Skip to content

Sopa de Cebolla con Crema (Creamy Onion Soup) and Puerco Frito a lo Habanero (Havana Pork). Circa 1911.

September 8, 2014
Libreta de Recetas de Cocina. Manuscript cookbook written by Aurora Vélez Orozco G., circa 1911. TX716 .M4 V462 1911. Mexican Cookbook Collection. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Libreta de Recetas de Cocina. Manuscript cookbook written by Aurora Vélez Orozco G., circa 1911. TX716 .M4 V462 1911. Mexican Cookbook Collection. UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Vélez Orozco G., Aurora. Libreta de Recetas de Cocina [Manuscript Cookbook]. Toluca, Mexico State: circa 1911. TX716 .M4 V462 1911. 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 is one of a series of nine manuscript cookbooks from a family in Toluca, the capitol of Mexico state. It is a small volume containing just twenty-four recipes on thirteen pages. Unlike last week’s featured dessert book, its focus is on savory dishes like onion soup, creamed spinach, and pork loin. However, it does include a few recipes for sweets such as Italian nougat at the end. Notice that the handwriting is markedly more difficult to read than that in the 1884 cookbook.

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

Sopa de Cebolla con Crema (00003)


  • 2 cebolas [cabesonas?] y grandes
  • 2 gitomates grandes
  • 0.02 c. de crema
  • caldo de pollo o de res
  • pedasas de pan frito o galletas soda

Se ponen a freir en manteca los gitomates. Asadas y molidas con ajo y cebolla alli [a?] cuela la cebolla con el caldo el que sea nesesario. Se deja [apre?] hierva a que sazone y en seguida se le desuelve la crema. [Lla] para serbirse se le ponen las galletas. 

Creamy Onion Soup (00003)


  • 2 large onions
  • 2 large red tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Mexican sour cream
  • chicken or beef broth
  • croutons or soda crackers

Fry the tomatoes in lard. Roast and grind them with garlic and onion. Cook the onion mixture in the broth. Strain the chunks out when cooked. Simmer the remaining soup to enhance the flavor, and then add the sour cream. Serve with crackers.

[1] “Cuela” seems to unambiguously mean “strain,” but I can’t figure out how one would strain onions with broth (as the syntax would seem to indicate). Instead, I am assuming that the onion mixture is being cooked in the broth and then the chunks are strained out.

Puerco Frito a lo Habanero (00007-00008)

Prepárece en un Platón un adobo de vinagre, oregano, sal y un poco de Pimienta molida y unos ajos machacados, échece en este caldo la carne de Puerco partida en pedazos, cuando se c[irc]osea que a toneado bien el gusto alli adobo, se raja la carne y se pone a freir en manteca. Sirvase con platanos verdes o pintos fritos y con arroz blanco.

Havana Pork (00007-00008)

Prepare a marinade of vinegar, oregano, salt, black pepper, and garlic. Add pieces of pork. When well-marinated, tear the meat intro strips and fry it in lard. Serve with plantains or fried beans and white rice.[1]

[1] If you read this recipe previously, you saw my speculation about the absence from the recipe itself of the habanero chiles that seemed implied by its name. However, a reader has since pointed out to me that Habanero also (and perhaps even more commonly) refers to the capital of Cuba, a native of that capital, and/or a particular style of music and dance, among other things. With that in mind, I believe that the title of this recipe correctly translates as Havana Pork, and no chiles are implied.  

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anderson Kathryn permalink
    September 8, 2014 9:28 am

    I love your posts! My friend Paula Rodgriguez who grew up near DF says that in the Puerco recipe, the words are probably “ajos machacados” ( mashed garlic) and ” se raja la carne” ( tear the meat into strips). Thank you for all your hard work! Kathryn Anderson in Aust

    • Juli McLoone permalink
      September 8, 2014 12:50 pm

      Thanks, Kathryn! Paula’s transcription recommendations are very helpful – I’ve made corrections accordingly. Glad you’re enjoying our blog!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The Culinary Curator

Being a Journal of Narratives and Discoveries

Feast of the Centuries

Cooking throughout the Ages

Cynthia D. Bertelsen's Gherkins & Tomatoes

A Writer's Musings on Nature and Culture, Since 2008

What's Cookin' @ Special Collections?!

Special Collections @ Virginia Tech Culinary History Blog

%d bloggers like this: