This will be a very different post I promise to myself. It is not something from my kitchen but it still is something that reveals my passion for food. Culinary fiction was something I was unaware for 27 years of my life. Two years back I had a discussion with my bibliophile friend on how people never wrote novels on food when mystery, romance, drama and even predictions of the world's end were recurrent themes in novels of our times. He then asked me if I had ever heard of culinary fiction. I was dumbstruck in awe and love for this new term that would remain a part of my life. The bibliophile suggested few popular names and I bought my first culinary fiction novel through Flipkart. 'Like water for chocolate' by Laura Esquivel is a classic piece for anyone in love with reading and food. I would not say cooking because I know many foodies who don't cook but imagine cooking and eating in their minds and they thoroughly enjoy a good read like their friends who cook. I won't give away the story of any of these novels not because,they are mystery novels but because it would be a sin to give away the story laced with home remedies, recipes at every chapter beginning and beautiful quotes.
For those who still want the story in a nutshell Like water for chocolate is the story of Tita and Pedro and their unconditional love for each other. Tita is a wonderful cook and has the ability to express her self through cooking. Every chapter in the novel begins with a wonderful recipe thereby situating it's relevance to how the story progresses. Tita bakes a cake for her sister's wedding , cocoa butter for chapped skin, quail in rose petal sauce and buns with sardines. She is always in the kitchen where her romance blooms, and her life ends.
To me the Mexican cuisine and culture understood from the book was quite fascinating and so was the magical realism binding food and life. In short this is a book for book lovers and you should not miss reading it. I have always wondered why the title is Like water for chocolate. The forums online inform me that this comes from the metaphor for hot chocolate. Hot chocolate in many countries don't use milk but boiling water so like water for chocolate means like the hot water ready to receive chocolate which denotes passion and sexual arousal. The love between Pedro and Tita in the novel befits the title.
Every time I see roses or quails I can't help thinking of Tita and so would agree most of you once you have read this book. Do let me know your views on the book till then Adios !!!!