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Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 9,000
(MEXICAN COOKERY.) Early manuscript cookbook titled "Arte de Cocina." , 128 manuscript pages. Small 8vo, contemporary polished calf gilt, moderate wear; minimal wear and finger-soiling to contents; title and section heads in red ink. [Mexico], 1812
A tidy and well-organized cookbook which may have been intended for publication, though it is dated 19 years before the first published Mexican cookbooks appeared in 1831. The subtitle on the second page reads "Colección de varios apuntes, para guisar, hacer dulces, postres, mazas, y demás cositas para el paladar: acompiadas y del uso de mi Sra. Petrita Alvarez de Gonzales." It is divided into 10 chapters: Antes y Postres Buñuelos Bocadillos Cajetas Ensaladas Frutas curadas y pasadas Guisos Masas Turrones Bebidas. While Mexican and Spanish cuisines were probably more similar in 1812 than today, many of these recipes feature distinctly Mexican preparations or ingredients. For example, on pages 47 and 66 are preparations for mamey, a fragile fruit which likely would not have survived a sea voyage to Spain. On page 49 are instructions for "maiz cacahuacincle" or cacahuazintle, the Mexican corn often used in pozole. The Mexican root vegetable jicama appears on page 59. Mole verde appears on page 67, "quesadilas de queso fresco" on page 109, turrones de Oaxaca on page 116, and chile atole on page 119. We could list many more, but a rapidly increasing appetite necessitates a break for lunch! The recipes are followed by a 6-page index at the end. The earliest dated Mexican cookbook we have seen, and one of the most attractive.