America's First Cuisines by Sophie D. CoeAmerica's First Cuisines by Sophie D. Coe

America's First Cuisines

bySophie D. Coe

Paperback | January 1, 1994

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After long weeks of boring, perhaps spoiled sea rations, one of the first things Spaniards sought in the New World was undoubtedly fresh food. Probably they found the local cuisine strange at first, but soon they were sending American plants and animals around the world, eventually enriching the cuisine of many cultures.

Drawing on original accounts by Europeans and native Americans, this pioneering work offers the first detailed description of the cuisines of the Aztecs, the Maya, and the Inca. Sophie Coe begins with the basic foodstuffs, including maize, potatoes, beans, peanuts, squash, avocados, tomatoes, chocolate, and chiles, and explores their early history and domestication. She then describes how these foods were prepared, served, and preserved, giving many insights into the cultural and ritual practices that surrounded eating in these cultures. Coe also points out the similarities and differences among the three cuisines and compares them to Spanish cooking of the period, which, as she usefully reminds us, would seem as foreign to our tastes as the American foods seemed to theirs. Written in easily digested prose, America's First Cuisines will appeal to food enthusiasts as well as scholars.

Sophie D. Coe (1933-1994) held a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University. She researched and written extensively on the cuisines of native Latin America.
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Title:America's First CuisinesFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:288 pages, 8.97 × 6.02 × 0.73 inShipping dimensions:8.97 × 6.02 × 0.73 inPublished:January 1, 1994Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:029271159X

ISBN - 13:9780292711594

Reviews

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • 1. Domestication
  • 2. New World Staples
  • 3. New World Produce
  • 4. The Aztecs
  • 5. Aztec Ingredients
  • 6. Aztec Cooks and Menus
  • 7. The Maya and the Explorers
  • 8. Diego de Landa
  • 9. Solid Maya Breadstuffs
  • 10. Maya Flesh Food
  • 11. Maya Produce
  • 12. The Inca: Animal and Mineral
  • 13. The Inca: Vegetable
  • 14. The Inca
  • 15. The Inca and the Europeans
  • 16. The Occupation
  • 17. A Final Banquet
  • 18. Finale
  • Bibliography
  • Index

From Our Editors

Drawing on original accounts by Europeans and native Americans, this pioneering work offers the first detailed description of the cuisines of the Aztecs, the Maya, and the Inca. Sophie Coe begins with the basic foodstuffs, including maize, potatoes, beans, peanuts, squash, avocados, tomatoes, chocolate, and chilies, and explores their early history and domestication. She then describes how these foods were prepared, served, and preserved, giving many insights into the cultural and ritual practices that surrounded eating in these cultures. Coe also points out the similarities and differences among the three cuisines and compares them to Spanish cooking of the period, which, as she usefully reminds us, would seem as foreign to our tastes as the American foods seemed to theirs.

Editorial Reviews

"Sophie Coe . . . was as rare in our time as her hero, Bernardino Sahagún, was in his: a culinary anthropologist who gave equal weight to both parts of that phrase.... However, despite the strong culinary thrust of the text, the 'discovery' of New World foods is an aspect of her story that—although extensively discussed—becomes. finally, almost beside the point. Her real subject is the tragic collision of two worldviews perhaps least likely to understand, let alone appreciate, each other. If mestizo culture remains as volatile and potent as a vinaigrette, it is because, even today, the two continue to coexist less like water and chocolate than oil and vinegar." - Cook Book - 199409