Like Water for Chocolate: the Important Role of Food

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Like Water for Chocolate:
The Important Role of Food

Full of love, passion, family tradition and mouth-watering recipes, Laura Esquivel's "Like Water for Chocolate" is seasoned with magical intensity that will leave your heart boiling. This book expresses the value of true Mexican family tradition and how a girl's passion for cooking can affect the loved ones around her. Tita, a girl who is destined to a solitary life due to family customs, is brought into the world in what comes to be the one and only way she knows how to express herself. She was born on the kitchen table and was raised by the sweetest smelling meals known to man. Un-denounced to her, she was meant to remain in the kitchen, where she would become a servant until the death of her mother. As the plot thickens, magical events unfold and the reader begins to wonder about the importance of recipes, which helps show, Tita's emotions.

The use of food in this novel has numerous meanings, and Laura Esquivel uses each and every one with careful thought and planning. First Esquivel expresses the importance of the De La Gaza customs when Tita is offered the hand of Pedro, but must refuse when Mama Elena says, "you know perfectly well that being the youngest daughter means you have to take care of me till the day I die" (Esquivel 10). Tita is devastated by this inhumane tradition and becomes extremely saddened. Mama Elena is very strict on this idea because it had been an unbroken tradition, which is made obvious when she says to Tita, "For generations, not a single person in my family has ever questioned this tradition, and no daughter of mine is going to be the one to start" (11). This is a very important ritual to Mama Elena and no matter how cruel it seems she is determined to follow through on it. The tradition carries out through the story and when Tita becomes sick of the horrible destiny that lies before her, she addresses the issue to Mama Elena in a disrespectful manor. Tita says...
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