Chocolate

The Spanish ladies of the New World are madly addicted to chocolate, to such a point that, not content to drink it several times each day, they even have it served to them in church.

Jean-Antheleme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste

like water for chocolateAlthough not a Spanish lady, I was madly addicted to chocolate in the United States. I  progressed from Hershey Kisses past Snickers to Cadbury’s and Lindt’s and then to expensive chocolates and then to artisanal chocolates. Many might go to the Vatican, some to Jerusalem, others to Mecca, and yet others to Tibet:  I went to Paris to visit the shop of Pierre Hermé.

With the exception of hot chocolate my chocolate craving has seemingly come to an end in Mexico. The few chocolates that I’ve tried (they were mass produced and were not artisanal) have been disappointing:  waxy and without a depth of chocolate flavor.  That does not mean my search is over, only that without a current source there’s no longer a daily need.

Como agua para chocolate (Like water for chocolate)

The film was based on the novel written by Laura Esquivel, who also wrote the screenplay.  You can read interesting notes about the film by clicking here.

Below is a transcript of the dubbed English version. The transcript can serve as a translation of the scenes shown in the youtube video. Note:  the youtube version above [in Spanish] contains some images that were not part of the English version released in the United States.

Pedro
(while he hands a bouquet of roses to Tita)
Tita, in honor of your first anniversary as our head cook, permit me to give you these roses.

Mama Elena
Throw them out!

Tita leaves, clutching the bouquet

Nacha
(offscreen)
Don’t throw them out my dear child. You can use them to make quails in rose petal sauce.

Tita sets the bouquet on her dresser.
She goes to the farmyard and gathers the quails.
Tita is shown preparing a recipe
She serves the meal

Pedro
Tita, no mortal should eat this! It should be reserved for the gods.

Mama Elena
It’s too salty.

Rosaura (pregnant with Pedro’s child)
Pardon me, mother, I feel quite ill.

She leaves the table and the room.

Narrator
A mysterious alchemical phenomenon seems to have occurred. Not only Tita’s blood, but her whole being seemed to have dissolved into the rose sauce, into the quails and into every aroma of the meal. That’s how she invaded Pedro’s body, voluptuously, and with utter sensuality They had discovered a new way of communicating. Tita was the sender, Pedro the receiver. Gertrudis was the lucky one …

Gertrudis, inflamed with lust by Tita’s cooking, ran away from the farm and hooked up with a revolutionary soldier, with whom she made love on the back of a horse. She herself became a fighter in the revolution.

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