America's First Cuisines

America's First Cuisines

By (author) Sophie D. Coe

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A detailed description of the cuisines of the Aztecs, the Maya, and the Inca.

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  • Paperback | 290 pages
  • 152.4 x 223.52 x 15.24mm | 317.51g
  • 01 Jun 1994
  • University of Texas Press
  • Austin, TX
  • English
  • New.
  • 1, black & white illustrations
  • 029271159X
  • 9780292711594

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Review quote

"Provides tantalizing snapshots of Native American cuisine and culture, especially at the first intersection with the Europeans... It must not be missed by anyone professing a serious interest in America's cuisines for scientific or gustatory reasons... Appropriate for any interested reader as well as for the academic consumer, this volume presents a wealth of excellent information and is a marvelous read." Nahua Newsletter "Sophie Coe, anthropologist and culinary historian, gives us a cook's tour of the nuclear areas of New World civilization. Her book is a botanically, zoologically, and nutritionally informed synthesis of information on the New World's contribution to the world's inventory of foodstuffs and, most importantly, on how the use of these foodstuffs coalesced in the culinary cultures of the Aztec, Maya, and Inca. It is the first work of its kind on the past civilizations of the New World... This book is essential reading for Americanist anthropologists as well as scholars in a variety of other disciplines, and it constitutes serious pleasure reading for lay readers who are cooks, eaters, and students of foodways." American Anthropologist

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Back cover copy

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 chilies, 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.

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