Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences


Spanish and Latino Studies

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

William Rosa

Committee Member

Vincenzo Bollettino

Committee Member

Pamela Smorkaloff


The following theses will be developed by describing the purpose of the culinary arts in Latin American Literature. This paper will describe which feelings it creates for their audience.

The following books are going to be the basic study lines: Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Arráncame la vida by Angeles Mastretta and the short story Corazón’s Café by Judith Coffer Ortiz. Laura Esquivel, wrote this novel in the form of twelve recipes in which the reader gets to know about her life that happened during the Mexican Revolution. However, the most important messages sent throughout the entire novel, are the feelings of love, hate, sympathy, caring, and nostalgia. The reader is taken by the plot, forgetting the food that has been the conveyer of those emotions.

Angeles Mastretta is also a Mexican writer who portrays the life of a young peasant girl married to a revolutionary. After the revolution, he joins the world of politics and sets up their residence in the city of Puebla. Mastreta uses very carefully her scenes in which the reader has to discover the feelings that lay beneath the written word; and in some instances how one particular dish which is called mole can be used as a weapon.

Judith Coffer Ortiz is Puerto Rican bom, but has lived in the United States most of her life. However, Corazón’s Café is a story filled with love, unspoken understanding between husband and wife and how their small shop in El Barrio is an open door for their client’s culinary desires and their nostalgic need to recreate the food from home and bring their hearts closer to the places they long to return to, knowing that the only way to return is though Corazón’s Café.

This study will focus on the emotions found in these texts, following the literary theory. It will take a close look at these feelings before and after they happen and will establish a comparison between them and the secondary texts.

These texts are the following: Afrodita by Isabel Allende and from the following movies: Like Water for Chocolate directed by Alfonso Arau. Chocolate directed by Lasse Hallstrom. Frida directed by Julie Taymor and Tortilla Soup directed by Xavier Perez Gabot.

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