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Carolyn Nadeau - Recent Research

“Artistic Voices of the Transatlantic Exchange”

In virtually all literary genres and in paintings, early modern Spanish artists incorporated New World food imagery into their works in ways that ranged from the bawdy to the mystical. This book-length project, “Artistic Voices of the Transatlantic Exchange,” explores how poets, especially, and also playwrights, painters, and storytellers represented New World foodstuffs and used the power of their poetic voice to create food fantasies. This study also investigates what role these artists played in the transformation of New World foodstuffs, like the tomato, pepper, potato, and chocolate, to name the most salient, into defining ingredients of Spanish cuisine today. This project is supported by the Biruté Ciplijauskaité fellowship from the Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin, Madison. 

Read more about Carolyn Nadeau's current research.



Arte de cocina, pastelería, vizcochería y conservería [The art of cooking, pie making, pastry making and preserving] (1611), critical edition and translation. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2023.

In 1611 Francisco Martínez Montiño, chef to Philip II, Philip III and Philip IV of Spain, published what would become the most recognized Spanish cookbook for centuries: Arte de cocina, pastelería, vizcochería y conservería, (The Art of Cooking, Pie Making, Pastry Making, and Preserving.) This first English translation will delight and surprise readers with the rich array of ingredients and techniques found in the early modern kitchen.

Based on substantial research and hands-on experimentation, Carolyn A. Nadeau reveals how early cookbooks were organized and read and presents an in-depth analysis of the ingredients featured in the book. She also introduces Martínez Montiño and his contributions to culinary history and an assessment of taste at court with an explanation of regional, ethnic, and international foodstuffs and recipes. The 506 recipes and treatises reproduced in the work outline everything from rules for kitchen cleanliness to abstinence foods to seasonal banquet menus, providing insight into why this cookbook, penned by the chef of kings, stayed in production for centuries. This project was supported with funding from IWU, the National Endowment of the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society and the Renaissance Society of America. 

See the recreation of the pastry recipe, “Bollo maimón” [Maimon layered pastry] below.