Californio half of their newly hybridized cultural identities to another generation.

Pinedo builds her bridge to the past without mentioning her family's persecution and material losses. I believe her evasions have a strategic function. In an article written in 1901 for Santa Clara's Sunday Bulletin, she relates her family's role in developing the New Almaden Mine, but without mentioning Nemesio's lynching. She merely notes that "the Government of the United States took possession of the mine," a version of events that neither asserts nor contradicts her family's claims.15 Years later, the Berreyesa family accused Major Frémont of ordering their uncle's murder. They insisted that the men he commanded had killed Nemesio to force Nemesio's wife into selling their ranch.16

One of the last surviving members of the Berreyesa clan said she understood Pinedo's silences. Naomi Berreyesa, who was ninety-two years old when I interviewed her, said her family feared their tormentors. "My great-grandfather was afraid his family was going to get it next. That's why he said to his family, 'Let's go back to Mexico.' Even to this day, we have been treated like criminals," she said, referring to her fruitless efforts to persuade the government to acknowledge the legality of her family's land claims. "You wonder why my blood boils over. There are still family members who feel this way."17

And felt that way in Pinedo's day as well, judging by María del Carmen's order forbidding her daughters to talk to Gringos, whom she still blamed for killing Pinedo's grandfather and uncles.18 Yet Pinedo would see her sister and six of her nieces defy her mother's wishes and marry Yankee men.19 Surely, Pinedo sensed the disappointment and betrayal these marriages provoked in the elder Berreyesas. Surely, her mother and relatives reminded her that she bore the name of an uncle lynched by the Yankees. Her aunt Engracia, for example, refused to forgive Carson's men for killing her father. This is how she recounted the story of José's murder to a reporter: "When my mother heard the news of my father's death she fainted. . . . The Gringos were a bloodless people. They lived on tea and potatoes."20 Tellingly, Engracia used a culinary insult to denounce those whom she believed to be as soulless as their cooking.

Pinedo echoes her aunt's disdain for Yankee cooking, but with more refinement and with a flair for condescension. In the Cocinero's introduction, Pinedo casts Latinized Catholics, not Protestant Yankees, in the leading culinary roles. She conveys this idea by foregrounding her recipes with a culinary history that begins in classical antiquity, implicitly claiming Lucullus and Apicius as her culinary forerunners. She also notes the debt French cooks owed to Italian cuisine, and the superiority of French culinary technique above all others.21 Pinedo, in other words, by presenting her recipes as a continuation of a classic tradition, places her cuisine in the culinary mainstream, which for her was Catholic Europe. Pinedo stressed her Catholicity as her ancestors had. She belonged to la gente de razón. Then she turns a scornful eye upon the English:

The English have advanced the art a bit, enough that several of its writers have published on the subject: a Mr. Pegge in 1390, Sir J. Elliot in 1539, Abraham Veale in 1575, and Widovas Treasure in 1625. Despite all this, there is not a single Englishman who can cook, as their foods and style of seasoning are the most insipid and tasteless that one can imagine.22

Pinedo's mention of a book attributed to a Widovas Treasure, which does not appear to exist, suggests that her knowledge of these texts came from hearsay. Still, the level of her culinary gossip should not come as a complete surprise, if one considers Pinedo's education, and the company she kept. At the Notre Dame Academy in San Jose, she came under the influence of a northern European convent culture with a cosmopolitan outlook that valued bilingualism. As a day student she studied under French- and Flemish-speaking nuns, some with European university degrees, who taught the academy's elementary through high-school curriculum.23 As with other Catholic orders established in California after 1848, the academy had introduced bilingual instruction to further their "Americanization" program.24 The arrival of forty-two Guatemalan nuns in 1859 further enhanced the academy's multilingual atmosphere, and these nuns may have tutored Pinedo on the fine points of literary Spanish.25

Given her family history and schooling, the absence of Yankee recipes in her cookbook makes sense. Her omissions seem to express a refusal to acknowledge those who had turned her world upside down. Read today, her subtle arrogance may seem charming. She counted herself among the civilized. Her culinary inclusions and exclusions show how she constructed herself as a civilized subject, one, contrary to the myth of ethnic victimhood, who relegated Anglos to the position of barbarous Other. But does the Cocinero's title mask a paradox: did she knowingly stress her Spanish heritage at the expense of her Mexican cuisine, or did her title express omissions that jibed with an identity she had never thought to question? My guess is that Pinedo, in the act of remembering, chose to revise her past to remove any doubts about the provenance of her recipes. Even if she had not questioned her Spanish identity while growing up, the act of publishing recipes that traced their origins to Mexicans, via their culinary texts and memories, must have forced the identity question into her consciousness. Her choice may have been a pragmatic decision to make her book more salable, a desire to put her identity above any racial suspicion, or perhaps both. Her descendants had faced this ambiguity before.

Her Californio ancestors claim that the Berreyesas came from the Basque region of Spain in 1731 to what is now the northwest Mexican state of Sinaloa. Fifteen-year-old Nicolás Antonio Berreyesa, Pinedo's great-grandfather, then joined the de Anza California expedition of 1775-76.26 The church archives in which the families that joined the expedition are registered tell another story about the family's origins. These records categorized the majority of those trekking northward as members of mixed-race castes. Miraculous transformations then occurred upon arrival in the northern borderlands. They were now far enough away from officialdom to drop their caste titles and become gente de razón. These name changes did not alter one crucial fact. Most of California's settlers were mestizos and Christened Indians, with a sprinkling of Asians and Africans. Few of the settlers were actually Iberian immigrants. Moreover, the act of taking Indian, mestiza, and African wives and adopting indigenous traditions, customs, and foods further naturalized these Spaniards to the so-called New World during the three-hundred-year-long process of moving up from Mexico. This was Hispanic America's paradox of conquest. In the act of expanding their empire, the native conditions and cultures gradually transformed the Spaniards and their institutions. Our present-day knowledge of the conquest thus requires the reader to look beyond the Cocinero's title to understand the context in which Pinedo lived and cooked her cuisine.

My colleague Dan Strehl did not see any ambiguities in the Cocinero's literary genealogy. After a thorough reading of rare Mexican culinary texts, Strehl concluded that Pinedo's recipes are the descendants of Mexico's nineteenth-century cuisine, which, with its "distinctive Spanish, Indian, and French influences," provided a sophisticated contrast to the amateur cookbooks compiled by the wives of the first Anglo settlers.27 These recipes clearly suggest the influence of Mexican texts. Pinedo's mole de carnero, or lamb mole, for example, is a virtual word-for-word copy of a mole caraqueño de carnero (Caracas-style lamb mole) recipe in a Mexican cookbook published by Simon Blanquel in 1853.28 Although adapted to her local circumstances, many of Pinedo's recipes are variations of Mexican themes or Spanish standards previously incorporated into the Mexican canon. She had multiple opportunities to collect these recipes: from a formidable extended family, from the academy's Guatemalan nuns, from the Mexican cookbooks advertised in California's Spanish-language newspapers, and from recipes clipped from the Spanish-language illustrated magazines of her day. Whatever the sources, Pinedo's Mexican recipes are preceded by Spanish-sounding names. But her aves en mole gallego (fowl in a Galician mole), guajolote en clamole [sic] castellano (turkey in Castilian clemole), and guajolote en mole gallego (turkey in Galician mole) are just simplified versions of Mexican originals.29 (The words mole and clemole are both derived from the Nahuatl word for "sauce"; guajolote [turkey] is another example of Mexican Spanish with a Nahuatl root.) A few recipes acknowledge Mexican influences with terms such as a la mexicana, while others, such as Pinedo's lengua enchilada (tongue in chile sauce), build upon Mexican cooking concepts and ingredients.30 Still, Pinedo does not acknowledge a source for the mole-like sauce in this recipe, which begins with toasted, dried California chile, sesame, and almonds ground to a crunchy texture, or for her other recipes that borrow terminology, ingredients, or cooking techniques from Mexican sources.

Her recipes show more than a grasp of ingredients and cooking techniques. In contrast to some nouvelle chefs today, who often travel the one-way street of subjecting native ingredients to European cooking methods, Pinedo's interpretations demonstrate a mastery of both European technique and mestizo aesthetics, an achievement rarely matched by subsequent Anglo interpreters of Mexican cooking. But why Hispanicize the names of Mexican recipes or disguise the fact that her "Spanish" cooking was inextricably rooted in Mexican cuisine? Was she simply acting upon an artist's prerogative to rename recipes? Most likely, Pinedo, like other elite Californio women, preferred the term español because it designated elevated social status. She expressed that status by creating a culinary context for her recipes, one that meshed with the social and political context in which she wrote and published them.

I believe Pinedo used her recipes to create a new identity for herself, one that allowed her to recover some of her family's former dignity. She did this by incorporating Mexican cuisine into her Spanish self, thereby appropriating Catholic European respectability in an attempt to improve her position in relationship to the more powerful Anglos who surrounded her. Pragmatic considerations, such as the blatant racial discrimination against the poorer and darker Californios, probably motivated the renegotiation of her identity. The writing and publishing of recipes represented one of the rare ways a woman of her time might earn money by respectable means. The success of Helen Hunt Jackson's popular novel Ramona, published fourteen years earlier, may have alerted Pinedo to the marketing potential of romantic Californio themes. As a spinster living with her sister's Yankee husband, her status—and perhaps her income—as an author also may have helped her to deflect any suspicion of abusing her brother-in-law's generosity. The same goes for her immediate social circle. Emphasizing her Spanish past allowed her to maintain her place in elite society while racism increasingly dominated the public sphere.

Californio antagonisms with Mexican civil authority also may have influenced her loyalties. Mexican nationalism may have arrived too late to change her loyalties, but it's hard to say for sure. We can only judge her by what she wrote, which reveals quite a lot. "Silver-toned bells come with the light of the Gospel all the way from Old Spain," she wrote in a newspaper article, invoking her recent past as a Spanish idyll graced by beautiful señoritas and gallant caballeros.31 In the same article, she perpetuates the brutal myth that California Indians enjoyed the floggings given them by the padres. "Obedience from the Indians was enforced by flogging," she wrote. "When an Indian looked sad and they asked him what was the matter with him he would answer that he was sad because he missed his flogging and upon getting one he would say: 'Now I am warm and satisfied.'"32 My hunch is that she found it easier to embellish a lie than to denounce it. Perhaps retelling the story helped her ease her guilt. After all, the Anglo newcomers frequently pointed to the ranchero's mistreatment of Native Americans as proof of Mexican tyranny. At least, that is how Mexican-Americans who came of age politically during the 1960s once judged Pinedo's generation. But I wonder how our generation would have held up under the same circumstances?

Unfortunately, the contradictions expressed by Pinedo and her peers helped a new governing majority construct racial identities for California's Mexican population. A hard, unforgiving line now divided what had been a heterogeneous community with a loosely defined ethnic and racial identity. Scores of cookbook writers and journalists followed her lead. By the 1930s, the concept of Mexican food had become so thoroughly Hispanicized that only astute observers could note the irony of ordering tamales and enchiladas in a "Spanish" restaurant.

Pinedo may have been the first Californio writer to participate in the culinary formulation of Spanish romance, but she wasn't the last. During the early twentieth century, the Anglo majority's increasing fascination with romantic Old Spain also imprisoned native New Mexican cookbook writers such as Fabiola Cabeza de Baca Gilbert within its socially acceptable definitions of Mexican identity. Cabeza de Baca could only publish her book, The Good Life: New Mexico Traditions and Food, if she stayed within the bounds of majority cultural expectations. These concessions resulted in debilitating contradictions. Genaro Padilla argues that the native New Mexican writers of Cabeza de Baca's generation engaged in "intense cultural self-deceit, political fear, and masked and self-divided identity" to appeal to an audience dominated by the colonizing majority.33

However, excessive supplication to majority taste could be unsettling. The dominating culture suppressed the discomfort of witnessing the minority culture's awareness of its "masked and self-divided identity" by erasing their memories of conquest, and by representing their domination as social progress. Representing conquest as progress required that the conquerors symbolically include the precolonial elite in their power structures. Pageants and fiestas often provided the opportunity for bestowing ceremonial positions of authority upon the defeated elite. In time, the defeated internalized the lie and transported their tragic history to "a fabulous domain of cultural romance, aristocratic pretense," and, Padilla notes, "self-deceit."34

Fortunately, the fantasy was not entirely convincing. In moments of reflection, members of the defeated elite acknowledged the reality of their degraded status, which emboldened some to subvert the myths that sustained their make-believe authority. If you listen carefully to these New Mexican writers, you can hear a native cultural "I" cursing the bars of the cultural prison in which the imperial "Other" has confined them.35 The Cocinero's dismissal of English cooking and its exclusion of Yankee recipes show Pinedo rattling her prison bars more than three decades before her New Mexican sisters would attempt the same. Despite her contradictions, she asserted her existence, and did so proudly, at a time when history conspired to erase it. Her Spanish identity also gave Pinedo a weapon to resist cultural effacement. The romance of her cuisine continually invoked a past that predated the time of her defeated present. By encouraging friends and family to taste the pleasures of that time, she could reveal to them the authentic "natives" in their midst.36 As Padilla observes: "We no longer have a recipe book of quaint 'Spanish' recipes, but a gesture of cultural assertion."37 The act of creating a culinary legacy for succeeding generations thus expresses self-love in the face of denigration, and faith in the possibility of some day reestablishing a lost cultural continuity. That day appears to be drawing near as Mexican culture, now urban and transnational, regains its former centrality in public and private life.

Notes

1. Rosaura Sanchez, Telling Identities: The Californio Testimonios (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995), pp. 188-90.

2. Ibid., p. 200.

3. Ibid., p. 28.

4. A search of the WorldCat database conducted on November 18, 1999, turned up twenty-four works in which Hughes is listed as a San Francisco printer or publisher.

5. María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, The Squatter and the Don, ed. and intro. by Rosaura Sánchez and Beatrice Pita (1885; reprint, Houston: Arte Público Press, 1992), p. 7.

6. Lisbeth Haas, Conquests and Historical Identities in California, 1769-1936 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), p. 10.

7. Tomás Almaguer, Racial Fault Lines: The Historical Origins on White Supremacy in California (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), p. 59.

8. Sanchez, Telling Identities, p. 265.

9. Leonard Pitt, The Decline of the Californios: A Social History of the Spanish-Speaking Californians, 1846-1890 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966), pp. 30-31.

10. Sanchez, Telling Identities, p. 265.

11. Pitt, Decline of the Californios, p. 30.

12. Ibid., 102-3.

13. Dan Strehl, ed. and trans., The Spanish Cook: A Selection of Recipes from Encarnación Pinedo's "El Cocinero Español" (Pasadena, Calif.: Weather Bird Press, 1992).

14. Encarnación Pinedo, El cocinero español: Obra que contiene mil recetas valiosas y utiles para cocinar con facilidad en diferentes estilos [The Spanish Cook: A Work Containing a Thousand Valuable and Useful Recipes to Cook with Ease in Different Styles] (San Francisco: Imprenta de E.C. Hughes, 1898), p. 3.

15. Encarnación Pinedo, "Early Days in Santa Clara," Sunday Bulletin, June 9, 1901, p. 1.

16. Pitt, Decline of the Californios, p. 102.

17. Naomi Berreyesa, telephone interview by Victor Valle, September 1992.

18. Mrs. Fremont Older [Clara Baggerly],"The Pathfinder's Victim," pt. 2, San Jose Mercury, ca. 1925.

19. Mrs. Fremont Older [Clara Baggerly], "William Fitts' Omnibus," San Jose Mercury, ca. 1925.

20. Older, "The Pathfinder's Victim."

21. Pinedo, El cocinero español, pp. 5-8.

22. Ibid., p. 6; my translation.

23. Day-student experience: Older, "William Fitts' Omnibus"; characteristics of nuns: Eduardus J. Hanna, In Harvest Fields by Sunset Shores: The Work of the Sisters of Notre Dame on the Pacific Coast (San Francisco: Gilmartin Company, 1926), pp. 32-33, 198.

24. Almaguer, Racial Fault Lines, p. 63.

25. Arrival of nuns: Hanna, In Harvest Fields by Sunset Shores, p. 196; nuns tutoring Pinedo: Sister Julie Bellefeuille, archivist for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, telephone interview by Victor Valle, Saratoga, Calif., September 1992.

26. Marie Northrop, Spanish American Families of Early California, 1769-1850, 2 vols. (Burbank: Southern California Genealogical Society, 1976, 1984). "Berryessa" is the modern spelling of the family name. "Berreyesa" and "Bereyesa" were used during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

27. Strehl, The Spanish Cook, p. 1.

28. Simon Blanquel, Novisimo arte de cocina; o, Excelente colección de las mejores recetas (Mexico City: Imprenta Tomás Gardida, 1853).

29. Pinedo, El cocinero español, pp. 24, 113.

30. Ibid., p. 145.

31. Pinedo, "Early Days in Santa Clara," p. 2.

32. Ibid.

33. Genaro Padilla, "Imprisoned Narrative? Or Lies, Secrets, and Silence in New Mexico Women's Autobiography," in Criticism in the Borderlands: Studies in Chicano Literature, Culture, and Ideology, ed. Hector Calderon and Jose David Saldivar (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1991), p. 43.

34. Ibid., p. 44.

35. Ibid.

36. Ibid., p. 54.

37. Ibid., p. 55.

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