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Cookbooks as Documentary Sources: The Material Culture of Kitchens and Tables from 19th-Century Puerto Rican Households

Author(s): Lyrsa María Torres-Vélez

Year: 2017

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Summary

Puerto Rico’s culinary history is characterized by a blend of the different ethnicities that settled in the island after the Spanish Conquest, as well as the incorporation of pre-Columbian food ways. This ethnogenesis can be studied through the culinary traditions that conform what we now refer to as criollo. This presentation uses El Cocinero Puerto-Riqueño, the only cookbook available from the 19th century in Puerto Rico, as a primary source to address the material culture associated to activities related to kitchens and food consumption. First, by applying research methodologies previously proposed and used by Elizabeth Scott and Mary Beaudry, we will demonstrate the research potential of cookbooks to establish the utensils used for both food preparation and serving. Then this data will be used to outline the type of objects that could have been found in certain 19th-century Puerto Rican households. Lastly, we will like to address the social context in order to posse questions regarding who might have had access to the book, as well as how culinary traditions might have been passed from one generation to the next.


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Cite this Record

Cookbooks as Documentary Sources: The Material Culture of Kitchens and Tables from 19th-Century Puerto Rican Households. Lyrsa María Torres-Vélez. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432090)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Caribbean


Spatial Coverage

min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16423

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America