La Cocina Histórica is published by the University of Texas at San Antonio Special Collections Department. Featuring weekly recipes from our Mexican Cookbook Collection, this blog celebrates Mexican cuisine and culinary history. Join us every Friday to discover new recipes from the past!
The core of the UTSA Mexican Cookbook Collection came to UTSA as a donation from San Antonio resident Laurie Gruenbeck, who has collected cookbooks during her travels in Texas and Mexico for over 30 years and continues to actively participate in building the collection. Our holdings include more than 1,400 Mexican, Texan, and Southwestern cookbooks in Spanish and English, ranging in date from 1789 to 2013, with the bulk of materials dating from 1940-2000.
Highlights of the collection include handwritten manuscript cookbooks, 19th century classics, 20th century corporate advertising cookbooks, small-scale community publications, and thorough coverage of regional Mexican cookbooks over the past several decades.
A complete listing of titles in the Mexican Cookbook Collection can be found here. All of the cookbooks are non-circulating; however, we welcome their use in our reading room in the John Peace Library during our regular hours or by appointment. For more information about the Mexican Cookbook Collection or UTSA Special Collections, please contact us.
Institute of Texan Cultures Reading Room:
UTSA HemisFair Park Campus
Phone: (210) 458-2381
John Peace Library Reading Room:
John Peace Library
A Note About Text and Translations
Because the purpose of this blog is to represent original documents, we reproduce text as it appears in the cookbooks that we feature. Thus, readers may notice instances of “incorrect” spelling, vocabulary, and accent placement. Remember that the usage and spelling of many words has changed over the past two centuries. Additionally, typesetters of the past could be as prone to “typos” as people are today.
English translations are intended to provide a general sense of the original text’s meaning and to allow readers to prepare recipes at home. They should not be taken as professional or authoritative translations.
Some blog posts feature bilingual cookbooks. In these cases, the English and Spanish text provided is from the cookbook itself. Again, spelling, word choice, and accent marks may differ from what contemporary readers would expect to see.