story revolves around the illegitimate child Tita, the
youngest of three sisters who because of family tradition must
stay unmarried so that she may care for her mother. She is
content with this role until she meets the love of her life,
Pedro. They both fall in love the minute they lay eyes on one
another. Pedro asks Tita's mother for permission to marry her
youngest daughter, however Elena refuses his request and
instead offers Pedro permission to marry Rosura. In order to
be close to Tita he accepts Rosura's hand in marriage and
moves onto Mama Elena's estate. Pedro's constant flirtations
with Tita do not go unnoticed my Mama Elena and she is always
trying to keep them separated. Tita, unable to express her
true feeling for Pedro releases her emotions into her food.
This leads to some interesting meals
for the diners.
are seldom moments in this film when there is neither a
kitchen nor food in view. Tita's true home is in the kitchen.
She is at work throughout this film preparing meals. The
funniest moments of this film are when the diners get to
experience Tita's emotions when they eat her cooking. As
everyone starts to eat the meal at Rosura's wedding they all
begin to cry and mourn for lost loves. At another meal that
Tita has prepared while feeling quite passionate, one of her
sisters is so affected that she runs off with a revolutionary.
Another interesting food moment is when Tita is preparing
quail; unplucked quail lie next to plucked and cleaned quail.
However, the plucked and cleaned quail are twice as large as
their feathered friends and bear a remarkable resemblance to
large Cornish game hens. The food in this film is often simple
but occasionally as elaborate as the dishes seen in films such
as A CHEF IN LOVE.
the early 20's in Mexico a passionate love story unfolds in a
magical atmosphere of desire, rebellion, repression,
tradition, big secrets and long silences. Laura Esquivel tells
Pedro and Tita's story. To be close to Tita, sacrificed by her mother's egoism, Pedro
marries her sister. Amongst the many ways Pedro and Tita
communicate their love, food is very eloquent. Their passion
is like the boiling point of water for hot chocolate. Tita
exercises her culinary ability in a wonderful
"Chabela" expressing her love for Pedro.
homage to the transmutation of love through food opens with
the birth of the extraordinary cook Tita: "fed by Nacha,
Tita grew up in the kitchen amid the smells of the kitchen,
chicken soup, thyme, laurel, steamed milk, garlic, and, of
course, onion." And it is soup - Chencha's bowl of magic
beef broth - that restores Tita to life after she suffers from
a nervous breakdown. As she comes back from the brink of madness
and speaks, Chencha says, "Broths can cure any type of
illness, be it physical or mental."