Hola homies! It’s your girl, Bernie, author of Herencia Cookbook, full of traditional SalviMex recipes with a modern (and sometimes healthy-ish) twist. Herencia Cookbook honors and celebrates Latin culture and matriarchs. There are so many ways to celebrate and honor culture. Here at Herencia Cookbook, we believe that recipes preserve culture.
Recipes Preserve Culture
Herencia Cookbook originally began as a personal project. I have always been into cooking. But, when I purchased my first home, I remember feeling so excited to have my own kitchen. This excitement came with a goal. I wanted to learn the recipes that were so personal to me. The complicated recipes that require effort. The recipes that make a señora, pues a señora! For instance, I wanted to learn how to make the enchiladas de queso my mother would make us on Fridays during Lent. Or, I wanted to learn how to make the menudo that my Nana Isabel would make for the holidays. Additionally, I wanted to learn how to make my great-grandmother’s tamal recipe.
So I got to work! I called my mom and we quickly became frustrated. Not with each other, of course. Rather, we became frustrated at our different approaches. My mother has so much experience. She cooks based on eyeballing ingredients and intuition. I wanted to quantify everything. If you have ever seen a señora cook, then you know how difficult it is to get them to wrap their head around measurements!
Appreciation or Appropriation?
I decided to look online instead. I figured that I could find the data and precise measurements I longed for on recipe websites. As I did my research, I began to feel uneasy. I couldn’t determine if my culture was being celebrated or appropriated. These recipes were so personal to me. I wanted to see them honored in an equally personal way. Additionally, I did not see anyone cooking in the style I had grown up with- a SalviMex fusion. That’s when I knew, something is lacking. Therefore, I decided to create it for myself. I went back to my mother with a deepened interest and we got to work.
Matriarchs Preserve Recipes
Herencia Cookbook contains recipes inspired by my great grandmother, my grandmother, my mother-in-law, and of course my mother. Each recipe is preluded by an anecdote about the woman who inspired the recipe. My hope is that when others read about the matriarchs who influenced me, they will think fondly about the matriarchs who nourished and nurtured them.
A Modern Take on Classic Recipes
The recipes in Herencia Cookbook are also inspired by my SalviMex identity and upbringing in Los Angeles. There is both a SalviMex fusion and a modern style of cooking. I am all about kitchen hacks to make our on-the-go lifestyles easier! You will also find that I try my best to share techniques that make the recipes as nutritious as possible.
Do you agree that recipes preserve culture? How do you celebrate and honor your culture? Here, at Herencia Cookbook, we would love to know! Be sure to hit us up in the comments. Finally, if you would like to learn more, be sure to check out our blog and our book for authentic Salvi Mex recipes with a modern (and sometimes healthy) twist.
Herencia Cookbook is currently available for sale on Amazon.