February/March Book Selection: “Like Water For Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel

12 02 2010

Happy February Everyone!

This is Deb from Kahakai Kitchen here with a bit about our current Cook the Books selection, “Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies“  by  Laura Esquivel. “Like Water for Chocolate” was one of the first “foodie” novels I read when it was published here in the U.S. in 1992, and it has remained a favorite of mine over the years. Apparently it has become a favorite of many others too, originally published in Spanish as “Como agua para chocolate” the book been translated into 30 languages and there are over three million copies in print worldwide and also a wonderful movie. For some of you it may be a new find and for others, rereading a classic, but regardless, I hope you enjoy the novel and the opportunity to delve into some Mexican culture and cooking.

“The moment they took their first bite of the cake, everyone was flooded with a great wave of longing… But the weeping was just the first symptom of a strange intoxication—and acute attack of pain and frustration—that seized the guests and scattered them across the patio and the grounds and in the bathrooms, all of them wailing over lost love.”

Set in Mexico in the early 1900’s during the time of the Mexican Revolution, the novel tells the story of Tita, the youngest daughter of a well-born rancher who falls in deeply love with Pedro, from a neighboring family. Unfortunately for Tita as the youngest daughter, family tradition dictates that her destiny is to remain single and care for her dominating, aging widowed mother, but she falls in love with Pedro anyway. Her mother quickly acts to stop it by making her sister marry Pedro, which he does to stay close to Tita. Tita’s only outlet for her passion and emotions is the food she cooks, causing those eating the food to experience everything Tita is feeling when they consume her food. It is a fun, fanciful and often poignant story of love, life and of course food, wonderful food! The book is divided into twelve chapters, one for each month and a recipe starts each chapter. The book itself  is a great starting point for inspiration, or pull out your Mexican cookbooks (Rick Bayless and Diana Kennedy are wonderful sources).

To join in the Cook the Books fun, all you have to do is read the book, cook up a dish or meal inspired by the story, and then post about it. (Don’t forget to leave a comment here or email me at debinhawaii@gmail.com about your entry so I don’t miss anyone), The deadline for this selection is Friday, March 26, 2010. After the 26th, I will post a roundup of your fabulous creations and  a winning post will be selected. The winner receives a badge for their blog, will be added to the Cook the Books blog roll and of course will receive much honor and glory!

Everyone is welcome so please join us! We look forward to seeing your dishes!