First Edition of a Very Early Mexican Provincial Cookbook


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439. [MEXICAN COOKBOOK]. La Cocinera de todo el mundo, o La Cocina sin Cocinera. Coleccion de las mejores y mas escelentes recetas. Para que al menos costo posible y con la mayor comodidad, pueda guisarse á la española, francesa, italiana é inglesa; sin omitir cosa alguna de los hasta aquí publicado para razonar al estilo de Mégico. Lleva añadido un calendario gastronómico, no conocido entre nosotros, varias recetas curiosas y desconocidas hasta hoy, los mas selecto que se encuentra acerca de reposteria; el arte de trinchar, &c., con una graciosísima estampa litografiada que aclara mejor este último tratado. Puebla: Imprenta de Juan Nepomuceno del Valle, Calle de la Carcineria num. 12, 1843-1844. 2 vols. in 1. Vol. I: [1-3] 4-254 pp.; Vol II: [1-3] 4-247 [1, blank], [4] pp., 1 untitled folded lithograph plate (table service and methods of properly carving various cuts of meat, fish, and fowl). 12mo (15 x 10.5 cm), full contemporary red and black mottled sheep, spine gilt decorated and with two gilt-lettered labels, covers rolled in gilt, red and blue marbled endpapers and edges. Binding slightly rubbed, upper right corner of upper cover bent and supported by old paper repair on front pastedown; both hinges open but holding, very scattered light foxing, otherwise an excellent, well-treated copy in an unusual binding for the genre.

    First edition of a very early Mexican provincial cookbook. Not in Palau, Cagle, Biting, or Vicaire. OCLC lists only a single copy of the 1844 edition (UC San Diego). This highly unusual cookbook contains hundreds of recipes for everything from soup to nuts, some presented as Continental dishes, others as purely Mexican dishes, and others modified to combine the two styles. In an age when refrigeration was a constant concern, the recipe for “Adobo de España que dura tres ó cuatro meses” (I:23) might have been of some interest. Included also are the must-have Native dishes “Mole poblano” (I:55) and nearly two dozen recipes for various salsas (I:108-113). Foreign recipes are given their due when appropriate, such as “Leche inglesa muy gustosa” (I:252). The culinary text of the book closes with a chapter on carving and another on various alcoholic drinks, part of which is in an unusual question and answer format. One of the sections of the latter part is a discussion of filtering liquids, one of which involves using a beaver skin procured from a milliner (2: 128). The book ends with a month-by-month discussion of which foods are appropriate and healthy for each month and how to prepare them. In January, for example, one should eat specially prepared tomatoes: “El fruto del tomate escita al apetito y conforta el estómago, debilitado por el escesivo calor” (II:218). The food for March is the venerable garlic, although it is not without its problems: “El ajo comun es un vejetal muy estimado en este pais y del que se hace un consuma du su raiz ó bulbo, á pesar de su odor particular fuerte, poco grato é incómodo a muchas personas delicadas” (II:221). This book was published by subscription, and the subscribers’ names occupy the last four pages of the book. The majority were from Puebla, but others were from Oaxaca, Querétaro, Matamoros, and Veracruz. More men than women subscribed. One of the Puebla subscribers was Native son Ignacio Comonfort (1812-1863), who went on to become President of Mexico.


Sold. Hammer: $3,000.00; Price Realized: $3,675.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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