As a cultural dimension for US Hispanic, FOOD and EATING convey so many meanings and implications that they don’t fit only in the act of feeding the body with nutrients. From the process of cooking to the serving and enjoying of a meal, Latin people take their food very seriously. A mother uses food and its preparation to show love to her kids, a family gathers around a table with a banquet to get together and share quality time and a lover will seduce the significant other by cooking something special. Food then becomes love and appreciation and that is the case in many extracts of literature. For instance, in Like Water for Chocolate, Tita de la Garza , the novel protagonist, was able to express her feelings of lust and desire for Pedro when she cooked a special meal made out of quail in rose petal sauce flavored with Tita’s erotic thoughts of Pedro, “ It was as if a strange alchemical process had dissolved her entire being in the rose petal sauce, in the tender flesh of the quails, in the wine, in every one of the meal’s aromas” (Esquivel L. 41). The food is the vehicle to express passionate love and desire and that is a cultural insight quite useful for marketers. There is an old proverb that says: The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, in other words, cooking food for a man will win his love and that is something Hispanic women know cause it has been taught from one generation to the next.
Esquivel, Laura. Como Agua para Chocolate. Like Water for Chocolate. Grijalbo Editorial. Caracas, Venezuela. 1994