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Histories of Global Recipes: A Workshop on Sources and Methods

Histories of Global Recipes: A Workshop on Sources and Methods


Thursday 19 October 2023

10:30 AM - 3:30 PM

IAS, Zeeman Building (Ground Floor)

A one-day workshop at the University of Warwick

Convened by Dr Ricardo Aguilar-González (IAS, UMSNH)

Sponsored by University of Warwick’s Institute for Advanced Study and Global History and Culture Centre.


About the workshop

European colonial expansionism emerging in 15th century connected places and peoples around the world (Hausberger, 2019), and allowed for the circulation of goods, knowledge and people. Global connections brought about the expanding interchange of edibles and indigenous peoples’ knowledges on crops, roots, drinks and animals, while at the same time settlers used African and indigenous forced labour to produce cheaper commodities to supply European and Mediterranean markets. Changes were reflected in many different spheres, from competing European monarchs attempting to invade indigenous lands, to colonisers anxious to reproduce their Mediterranean diet in the Americas (Earle, 2012), to indigenous rulers negotiating conquests through foodstuffs and kin making. Likewise, on a material level, these changes brought about the global circulation of medicines and dyes from indigenous Americans to the incorporation of new ingredients in recipes in the Americas, Europe and the Mediterranean world. While specialists have studied edibles circulation across the Atlantic Ocean and Southeast Asia (Machuca, 2018; Crosby, 2003), in this workshop participants will further explore how these goods were incorporated into recipes, how the global trade changed portions, promoted guild tensions, and how Mesoamerican taste was exported and introduced to the ‘Old World’.


10:30-11:15 Welcome coffee

Panel 1

11:15 – 13:00

Chair: Guido van Meersbergen

Serin Quinn (Department of History, University of Warwick) Xitomamolli to Salsa de Tomates: Tomatoes and the Incorporation of Indigenous American Knowledge and Practices in Early Modern Spain


Marta Manzanares Mileo (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) Sharing Sweet Recipes: Guild Confectioners’ Books in Early Modern Barcelona

Commentators: Ilaria Berti and Ricardo Aguilar-Gonzalez


13:00 – 14:00 Lunch


Panel 2


Chair: Rebecca Earle

Ilaria Berti (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville): “The Tragedy of the Servant Problem”: Cuban cooks and kitchens at the turn of the twentieth century

Ricardo Aguilar (IAS-University of Warwick, UMSNH): Indigenous Mesoamerican recipes in the early colonisation of the Americas using bilingual dictionaries

Commentators: Marta Manzanares Mileo and Serin Quinn