Mama Elena - The tyrannical, widowed matriarch of the De La Garza clan. Mama Elena is the prime source of Tita's suffering. Her fierce temperament inspires fear in all three of her daughters. She keeps Tita from her true love, Pedro, and it is later revealed that Mama Elena herself once suffered from a lost love, embittering her for the rest of her life.
Pedro - Tita's true love, and the eventual father of Roberto and Esperanza. Denied marriage to Tita by Mama Elena, he agrees to marry Rosaura, breaking Tita's heart. Nevertheless, he asserts his continued love for Tita throughout the novel and pursues her secretly. Pedro dies after he and Tita are finally blissfully united while making love at the novel's end.
Rosaura - The second daughter of Mama Elena, Rosaura marries Pedro, much to the despair of Tita. Rosaura leaves the ranch when Mama Elena sends her and Pedro to San Antonio to keep Pedro and Tita apart. Her first child, Roberto, dies as an infant; her second, Esperanza, prohibited like Tita from ever marrying, weds Alex after Rosaura dies.
Gertrudis - The eldest daughter of Mama Elena. Gertrudis escapes the ranch after reacting mysteriouslly to one of Tita's recipes. She runs away with a rebel soldier, works in a brothel at the Mexico-Texas border, and eventually returns to the ranch as a general in the revolutionary army. It is eventually revealed that Gertrudis is the offspring of a hidden, extramarital affair between Mama Elena and her true love, a mulatto man.
Dr. John Brown - An American doctor who cares for Tita when she experiences a...