Spoonful of Spanish: Religiosity, cuisine, and the formation of Creole identities

Mantilla Morales, Valeria
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University of Guelph

In the Viceroyalty of Peru, nourishment of the spirit and the body were central to the colonial structure. Foods that entered the colonial body seasoned immigrants’ understanding of their emerging society. Similarly, religious expressions informed settlers’ self-perceptions and their position within the Spanish Empire. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, spheres of multiethnic sharing led Spaniards, and their Creole offspring, to develop a gut for local foodstuff. The cuisine that became distanced from the trinity of Hispanic staples – meat, wheat, and wine – speaks to processes of identity formation. Simultaneously, the settlers’ religious experiences and exposure to Andean religious traditions infused their Catholicism with local colours that turned into a distinctively Peruvian religiosity. The main objective of this thesis is to present an overall understanding of the emergence of a raison d’être and distinctly Hispanic-American character divorced from Spanish colonialism, an area of study that merits more academic attention.

Colonial Latin America, Colonial Peru, Viceroyalty of Peru, Latin American History, Peru History, Food History, Colonialism, Creole Cuisine, Creole, Miscegenation, identity, mestizo, Colonization, Spanish America, spanish empire, religiosity, Popular Religion, chicha, coca, Latin America