Voices in the Kitchen: Views of Food and the World from Working-Class Mexican and Mexican American Women / Edition 1

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2006 Softcover First Edition Good Voices in the Kitchen Meredith Abarca Signed Texas A&M, 2006, lst. 240 pages, ISBN 158445312, Signed Softcover in good+ condition with good+ ... cover. Text clean and unmarked, binding tight. Inscribed by author on title page. Cover clean. This book is a view of food and the world from the world of working class Mexican and Mexican American Women. Read more Show Less

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Overview

"Literally, chilaquiles are a breakfast I grew up eating: fried corn tortillas with tomato-chile sauce. Symbolically, they are the culinary metaphor for how working-class women speak with the seasoning of their food."-from the Introduction

Through the ages and across cultures, women have carved out a domain in which their cooking allowed them to express themselves, strengthen family relationships, and create a world of shared meanings with other women. In Voices in the Kitchen, Meredith E. Abarca features the voices of her mother and several other family members and friends, seated at their kitchen tables, to share the grassroots world view of these working-class Mexican and Mexican American women.

In the kitchen, Abarca demonstrates, women assert their own sazón (seasoning), not only in their cooking but also in their lives. Through a series of oral histories, or charlas culinarias (culinary chats), the women interviewed address issues of space, sensual knowledge, artistic and narrative expression, and cultural and social change. From her mother's breakfast chilaquiles to the most elaborate traditional dinner, these women share their lives as they share their savory, symbolic, and theoretical meanings of food.

The charlas culinarias represent spoken personal narratives, testimonial autobiography, and a form of culinary memoir, one created by the cooks-as-writers who speak from their kitchen space. Abarca then looks at writers-as-cooks to add an additional dimension to the understanding of women's power to define themselves.

Voices in the Kitchen joins the extensive culinary research of the last decade in exploring the importance of the knowledge found in the practical, concrete, and temporal aspects of the ordinary practice of everyday cooking.

Born in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, Meredith E. Abarca moved with her family to the United States as a young child. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis, and is an associate professor of English at the University of Texas at El Paso.

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Editorial Reviews

Sherrie A. Inness
“. . . an outstanding book . . . Meredith Abarca is to be commended for her text, which is destined to become an important addition to the fields of food studies and gender studies . . . She suggests that conversations about cooking can be as important as ones about poems or novels [and] reveals that such conversations show a great deal about their speakers’ lives. Voices in the Kitchen gives these typically overlooked voices a place to be heard.”--Sherrie A. Inness
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Born in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, Meredith E. Abarca moved with her family to the United States as a young child. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis, and is an assistant professor of English at the University of Texas at El Paso.
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Table of Contents

Introduction : what's for breakfast? : Los chilaquiles de mi'ama, of course! 3
Ch. 1 A place of their own : appropriating the kitchen space 18
Ch. 2 Sazon : the flavors of culinary epistemology 50
Ch. 3 Homemade culinary art (El arte culinario casero) : cooks-as-artists 78
Ch. 4 Kitchen talk : cooks-as-writers 109
Ch. 5 The literary kitchen : writers-as-cooks 135
Conclusion : maybe dessert first? : Charlas Culinarias 164
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