Constructions of Taste in Francisco Martínez Montiño’s 1611 Cookbook

Presented by Carolyn Nadeau, PhD

Drawing from concrete data on the recipes and their primary and secondary ingredients in Montiño’s 1611 court cookbook, Arte de cocina, pastelería, vizcochería y conservería [The art of cooking, pie making, pastry making and preserving], this essay examines concepts of taste as presented in this culinary artifact. Data analysis of close to 5,000 individual references to ingredients allows today’s scholars and gastronomes to gain access to what was being prepared in the royal kitchens and to establish for the first time the culinary scaffolding for what was eaten at court in early seventeenth-century Spain. This presentation also makes available intimate knowledge about the food habits of the king and queen and questions of taste among the aristocracy. In short, it provides a map of selective taste that both guided future cooks and today reveals to scholars those very taste preferences at court in early modern Spain.

Dr. Carolyn A. Nadeau (PhD, Pennsylvania State University) is the Byron S. Tucci Professor of Spanish at Illinois Wesleyan University. Her research focuses on food representation in sixteenth-century and seventeenth-century Spanish literature. Most recently she has published, Food Matters. Alonso Quijano’s Diet and the Discourse of Early Modern Food in Spain (University of Toronto Press 2016), which contextualizes the shifts in Spain’s gastronomic history at many levels of society and in the process explores the evolving social and cultural identity of early modern Spain. She also co-edited the volume of collected essays, Self, Other, and Context in Early Modern Spain: Essays in Honor of Howard Mancing (Juan de la Cuesta, 2017), which examines literary texts of the early modern period through the lens of cognitive literary studies and the functions of mind and body as seen in early modern Spanish texts. With the support of an NEH fellowship she is currently working on a critical edition and translation of Francisco Martínez Montiño’s 1611 cookbook, Arte de cocina, pastelería, vizcochería y conservería [The art of cooking, pie making, pastry making and preserving].

Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 10 AM

New Year, New Meeting Locations!
Bethany Retirement Community
4950 North Ashland Avenue, Chicago 60640
(West of Clark Street, North of Lawrence Avenue)
Public transportation: Clark St. Bus Route 22 is nearby
Free Parking street parking and a parking lot
Cost: $3.
Free to Bethany Retirement Community residents. All are welcome!

This program is hosted by the Chicago Foodways Roundtable. To reserve, please  e-mail: