Early Edition of the First Indigenous Mexican Cookbook

Contemporary Manuscript Recipes Tipped In

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436. [MEXICAN COOKBOOK]. BLANQUEL, Simón. Nueva Cocinera Mexicana, ó Excelente Coleccion de las mejores recetas para que al menor costo posible, y con la mayor comodidad, pueda guisarse á la española, francesa, italiana é inglesa, sin omitirse cosa alguna de lo hasta aquí publicado para sazonar al estilo de México. Lleva añadido los mas selecto que se encuentra acerca de la reposteria; el arte de trinchar &c., con dos graciosisimas estampas que aclaran mejor este último tratadito. Mexico: Impreso por Luis Heredia, Calle del Arco Num. 8, 1841. [1-3] 4-136, 127-134, 137-256 pp. (text complete), 2 wood-engraved plates illustrating carving and trussing. 8vo (14.5 x 9.5 cm), contemporary Mexican tree sheep, gilt-lettered and decorated morocco spine label. Binding lightly rubbed, hinges starting but firm; except for some very minor fraying of last leaves, interior is fine. With two contemporary recipes written on flyleaves and two more tipped to back pastedown. Rare; only three copies located in OCLC.

     Second edition of “Simon Blanquel’s important early Mexican cookbook, which was first printed in 1831 and stands as the first original Mexican cookbook printed in Mexico. It stands as a significant work in the culinary history of Mexico as one of the first publications to recognize a national gastronomy in Mexico. Its primacy was mirrored in its popularity; nine editions of the cookbook appeared between 1831 and 1893” (Library of Congress, “First Original Mexican Cookbook,” describing their edition of 1845). Not in Palau or other standard sources. See Puig and Stoopen, section 1. The first edition (1831) had a title beginning with Novísimo arte de cocina (see Cagle, et al, American Books on Food & Drink, 1739–1950 #1197). The present edition was published in fascicules, as the notice on p. 96 makes clear; the publisher also states that publication of the third fascicule has been delayed because the press has been moved.

     Divided into eight “tratados,” this influential text is a fairly comprehensive recipe book with an international emphasis. The sections cover sopas, enseladas, guisados (two chapters), masas, guisados de leche and postres, conservas, and refescos and dulces. A final section, illustrated by the two plates, covers carving. Among the recipes showing foreign influences are capirotada de menudo francesa, adobo de España, relleno de Estremadura, lengua de vaca en adobo á la francesa, bola de chanfaina á la inglesa, escabeche de pescado á la española, and guisada de leche y calabacita de Castilla. Despite these foreign influences, however, the book remains heavily concentrated on classical Mexican dishes using traditional Mexican ingredients and methods.


Sold. Hammer: $1,500.00; Price Realized: $1,837.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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