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El Verdadero Práctico: Manual para las Familias (191?)

June 15, 2012
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Front cover of El Verdadero Práctico: Manual para las Familias (191?) by Alejandro Pardo

Front cover of El Verdadero Práctico: Manual para las Familias (191?) by Alejandro Pardo

Pardo, Alejandro. El Verdadero Práctico: Manual para las Familias.  Mexico : s.n., 191-? Pp. 137-138 [TX716.M4 V473 1910z].

Alejandro Pardo was born in Spain and studied culinary arts in Europe at the Cordon Bleu in Paris and the Esquela de Artes y Oficios in Madrid.  Upon immigrating to Mexico City around 1912, he founded one of the first cooking academies in Mexico City, where he instructed the wives and daughters of the upper and middle classes in fine European cuisine.

In the early 1910s, Parto authored El Verdadero Práctico, in which he tells the reader:

Yo te ofrezco sinceramente en esta humilde libro mis mejores formulas ensayadas y corregidas, fruto de doce años de practicarlas y otros tantos de teoría en los mejores colegios y Academias de Europa; por tal motive, y sin ningún temor, puedes practicar cualquiera de ellas con seguridad que quedarás satisfecho de este libro.

I sincerely offer you in this humble book, my best formulas, tested and corrected, the fruit of twelve years of practice and theory in the best colleges and academies of Europe; with the motive that without fear, you can practice any of them, and with the secure knowledge that you will be satisfied with this book.

Title page of El Verdadero Práctico: Manual para las Familias (191?) by Alejandro Pardo

Title page of El Verdadero Práctico: Manual para las Familias (191?) by Alejandro Pardo

Pardo keeps his title’s implicit promise to provide el verdadero práctico or “practical truth.”  Rather than providing hundred of recipes and variants, El Verdadero Práctico is organized into short chapters, with titles like “Mis 12 mejores sopas,” “Mis 12 salsas mejores,” “Mis 6 mejores sopas secas,” and so on.  The cookbook includes recipes suitable for everyday cooking and for more elaborate meals.  In the second part of the cookbook, Pardo includes a lists of courses suitable for dinner and supper, the order of service for each; instructions for properly setting a table, serving wine; and several suitable menus to serve a party of eight. Two of the suggested menus follow:

Chef stirring batter (120). El Verdadero Práctico: Manual para las Familias (191?) by Alejandro Pardo

Chef stirring batter (120). El Verdadero Práctico: Manual para las Familias (191?) by Alejandro Pardo

Menu Para 8 Personas. Comidas de Vigilia (205). 
  • Sopa de puré de garbanzos.  (Pureed garbanzo bean soup)
  • huevos al plato. (Fried eggs)
  • Pescado frito con salsa Tártara. (Fried fish with tartar sauce)
  • Timbalitos de Espinacas. (Timbalitos of spinach)
  • Ejotes fritos con salsa de tomate. (Fried green beans with tomato salsa)
  • Ensalada de papas. (Potato salad)
  • Fruta. (Fruit)
  • Plum-Budin. (Plum pudding)
  • Helado de canela.  (Cinnamon ice cream)
Menu Para 8 Personas (219-219). 
  • Sopa de Pescado. (Fish Soup)
  • Frituras de camarón seco.  (Dried shrimp fritters)
  • Empanadas de Salmón. (Salmon empanadas)
  • Coliflor al Graten. (Cauliflower au gratin)
  • Milanesas de Huauchinango. (Breaded Huauchinango)
  • Dulce de coco con Lenguas de Gato (Coconut sweet with cat tongue cookies).
  • Fruta (Fruit).
  • Helado Tortoni (Tortoni Ice Cream)

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