Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences


Hispanic Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Susan Larson


Analyzing cookbooks, gastronomic guides, literature and film, this dissertationoutlines the creation of a Spanish national cuisine. Studying the works of Carmen de Burgos, Emilia Pardo Bazán, Dionisio Pérez, Ana María Herrera, Juan Mari Arzak and Ferrán Adrià among others, the project examines the evolution of this nationalist discourse by identifying common and recurring themes in an effort to extrapolate and describe the historical and cultural evolution of food from 1900 to the present day.

Within the framework of Food and Cultural Studies, this project treats cookbooks, culinary manifestos and guidebooks as texts. Influenced by a variety of culinary and gastronomic of critics such as Roland Barthes, Arjun Appadurai, Benedict Anderson, Stanley Mintz and others, this dissertation analyzes nationalism through the perspective of gastronomy as a cultural practice that contributes to individual and collective identity building.

This dissertation concludes that Spanish national cuisine has been defined as a unique, pluralistic blend of regional cuisines since the early twentieth century. While early authors such as Pardo Bazán admit to heavy French influence and the centralized hegemony of Madrid due to its privileged status as economic and political capital of Spain, most subsequent authors acknowledge that Spanish national cuisine is a construction of various regional influences and by the 1960s, this regional view of national cuisine is universally accepted. Shaped during the twentieth century by civil war, Francoism and globalization, Spanish cuisine today continues to be a blend of regional cuisines that mutually influence each other while also exhibiting the effects of a globalized world by incorporating non-Spanish ingredients and techniques into nationally accepted dishes.