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Que vivan los tamales!: Food and the Making of Mexican Identity (Dialogos) (Dialogos Series) Paperback – April 1, 1998


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Que vivan los tamales!: Food and the Making of Mexican Identity (Dialogos) (Dialogos Series) + The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics (The Latin America Readers) + The Course of Mexican History
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Product Details

  • Series: Dialogos Series
  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press; 1st edition (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826318738
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826318732
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This delightful approach to the history of Mexico examines how food has affected and mirrored the development of nationalism in the country. Pilcher (history, The Citadel) describes the early colonial conflict between the Mexican natives' consumption of corn and the European use of wheat. Tracing this conflict through the colonial period into the 20th century, he shows periodic attempts by Mexican elites and governmental officials to define Mexican culture and identity through a Europeanization of foods. That process essentially ended in the 1940s when the popular foods of the country were proclaimed to be the Mexican cuisine, resulting in a fusion of the two traditions. This well-written book highlights the interaction of the regional and national and the role of women in developing a national identity. Of interest to most academic libraries, it belongs in many public libraries as well.?Mark L. Grover, Brigham Young Univ., Provo, UT
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

""Que vivan los tamales!" provides the foodies with a great addition to their librar[ies]. . . . Politics, society, economy and food history converge like a grand stew with all the right fixings."

More About the Author

Jeffrey M. Pilcher is a professor of history at the University of Minnesota. He teaches classes on the history of food and drink in Mexico and around the world.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Ron Mader on January 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
(From Planeta magazine): Mexico's fiery cuisines stand in sharp contrast not only with traditional European cooking but also with each other. The regional variations and menus make Mexican cuisine one of the most sophisticated in the world. In a new book published as part of the University of New Mexico Press's Dialogos series, author Jeffrey Pilcher uses food itself to provide a unique, insider's guide to Mexican history and politics.
ÁQue vivan los Tamales!: Food and the Making of Mexican Identity (ISBN 0-8263-1873-8, 234 pages, University of New Mexico Press, 1998,$16.95 or $37.50 hardback (ISBN 0-8263-1872-X) examines the evolution of mestizo recipes - the blending of Old and New World spices to make the famous turkey mole or gourmet flourishes, such as cuitlacoche rolled in crepes and covered with bechamel sauce.
The author praises the creative role cookbook authors played in unifying the country's taste buds, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries when a national identify was being forged and the construction of railroads and highways lowered the costs of distribution of exotic agricultural products so that local specialties could be enjoyed throughout the country.
Much of the book traces the differences and debates stirred by promoters of maize and wheat. Elites often criticized maize, and even suggested that the corn-eating population was at a serious disadvantage in terms of development. Their reasoning: the wheat-consuming Europeans were on top of the world, not the corn-eating Americans or rice-eating Asians. But such prejudices were not easily resolved. The problem was (and is) that corn simply grows better in Mexico than wheat.
It's hard to understand the desire upper-class Mexicans had to break from their indigenous heritage.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Cardenas on January 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Book is a good review on the origins and development of mexican cuisine. I found it very interesting how certain foods were associated with certain classes of people in Colonial and 19th century Mexico. Reading about the mechanization of the tortilla held a strong meaning for my family, since my great grandmother was effected by it when she lived in Mexico during those times!

-Danny
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful read history of Mexico seen through food and food policy. Did you know that the invention of the tortilla press was designed to encourage women to work in Mexican industries in the commodity economy? Just one tidbit from a wonderful-- even exciting read.
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