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International Seminar Series: Constructions of Taste in Francisco Martinez Montiño’s 1611 Cookbook

Wednesday, November 15th 2017
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Event Description

Title of Presentation: Constructions of Taste in Francisco Martínez Montiño’s 1611 Cookbook

Speaker: Carolyn Nadeau, Ph. D, Byron S. Tucci Professor of Hispanic Studies, Illinois Wesleyan University 

Presentation Overview: The concept of taste in early modern Spain, not too different from our 21st-century understanding of the term, focused primarily as a referent for one of the five senses, as the flavor of things either naturally or by way of seasoning, and finally, as a reflection of one’s aesthetic judgment. Drawing from concrete data on the recipes and their primary and secondary ingredients in Francisco Martínez Montiño’s 1611 court cookbook, Arte de cocina, pastelería, vizcochería y conservería [The art of cooking, pie making, pastry making and preserving], this essay examines concepts of taste as presented in this culinary artifact. Data analysis of close to 5,000 individual references to ingredients allows today’s scholars and gastronomes to gain access to what was being prepared in the royal kitchens and to establish for the first time the culinary scaffolding for what was eaten at court in early seventeenth-century Spain. This presentation also makes available intimate knowledge about the food habits of the king and queen and questions of taste among the aristocracy. In short, it provides a map of selective taste that both guided future cooks and today reveals to scholars those very taste preferences at court in early modern Spain.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Carolyn Nadeau (PhD, Pennsylvania State University) is the Byron S. Tucci Professor of Spanish at Illinois Wesleyan University. Her research focuses on food representation in sixteenth-century and seventeenth-century Spanish literature. Most recently she has published, Food Matters. Alonso Quijano’s Diet and the Discourse of Early Modern Food in Spain (University of Toronto Press 2016), which contextualizes the shifts in Spain’s gastronomic history at many levels of society and in the process explores the evolving social and cultural identity of early modern Spain.

Series Overview: The International Seminar Series offers the Illinois State campus and Bloomington-Normal communities weekly opportunities to learn about a wide range of international topics. Guest speakers are usually experts in their fields across a range of disciplines who cover a wide array of cultural, historical, political and social topics.

Series events have become one of the most popular internationally focused events on campus and continue to draw ever-growing crowds of students, faculty and community members. Audience members are given time at each event to raise questions to enable a two-way participation and learning.

International Seminar Series events are free and open to the public, and occur every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. in the Bone Student Center. The fall 2017 series will focus on food justice and sustainability.

If you will need special accommodations, please contact the event organizer.


Office of International Studies and Programs
(309) 438-5276


Bone Student Center
200 N. University Street
Normal, IL
(309) 438-4636