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México: Tierra de Antojitos [1960s]

June 7, 2013

Manteca Vegetal INCA. México: Tierra de Antojitos. n.p., n.d. [laid into TX716 .M4 W338 1960].

Two weeks ago, I posted recipes from La Cocina Vegetariana: 200 Recetas de Comidas y 70 de Reposteria y Dulces,  a 1960 collection of vegetarian recipes by Mitzi Wagner.

Laid into that cookbook, I discovered another, smaller pamphlet promoting recipes using manteca vegetal INCA, a brand of vegetable shortening meant to replace pork-based lard.

Interestingly, although México: Tierra de Antojitos promotes the use of vegetable shortening and was found inside a vegetarian cookbook, it is not vegetarian itself. Of the 15 recipes included in the pamphlet, 7 use pork or chorizo; 3 call for chicken; 2 require beef, 1 calls for fish, and only 2 are meat-free.

Although there is not enough evidence to come to any conclusions, one can’ t help wondering what this says about both the marketers of Manteca Vegetal Inca and the former owner of La Cocina Vegetariana. Based on the use of descriptors like “purisima” (purest) and “higénicos vasos” (hygenic containers) on the back cover, it seems that INCA’s advertising campaign was based less on reaching cooks seeking meat-alternatives, than on emphasizing the modernity and cleanliness of a factory-prepared ingredient as a replacement for (perhaps?) home-rendered pork fat.

And as for our mystery cook, did she (or possibly he) set out to be Vegetarian, picking up this meat-heavy pamphlet incidentally when purchasing vegetable shortening? Or did she perhaps simply buy La Cocina Vegetariana for it’s wealth of vegetable recipes, rather than with the intention of specifically pursuing vegetarianism?

All 15 recipes may be viewed in the image gallery below, organized by point of origin:

México: Pambacitos, Quesadillas, y Flautas de Pollo

Guadalajara: Tostadas Tapatias, sopes, y Enchiladas

Veracruz: Empanadas de Pescado y Enfrijoladas

Puebla: Chalupas, Molotes de Tinga, y Taquitos de Rajas

El Norte: Tamalitos Rojos y Burros

Yucatán: Codzitos, Taquitos de Frijol, y Panuchos de Pavo

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