The acclaimed novelist and journalist Emilia Pardo Bazán (1851–1921) is without a doubt the most well known of the authors discussed in this book. Although she is held in high esteem for her prolific literary and journalistic production, much of which – unlike the writing of her female contemporaries – was considered canonical, relatively little has been said about the fact that less than ten years before her death she penned two cookery books: La cocina española antigua (1913) and La cocina española moderna (1917). That Pardo Bazán wrote these cookery books appears to represent an anomaly, given her steadfast determination from the outset of her career to write about topics traditionally viewed as masculine, such as politics, science and religion. However, this is something that she herself recognizes in the prologue to La cocina española antigua: ‘Como me han visto aficionada a estudios más habituales en el otro sexo, puede que se sorprendan de que salga de mis manos, o mejor dicho de mis carpetas, un libro del fogón’ (16). Nonetheless, in line with the rest of her opus, and in line with her male contemporaries discussed in this book, Pardo Bazán produced a culinary discourse that indeed transcends the domestic. Her cookery books, which deal with topics relating to the nationalization and modernization of Spanish cuisine, reveal a concern with issues of national interest.
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