Skip to content

Mostachones (Macaroons) and Punche de Leche (Milk Punch). 1884.

September 1, 2014
Libro de Recetas de Cocina. 1884 manuscript cookbook written by Guadalupe Perez. TX 716 .M4 P4759 1884. Mexican Cookbook Collection. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Libro de Recetas de Cocina. 1884 manuscript cookbook written by Guadalupe Perez. TX 716 .M4 P4759 1884. Mexican Cookbook Collection. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Perez, Guadalupe. Libro de Recetas de Cocina [Manuscript Cookbooks]. Acatzinco, Puebla: 1884. TX716 .M4 P4759 1884. Mexican Cookbook Collection. UTSA Libraries Special Collections. [Digital Surrogate]


During September and October, La Cocina Histórica will feature recipes from recently digitized manuscript cookbooks. 


Libra de Recetas de Cocina originated in Acatzingo (or as the author Guadalupe Perez writes it, Acatzinco), a town in Puebla famous for its desserts. Appropriately enough, this notebook contains a multitude of recipes for cakes, candy, ices, and other sweet things. Two recipes that particularly caught my eye were Mostachones (macaroons) and Punche de Leche (Milk Punch), reproduced below.

Like many writers of manuscript cookbooks, Guadalupe Perez frequently used non-standard spellings. For example, in the macaroon recipe below, she writes “sinco” for “cinco” (five), “arina” for “harina”(flour), and “orno” for “horno”(oven). Variant spellings like these, along with the common use of abbreviated instructions, the difficulty of reading handwriting, and occasional tears or scratched-out text, add an extra level of difficulty to the challenge of transcribing and interpreting historical recipes.


Libra de Recetas de Cocina will be on display in the John Peace Library Reading Room from August to December 2014.


Mostachones (00014)

En un cazo sinco yemas y sinco huevos enteros se baten con una cuchara y asi que espese se le echa una libra de azucar y treinta claras de huevos [se?] le echa una libra y cuatro onzas de arina se baten biene [p?]ara que se incorpore y se deja reposar dos ó tres horas [h?]asen bolitas humedes in dos las manos se [enbuel] [?]n en papeles y se meten al orno templadoe.

Macaroons (00014)

Beat 5 egg yolks with 5 whole eggs until fluffy. Separately, beat 30 egg whites with 1 pound sugar.[1] Fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Add 1 1/4 pounds flour and mix well. Allow to rest for 2-3 hours. Form moist balls with both hands. Place on paper [2] and bake in a moderate oven (~325-350*F)

[1] It isn’t entirely clear in the original syntax whether the 30 egg whites should be added to the already-beaten egg mixture at the same time as the sugar, or if the egg whites and sugar should first be beaten together on their own. I suspect that the latter would produce airier, more macaroon-like results. 

[2] I assume that papeles in this context probably refers to parchment paper for baking. 


Punche de leche (00036)

Se ponen siete cuartillos de leche y se deja que de un [-----] luego se endulsa al gusto y se le echa media libra de almendra no muy remolida se le echa unas rajas de canela un muñequeta de vainilla y un poquito de limon se pone á la lumbre á que de un hervor fuerte se aparta y se echa en una oya limpia. 

Milk Punch (00036)

Allow seven quarts of milk to [---] [1]. Sweeten to taste and add half a pound of almonds (not ground too finely). Also, add some cinnamon sticks, a vanilla bean, and a little lemon. Place on the fire and bring to a full boil. Remove and pour into a clean pan.

[1] I was unable to decipher a key word in this sentence. It looks like “elbov” or “ilbor.” Check the original document to see if you can determine what it might be.  Brainstorming things that milk could be “left” to do, I could only think of milk being left to sour or (if unpasteurized) to separate. Neither seems particularly likely in the context of this recipe.

Special Collections Student Clerk Position at Main Campus

August 28, 2014

UTSA Libraries Special Collections is seeking one student clerk to assist with department operations at Main Campus. Interested students may apply by submitting a resume and cover letter to specialcollections@utsa.edu.


Job Title: Student Clerk

Job Description: With training from the Rare Books Librarian other department staff, carry out basic tasks in the Special Collections department. Activities may include paging, photocopying, and re-shelving materials; scanning and entering basic metadata for digital collections; cleaning, processing, and re-housing incoming materials; assisting with exhibit preparations; and other duties as determined.

Qualifications: Strong attention to detail and willingness to perform repetitive tasks. Some lifting required. Willingness and ability to work in conditions with occasional exposure to dust and mold needed. Familiarity with scanners and image editing software a plus.

Work Schedule: Flexible during office hours, Mon-Fri.

 Hours per Week: 15

Wage: $7.50/hr

How to Apply: Submit resume and cover letter to specialcollections@utsa.edu. If you have questions regarding the position, please contact Special Collections at specialcollections@utsa.edu.

Newly Digitized Manuscript Cookbooks

August 25, 2014
Resetas de Cocina: Refrescos, Reposteria, Dulces. 1910 manuscript cookbook written by Cármen Volante. TX716 .M4 V653 1910. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Resetas de Cocina: Refrescos, Reposteria, Dulces. 1910 manuscript cookbook written by Cármen Volante. TX716 .M4 V653 1910. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

This summer, UTSA Libraries Special Collections digitized 24 additional manuscript cookbooks from the Mexican Cookbook Collection. Dating from 1789 to the 1960s these handwritten recipe books provide a window into the lives and kitchens of Mexican women over the course of almost two hundred years.

Complete digital surrogates of these cookbooks (as well as those previously digitized) are available in our Digital Collections. Over the next several weeks, selected recipes will be featured here on La Cocina Histórica.

To sneak a peek at the original documents, stop by the JPL Reading Room, where six of these treasures will be on display during the Fall Semester.

Cooking French, German, and English in Yucatan

August 18, 2014
CocinaYucateca, 8th ed. (1970) by Lucrecia Ruz. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

CocinaYucateca, 8th ed. (1970) by Lucrecia Ruz. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Ruz Vda. de Baqueiro, Lucrecia. Cocina Yucateca. Mérida, Yucatán, México: s.n., 1970. [TX716.M4 R89 1970].


Usually, this blog focuses on characteristically Mexican recipes. However, just like their American counterparts, Mexican cookbooks frequently include international recipes, sometimes with a little local twist.

Alongside Yucatecan dishes such as Pork in Coca Cola and Papadzul, Lucrecia de Baqueiro’s Cocina Yucateca offers numerous “foreign” recipes, designated with  their place of origin. Three of these are reproduced below: Caracoles a la Francesa, Pavo Aleman Deshuesado, and Filete Rosbif a la Inglesa.


Caracoles a la Francesa (p. 31)

  • 1/2 Kg. de Caracol
  • 1/4 botella de aceite de comer
  • 1 cabeza de ajo
  • 4 clavos
  • 3 hojas de laurel
  • 3 blanquillos
  • 1 Cdta. de harina
  • 3 tomates
  • Sal al gusto
  • Pimienta molida al gusto

Después de cocido el Caracol, se lava bien, y se fríe con el aceite. Los tomates, se sofríen juntamente con el ajo tamulado, la pimienta y clavos molidos, la harina desleída, punto de sal, y se dejan hervir, a fuego lento. Al servir los Caracoles se le añaden las yemas batidas, agregándoles zumo de limón.

French Snails (p. 31)

  • 1/2 Kg. snails
  • 1/4 bottle cooking oil
  • 1 head garlic
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 3 tomatillos
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

After cooking the snails, wash well and fry in oil. Sauté the tomatillos with the garlic, pepper, and ground cloves. Add the flour (mixed first in a little water) and salt, and leave to simmer on low heat. To serve the snails, add egg yolks that have been beaten with the juice of a lemon.


Pavo Alemán Deshuesado (p. 51)

  • 1 pavo
  • 1 Kg. de jamon crudo Boyancé
  • 1/2 Kg. de mortadela
  • 1 barra pan de molde
  • 1 Cdta. de pimentón
  • 1 Cdta. de pimienta molida
  • 1 cabeza de ajo asada
  • 8 clavos de comida
  • 1 raja de canela
  • 15 hojas de orégano
  • 1/2 nuez moscada raspada
  • 3 metros de tripa gruesa o vejiga
  • Sal al gusto

El pavo se limpia, se lava, y se deshuesa.

El jamón, la mortadela, y la carne del pavo, se muelen dos veces.

Luego se amasa bien parejo, con el recado molido, sal, vinagre, y la nuez raspada.

La tripa o vejiga, debe estar bien limpia, se embuten las vejigas con la carne molida, se amarran, y se cocinan por espacio de tres horas.

Ya listas, se escurren. Se punzan las vejigas, y se prensa para escurrir el jugo.

Se sirve el Pavo Alemán en rebanadas, con francés frito, rábanos floreados, lechugas, y Salsa Inglesa; o si lo prefiere, con Mayonesa.

Boneless German Turkey (p. 51)

  • 1 turkey
  • 1 Kg. raw Boyancé ham
  • 1/2 Kg. bologna
  • 1 loaf bread
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 head roasted garlic
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 15 oregano leaves
  • 1/2 nutmeg, ground
  • 3 meters thick gut or bladder
  • Salt to taste

Clean, wash, and de-bone the turkey.

Grind the ham, bologna, and turkey meat twice. 

Knead the ground meat to evenly mix in the salt, vinegar, and the ground nutmeg.[1]

The gut or bladder (well-cleaned) should be stuffed with the meat mixture, tied, and cooked for 3 hours.

When ready, puncture the bladders and press to drain the juice.

Serve German Turkey in slices with french fries, flower-cut radishes, lettuce, and Worcestershire sauce; or, if preferred, with mayonnaise.


Filete Rosbif a la Inglesa (p. 77)

  • 1 filete
  • 1/4 Kg. de manteca
  • 1 Cdta. de pimienta molida
  • 3 dientes de ajo molido
  • 1 ramita de perejil molido
  • 6 dientes de ajo molido
  • 1 naranja agria
  • 1/4 Kg. de papas
  • Sal al gusto

El filete se punza por todos lados. El recado se muele con el perejil, se deshaces en naranja agria y sal, introduciéndose el recado por todo el filte, procurando penetre donde se fue pinchado, dejándolo remojado media hora en su adobo.

Luego se fríe el filte entero en manteca bien caliente, punzándolo nuevamente con un tendeor largo, para que se vaya cociendo. 

Bien dorado el filte, se acomoda en una cacerola, se le añad un tanto regular de agua como para que se ablande, con un poquito de sal, y cuando la carne este suave, se escurre y se fríe nuevamente hasta dorar.

Las papas se hierven, bien cocidas se pelan, se cortan en cuatros, y se fríen en la misma manteca en que se frió el filte. 

Bien frío el filte a la inglesa, se sirve en rebanadas, con las papas fritas encima. 

English Roast Beef (p. 77)

  • 1 fillet steak
  • 1/4 Kg. lard
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 sprig ground parsley
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Seville orange
  • 1/4 Kg. potatoes
  • Salt to taste

Poke the steak with a fork all over. Grind together the pepper, garlic, and parsley, but not the sour orange and salt. Introduce the spice mixture into the steak by pressing into the punctures you made in the meat. Leave to marinate for half an hour.

Fry the whole fillet in hot lard, puncturing it again with a large fork, so that it cooks. When well-browned, place the fillet in a pan and add some water to soften it, along with sa little salt. When the meat is tender, drain and fry again until golden.

Boil the potatoes until well-cooked. Peel, cut into quarters, and fry in the same lard used to cook the fillet.

Serve the English Roast Beef cold in slices with the fried potatoes on top.

Gebhardt Mexican Foods Company Collection: A Virtual Exhibit

August 14, 2014

In addition to the Mexican Cookbook Collection, UTSA Libraries Special Collections is home to archival records from several local food processing companies. One of the most significant of these collections is the Gebhardt Mexican Foods Company Records. First established in 1896 when German immigrant Willie Gebhardt registered the Eagle Brand Chili Powder trademark, his company was instrumental in popularizing Mexican convenience food. Over time, Gebhardt expanded its product line to include canned chili, beans, tamales, and more. Click on the image below to view the virtual exhibit in English or Spanish and learn more about the history of this San Antonio original.
Gebhardt Mexican Foods Company Collection: A Virtual Exhibit

Pates y Piernas from the Yucatan

August 11, 2014
CocinaYucateca, 8th ed. (1970) by Lucrecia Ruz. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

CocinaYucateca, 8th ed. (1970) by Lucrecia Ruz. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Ruz Vda. de Baqueiro, Lucrecia. Cocina Yucateca. Mérida, Yucatán, México: s.n., 1970. [TX716.M4 R89 1970].


Last week, we introduced Lucrecia de Baqueiro’s Cocina Yucateca. Originally published sometime prior to mid-century (probably in the 1940s), de Baqueiros’s work remained popular for decades, as evidenced by UTSA Libraries’ copy of the 8th edition, published in 1970.

This edition includes chapters on Sopas / Sopas, Mariscos / Seafood, Aves / Poultry, Carnes / Meat, Huevos / eggs, Pates y Piernes / Spreads and legs,  Tamales, Dulces / Sweets, Panes / Bread,  and Helados / Ices. 

The chapter on Pates y Piernas includes an interesting mix of dishes. As expected, it contains numerous paté recipes, most of which build from a common base of beef, pork, ham, and nutmeg, and add various other ingredients to differentiate the recipes. Pate sin Rival, for example, adds potatoes and vinegar, while Pate de las Estrellas adds cheese, jalapeños, onion, mayonnaise, and milk.

When first looking at the recipe title, I assumed that “Piernas” or “legs” must be metaphorical. After all, why wouldn’t leg recipes be included in the “Carnes / Meats” chapter? To my surprise, “Pates y Piernas” does, indeed, include recipes for legs, such as Pierna de Puerco al Horno / Baked Pork Leg, Pierna de Puerco en Piña / Pork leg in Pineapple, and Pierna de Venado Enjamonada / Venison leg Ham. All of these leg recipes give instructions for serving cold slices on platters garnished with radishes, lettuce, etc. Perhaps the author felt that these recipes belonged conceptually with patés because both were intended for guests at luncheons, receptions, or light buffets.

The shared context of when and how these foods are consumed may also explain the third category of recipes that is (silently) included in “Pates y Piernas.” The chapter offers instructions for several antojitos — tortilla-based foods like taquitos and panuchos that are often served as appetizers. One of these recipes provides instructions for Papadzul, a traditional Yucatan dish similar to enchiladas in which corn tortillas are filled with hard boiled eggs and served with pumpkin-seed sauce.


Papadzul (p. 138)

  • 1/2 Kg. de pepita gruesa pelada
  • 1/2 Kg. de tomates
  • 2 chiles habaneros
  • 10 huevos
  • 1 Kg. de tortillas
  • 1 Manojo de apozote
  • Sal al gusto

La pepita se tuesta ligeramente, sin dejar que se queme, y se muele en molino de chocolate para que salga bien espesa. 

Los huevos se hierven; ya cocidos se pelan y se majan con tenedor. 

Los tomates se hierven en litro y medio de agua con sal, chiles habaneros y apazote. Luego se escurren los tomates, se despepitan y se tamulan con su punto de sal. 

Si lo prefiere pueden licuarse y luego preparar la salsa de tomate frita, con sus chiles habaneros. 

La pepita molida se va rociando con el agua caliente donde se cocieron los tomates y se amasa suavamente, rociando las veces que sea necesario, hasta que suelte su aceite. Este aceite se recoje en una lacita y sirve para cubrir los taquitos. 

Con el resto del agua donde se cocieron los tomates se deshace la pepita molida, con punto de sal, hasta formar una crema ligeramente espesa. 

Las tortillas calientitas se remojan dentro de la crema de pepita, se colocan en un platón, poniéndole a cada tortilla en el centro huevo majado, se arrollan, se cubren con crema de pepita, salsa de tomate y encima el aceite que soltó la pepita. 

Papadzul (p. 138)

  • 1/2 Kg. shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 Kg. tomatoes
    Note: In Central Mexico, and thus in most Mexican cookbooks published in the capitol, “tomate” refers to tomatillos. However, in the Gulf coast states, and in the North and the Southeast of Mexico, it commonly refers to red tomatoes, while other terms (tomate verde, miltomate, etc.) are used to refer to tomatillos.[1] With that said, this recipe seems potentially ambiguous as it calls for boiling the tomates, a common method of preparing tomatillos, but not not, to my admittedly limited knowledge, tomatoes. The good news is that, although tomatoes and tomatillos taste quite different, most dishes are very tasty with salsa made from either one, so home cooks may take their choice.
  • 2 habanero chiles
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 Kg. tortillas
  • 1 handfull epazote
  • Salt to taste

Lightly toast the pumpkin seeds without burning them, and then use a chocolate mill to grind to the right consistency.

Hard boil the eggs, peel, and mash with a fork. 

Boil the tomatoes in a 1 1/2 liters of water with salt, along with the habanero chiles, and epazote. When done, drain the tomatoes, seed them, and puré with a little salt. 

Alternatively, you can puré the tomatoes and then prepare a fried salsa with the habanero chiles.

Moisten the ground pumpkin seed paste with the hot water used to cook the tomatoes and knead lightly, continuing to add moisture as needed until the seeds release their oil. Save the oil and serve as a condiment for the taquitos.

 Add enough of the remaining liquid left from cooking the tomatoes to the ground pumpkin seed paste to make a sauce the consistency of slightly thick cream. Add a little salt, too. 

Dip the warm tortillas in the pumpkin seed cream, place on a platter, fill each one with hard boiled egg, roll up, and top with the pumpkin seed cream, tomato salsa, and a little pumpkin seed oil. 


[1] Zurita, Ricardo Muñoz, “Chile Verde,” Larousse Diccionario Enciclopédico de Gastronomía Mexicana (s.l.: Larousse, 2012): 343.

Puerco en Coca Cola / Pork in Coca-Cola: A Yucatecan Regional Specialty

August 4, 2014

CocinaYucateca, 8th ed. (1970) by Lucrecia Ruz. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

CocinaYucateca, 8th ed. (1970) by Lucrecia Ruz. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Ruz Vda. de Baqueiro, Lucrecia. Cocina Yucateca. Mérida, Yucatán, México: s.n., 1970. [TX716.M4 R89 1970].


The Mexican state of Yucatán shares the Yucatán Peninsula in southeastern Mexico with the states of Campeche and Quintana Roo, as well as with parts of Belize and Guatemala. Regional Yucatecan cuisine is distinguished from the normative Central Mexican culinary tradition in part by a unique profile of ingredient preferences.

As food studies scholar Steffan Igor Ayora-Diaz describes it, the Yucatecan palate favors pork, turkey, chicken, and fish (in that order). Although beef is eaten, it is less likely to be associated with region-specific recipes. Common ingredients include Seville oranges, limes, achiote, cumin, allspice, black pepper, cloves, garlic, onions (often blanched to soften their flavor), oregano, parsley, epazote, cilantro, and chaya leaves.[1]

The cuisine is also defined by what is absent. Yucatecan dishes rarely use tomato-based sauces heavily spiced with ground chiles.  When chiles are used, one is most likely to encounter the habanero and max  chiles, not the chipotles, guanajuato, or ancho chiles common in central and northern Mexico. Cheese and other dairy products are used in a very limited way, and lard or oil are preferred to butter.[2]

Lucrecia Ruz’ Cocina Yucateca is a classic 20th century regional cookbook with enduring popularity. Although it is not certain when the first edition appeared, at least one was in print by 1944 and the most recent edition was just released in 2000. Following common practice in many “regional” Mexican cookbooks, Cocina Yucateca includes a number of recipes are included that reference other regions or countries (such as Cazon a la Campechana on page 19 or Pavo en Salsa Inglesa on page 59) and many more recipes provide directions for dishes that might be found throughout Mexico (such as Sopa de Tortillas on page 7 or Flan de Coco on page 150). However, Cocina Yucateca  nonetheless places significant focus on region-specific recipes:

Compared to earlier efforts to organize regional cuisine, Yucatecan Cuisine could probably be seen as the most consequential attempt to codify and institute the Yucatecan culinary field. [3]

UTSA Libraries Special Collections holds the 8th edition of Cocina Yucateca, published in 1970 in Mérida, México with 178 pages of recipes (more than twice the length of the 1944 edition). Advertisements for three local businesses alternate in the lower margin of each page: Super-Mercado Popular “Casa Puga,” Empacadora Boyance “Para Sus Fiestas y Reuniones,” and “La Anita” offering “los mejores condimentos preparados para sus guisos.” 

Among the regional recipes offered in Cocina Yucateca is Puerco en Coca-Cola / Pork in Coca Cola.  Ayora-Diaz notes that this dish, which became a Yucatecan specialty, is an example of regional cooking incorporating national/international products.[4]


Puerco en Coca-Cola (p. 93)

  • 1 Kg. de puerco
  • 1 Coca-Cola mediana
  • 1 Cdta. de pimienta molida
  • 5 tomates
  • 2 chiles dulces
  • 1 cebolla blanca
  • 1/8 Kg. de manteca
  • Mostaza
  • Mantequilla fina
  • Sal al gusto

El puerco se rebana, se maja suavemente y se adoban las rebanadas en pimienta, sal y vinagre.

Deje el puerco en su adobo un cuarto de hora.

Luego fría la rebanadas en manteca bien caliente; embadúrnelas con un poco de mostaza y de mantequilla y acomódelas en una cacerola. 

Prepare una fritura de tomates, cebollas, chiles dulces; añada esta fritura sobre la carne, póngale la Coca-Cola y déjela cocinar a fuego lento, hasta quedar el Puerco en Coca-Cola en su jugo. 

Pork in Coca-Cola (p. 93)

  • 1 kilogram pork
  • 1 medium coke
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 5 tomatoes 
    Note: In Central Mexico, and thus in most Mexican cookbooks published in the capitol, “tomate” refers to tomatillos. However, in the Gulf coast states, and in the North and the Southeast of Mexico, it commonly refers to red tomatoes, while other terms (tomate verde, miltomate, etc.) are used to refer to tomatillos. [5]
  • 2 chiles dulces
  • 1 white onion
  • 1/8 kilogram lard
  • Mustard
  • High-quality butter
  • Salt to taste

Slice the pork, tenderize with a pestle and marinate in pepper, salt, and vinegar.

Leave the pork to marinate for 15 minutes.

Then, fry the slices in hot lard. Smear each slice with a little mustard and butter, then arrange in a baking dish.

Sauté the tomatoes, onion, and chiles dulces. Pour this mixture over the pork. Add the coke and cook over low heat, allowing the pork to stew in the Coca-Cola. 


Works Cited

[1] Ayora-Diaz, Steffan Igor, Foodscapes, Foodfields, and Identities in Yucatán (New York: Berghahn Books), 2012, 156-167.

[2] ibid., 156-167.

[3] ibid., 175.

[4] ibid., 176.

[5] Zurita, Ricardo Muñoz, “Chile Verde,” Larousse Diccionario Enciclopédico de Gastronomía Mexicana (s.l.: Larousse, 2012): 343.

Food History

Food Through the Ages

The Culinary Curator

Being a Journal of Narratives and Discoveries

Feast of the Centuries

Cooking throughout the Ages

Gherkins & Tomatoes

The Joy of Cookbooks

What's Cookin' @ Special Collections?!

Special Collections @ Virginia Tech Culinary History Blog!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 80 other followers

%d bloggers like this: