America's First Cuisines

Front Cover
University of Texas Press, 1994 - Cooking - 276 pages
5 Reviews

After long weeks of boring, perhaps spoiled sea rations, one of the first things Spaniards sought in the New World was undoubtedly fresh food. Probably they found the local cuisine strange at first, but soon they were sending American plants and animals around the world, eventually enriching the cuisine of many cultures.

Drawing on original accounts by Europeans and native Americans, this pioneering work offers the first detailed description of the cuisines of the Aztecs, the Maya, and the Inca. Sophie Coe begins with the basic foodstuffs, including maize, potatoes, beans, peanuts, squash, avocados, tomatoes, chocolate, and chiles, and explores their early history and domestication. She then describes how these foods were prepared, served, and preserved, giving many insights into the cultural and ritual practices that surrounded eating in these cultures. Coe also points out the similarities and differences among the three cuisines and compares them to Spanish cooking of the period, which, as she usefully reminds us, would seem as foreign to our tastes as the American foods seemed to theirs. Written in easily digested prose, America's First Cuisines will appeal to food enthusiasts as well as scholars.

  

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Review: America's First Cuisines

User Review  - Marla McMackin - Goodreads

This book aims to describe the culinary traditions of the New World, specifically the practices, customs and beliefs of the three major pre-conquest civilizations the Aztec, Maya and Inca. Coe first ... Read full review

Review: America's First Cuisines

User Review  - Shannon - Goodreads

A Mesoamerican archaeologist friend of mine described this book as something her grandmother might have written. :) It's a good read, though, and informative. I liked it. Read full review

Contents

PREFACE Vlt INTRODUCTION
1
Domestication
3
New World Staples
9
Nixtamalization
15
The Inca harvesting potatoes
22
New World Produce
27
Girl of eleven being threatened with chile smoke as
64
The Aztecs
66
Solid Maya Breadstuffs
145
Maya Flesh Food
153
n Maya Produce
161
Animal and Mineral
169
Llamas used for transport
172
Vegetable
181
Huaina Capac
191
The Inca
192

The Europeans encounter the Tlaxcallans
73
Old Aztec women were allowed to drink
85
Aztec Ingredients
88
Aztec Cooks and Menus
108
Thirteenyearold girl grinding maize
110
j The Maya and the Explorers
120
Diego de Landa
132
Classic Maya chocolate preparation
142
Auditing the accounts at the state warehouses
197
We eat gold
203
The Inca and the Europeans
212
The captivity of Atahualpa
217
The Occupation
228
Roasting the ox Bologna 1530
245
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Sophie D. Coe was an anthropologist and food historian. Her book America's First Cuisines was published in 1994 to universal acclaim.

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