Like Water for Chocolate

Like Water for Chocolate

A Novel in Monthly Installments, With Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies

Book - 1992
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The classic love story takes place on the De la Garza ranch, as the tyrannical owner, Mama Elena, chops onions at the kitchen table in her final days of pregnancy. While still in her mother's womb, her daughter to be weeps so violently she causes an early labor, and little Tita slips out amid the spices and fixings for noodle soup. This early encounter with food soon becomes a way of life, and Tita grows up to be a master chef. She shares special points of her favorite preparations with listeners throughout the story.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 1992
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385420167
Branch Call Number: FICTION Esq
Description: 245 pages ; 20 cm


From Library Staff

The classic love story takes place on the De la Garza ranch, as the tyrannical owner, Mama Elena, chops onions at the kitchen table in her final days of pregnancy. While still in her mother's womb, her daughter to be weeps so violently she causes an early labor, and little Tita slips out amid th... Read More »

Tita would like to marry Pedro, but tradition dictates that she stay home to care for her parents.

Despite the fact that she has fallen in love with a young man, Tita, the youngest of three daughters born to a tyrannical rancher, must obey tradition and remain single and at home to care for her mother.

A #1 bestseller in Mexico, this charming, imaginative, and just plain fun novel of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico includes unique recipes at the beginning of each chapter for a variety of traditional dishes.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Nov 26, 2018

A culinary and literary delight!

Sep 23, 2018

The magical realism is skillful and emotional, and there were passages, like Tita trying to feed the pigeon, that worked really well for me. But the romance at the center of the book is horrifying. Pedro willingly marries Tita’s sister Rosaura to get closer to her, with no regard for Rosaura’s feelings or future. Once he’s part of the household, though, he makes no clear attempts to stop or soften the abuse toward the woman he supposedly loves- in fact, bringing Tita a showy bouquet of flowers is a move guaranteed to make tensions worse. He doesn’t grow a spine when Tita’s mother forbids their marriage or orders him out of town: he waits until Tita is engaged to a man who would at least treat her with kindness and care. After a day of escalating refusals to take her no for an answer, he sexually assaults the woman he claims to love. Love doesn’t matter at that point. This is a man incapable of putting anyone’s happiness over his own comfort. It’s understandable that attention-starved Tita could fall for someone who showed her intermittent neglect instead of total neglect. If the book had seemed to understand how awful their dynamic was, it could’ve been a heartbreaking tragedy. But with their love presented as right and inescapable, it’s just unintentionally heartbreaking.

Sep 18, 2017

This magical realism book combined food and lyrical writing in a way that made you think you were reading a soft-core romance novel. It does have a telenovela feel with the dramatized events, but it was so beautifully written that it wasn't overly dramatic. Food and cooking has so much depth, especially when combined with the cultural importance frequently found in the Latin American cuisine experience--and this short novel captured all of this so well. Each chapter is broken up by recipe and delved into with fervent emotions that, in turn, end up affecting the food and those eating the food just as much as the cook experiencing those emotions. It was truly a beautiful, romantic book filled with magical realism elements that had similarities to the great One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (one of my favorites).

Dec 15, 2016

This is one of the most memorable books I have read. It is an example of the family legends and stories from our ancestors. How time will exaggerate what we hear about aunts and uncles and grandparents. The story has a sort ethereal feel about a young girl who is deprived of love and her feelings are transferred to her cooking. If she is happy, all those who eat her food are delirious. If she is sad, all those who partake become horribly ill. When she does find love things are all in a tizzy. The ending is quite wonderful and special.

Aug 07, 2013

A beautiful, passionate love story interwoven with mouth-watering recipes. This book reads like a narration, and I imagine an audio tape of it must be quite something. I am dying to try making some of these recipes, and to find my Pedro someday.

Aug 02, 2013

this book a have read sever time is one of my favorite book all time , it has everything romances , lust , great plot

patienceandfortitude Feb 04, 2013

Really not my cup of tea. I think I need to stay away from magical realism. It just doesn't work for me. The ending seemed just silly. Sigh.

mamiuno Oct 18, 2012

ese mi libro........

Aug 24, 2012

Charming Mexican magic realism, peppered with traditional recipes - all for dinner parties with 20 guests or more :-)

Agent13 May 21, 2012

Esquivel's recipes are as good as her writing! This sweeping story of one family, and in particluar, one frustrated member of it, makes for a satisfying read. The author blends in her love of food in a mystical way that has me caring about the human story as well. I would like to try the recipes one day to see their affect on me!

View All Comments


Add a Quote
janicedlb Oct 14, 2014

With food running through all of her prose...."wrapped up like a taco, the baby was sleeping peacefully"....


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings

LibraryThing Series Information


Find it at CRRL

To Top