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Two New Acquisitions

August 26, 2011
Libro de Cocina - cover

Today, I’d like to give you a sneak-peak at two recent acquisitions: the 1893 Mexican edition of Jules Gouffé’s El Libro de Cocina and the culinary periodical María Orsini : el arte del buen comer (1986-1994).

Jules Gouffé, head chef at Paris’ Jockey Club, was an important figure in late 19th century European cuisine.   He first published Livre de Cuisine in Paris 1867, and new editions of his work appeared in both France and England throughout the rest of the century.

Only this 1893 edition, however, was published in Mexico and illustrated with more than 100 wood engravings by José Guadalupe Posada.  Printmaker and draughtsman Posada is best known for his calaveras–costumed skeleton characters featured in his political and social critiques–however here he turns his considerable skill to depicting everything from the proper hand position for cutting mushrooms to an an elaborate centerpiece for a fine dinner.

Libro de Cocina - centerpiece
This edition is of further interest because unlike those issued in Europe, El libro de cocina includes a lengthy supplement or “apendice” of Mexican and Spanish dishes, from a source identified only as a “cocinera poblana.”

Libro de Cocina - supplement

A few of the recipes featured include “Sopa de pan con gitomate y aceite”(p. 39), “salsa de chile ancho”(p. 101), “Pollos en caldillo de piña”(p. 196) “mole de guajolote”(p. 203), “Tlatlaoyos con flor de calabaza”(p. 239), “Leche de guayaba”(P. 368), over a dozen pulque recipes (p. 391-395), and “Helados de sangría”(P. 417).

María Orsini 3.16 María Orsini 3.25 María Orsini 1.1

María Orsini 1.1

Published almost a century later, María Orsini : el arte del buen comer was at the forefront of the growing interest in Mexican cookery as fine cuisine in the 1980s.  Each illustrated issue includes recipes from both Mexican and international cuisine, often with input from key individuals in Mexican culinary developments of the past few decades.

The first issue, which appeared in December of 1986, included recipes from painter and culinary artist Martha Chapa for “Sopa de Camaron con Hojasanta,” “Pollo en Mole de Almenra,” and “Pastel de Nuez” among others.  Included as well are short articles on topics such as restaurants to patronize in Barcelona at the 1992 Olympics (for travelers who like to plan well in advance!), the uses of camembert cheese,  and  reviews of recent cookbooks.

Look forward to seeing recipes from each over the next few months.  We certainly look forward to preparing them!

Works Referenced:

García Barragán, Elisa.  “Posada, José Guadalupe.” Grove Art OnlineOxford Art Online. 26 Aug. 2011 <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T068920&gt;.

Gouffé, Jules. El libro de cocina. Contiene la cocina casera y la gran cocina y un tratado especial de la cocina mexicana formado expresamente por una cocinera poblana. Mexico : E. Rodriguez y Co., 1893

Karno Books.  “Description of María Orsini : el arte del buen comer.”  Summer 2011.

Plaza Books.  “Description of El Libro de Cocina.” Summer 2011.

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