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* On the boat

* American Abundance

* In the tenement

* In the neighborhoods

* Inside

* Notes

In this paper I deal with the supply of immigrants who came to our country between 1870 and 1950, from literary and journalistic accounts.

Immigrants speak, in their testimony, their food in the countries of origin. With very few exceptions, the idea of the small size of meals is repeated, with some – mostly Irish and Galician-of which we know that even had to endure famine (1).

Christmas is a very special occasion that is remembered, usually linked to the childhood of those who had to leave their country. Thus, we find references to foods that were on this occasion in his homeland some communities.

Croatian Christmas delicacies are evoked by the narrator in The Angel of the captain, Chuny Anzorreguy. Shortly after the start of the biography, Capt. Miro Kovacic says: “At home, possibly for the southern origin of my mother until twelve ate only fish, then we went to the pork.” Refers to medialunitas and transcribed the recipe for “apple pita” to “other women, other Christmas, cooking them again” (2.)

Ennio Carota remember Christmas in Italy, under the protective figure of the ninth: “Only those grandmothers yesterday gave the parties a very special touch. One month before and was doing her cookies and I, beside her, peeling grapes for wine il cotto, a sweet typical of his native Apulia. We were poor, but there was joy, there was love and made us forget all this poverty “(3).

Tan recalls his Christmas in Italy during the war: “I was born in 1942, was the last of eleven children and my memories are from the end of World War II. It was very cold and the return of Midnight Mass had a snack-something walnut, almond, because the important thing came at noon on 25, around the family table. (…) My mother kneaded noodles served in broth and well cast. ”

When the cold disappeared, were other recipes that cook the Italian mother: “In summer, a burnt flour soup with toast. There was pumpkin flower tortilla and we raised garden snails in boxes, then she was serving for the exquisite casseroles. We left the camp in search of the dandelion plant, which was added without your flower to the polenta with bacon. ”

….. There was also little pleasures, then the writer sent to their children: “They learned to survive with what I had, both for lunch and shelter, but our joy was the crostoli, a poor candy made very thin and sweet dough . When my children were young, we did some of my time, some burnt sugar candy with almonds, but in my region is made with hazelnuts that were in the parks. And of course, chocolate bread when there was bread and Chocolate (4).

Goes to extreme poverty in the novel pathetic Stefano Maria Teresa Andruetto. The protagonist’s mother found a bird. Years later, the son recalls: “I see her in the kitchen out of the boiling water in a tin, pour the water over the dead dove and plucked with nimble fingers, then seared over a flame and gutted. Lava viscera by viscera, discarding only the bitter gall. When clean, divided into four states: We have for four days. I do not say anything, just look how it separates one side and then I hear that I sent to save the three remaining on the roof of the house, the watchman keeps them fresh. When I come back, is out of the bag of cornmeal. He reaches to the bottom and I hear the noise made by scraping the bowl to the fabric. Reach, I ask . For this time, he says. And tomorrow God will say “(5).

These foods so significant for some immigrants, are unpopular with other Italians. When traveling to Italy, the hero of the night Atilio Lombard-Betti-novel, go to the wealthy descendants of peasants despise the typical foods of the region: “I was interested in seeing the frogs. I wanted all the food that nourished my father, but Anna had banished from his table. No to the coarseness of the polenta, not the selvaggina, wild ducks “(6).

On the boat

Pedro Fernandez, Asturias illegally shipped to Argentina in 1899, remembers the food on board, “gave each traveler a china plate and a jar also of the same matter, together with a fork and spoon. Everyone would look up your food on the plate, which was very good consisting of beef, pork, potatoes, chickpeas, rice, beans, cod and some other well-seasoned food substances by an old Spanish cook and fun. ”

The anxiety caused by minor accidents to get food, “and that we had when we were shaking look! With two hours notice and most of us table service provided that they had given us when we surrounded the kitchen had just begun to boil food and distribute it before the beginning of pushing each other to be first in the pot containing the ranch, many with hands burned trouble seeing for that reason to throw to the plate and food! Those who do not like me like the bread we ate the first meal in a hurry while ignoring food as hot as it was taking pieces of skin of the mouth or throat because nothing felt as we came to reinstatement, as there was said when he turned for another meal. ”

The need to create new rules for immigrants: “In the morning we hurried to find the coffee armed each with a cup, which also gave us tea in the evening. When you break any one of the robbed tableware I needed another, that did the same with others, and so on all so that everything became stolen plates and cups, facing each bound to save more carefully than if they were gold but he was willing to have to wait to eat one of his friends and then served it in its furnishings and to give it was necessary that the friendship was close. I was also victim of a robbery of this kind because although I was careful to keep the dish under the mattress my bed, this did not stop me from stealing seeing so obligated to serve food and drink in the cup that at most would be able to half a pint, in this situation I spent two days but then I realized the need to do like others and indeed, pretending to go to sleep in my cabin since he stole a plate of a wallet that I had hung around with this one from Leon saved the situation (7).

Pura, the protagonist of Journal of illusions and shipwrecks, Maria Angelica Scotti, narrates: “There was in that boat, while much crowding and clutter. I do not remember anything like that, but mummy told it was impossible to find a place clean to sit because the floor was full of fruit peelings and remnants of cookies or food. She told how many dizzy by the evil sea and floated in the bedrooms foul odors, and vomiting, and urinating on any creatures corner. (…) (8).

The feeding of passengers has been recorded in an image. In “Buenos Aires 1910. Report of the future” (9) I saw the picture of immigrants eating on the deck with brass plates, before disembarking.

American Abundance

In an interview, the actor Ricardo Darin said: “I think we are all children from immigration, which went through similar circumstances in Europe and then here. The obsession with food, the search for social and cultural advancement are common to all communities. The paradox is that then these kinds of concerns seem exaggerated and today we see how that culture becomes necessary again, to the situation of the country “(10).

Opposed to the evocation of poverty that existed in the country of origin, we find passages which referred to the astonishment of immigrants to the amount of food they had in Argentina.

In Guido, Andres Rivera recreates the stories of those returning to Italy: “We had more cows in one of the Argentine provinces in all European narrow spits of land conquered by the Roman legions. Cows and oxen and cows. Wheat , and more bread than he could have eat the family from grandparents to here. There was bread in the land, they said, since the creation of the world “(11).

In many voices, another story, study of Italian Jews migrants Jarach Vigevani Smolensky and note that “It was amazing to clean sidewalks, good presence of people, the absence of beggars as well as the disproportionate share of meals served in restaurants and ‘yapas’ offered by butchers and greengrocers. The sight of garbage cans, filled with leftovers, raised itching moralizing of respect for ‘the children have nothing to eat in the world’ and blow or kiss piece of bread dropped on the floor before eating it “(12).

The impression that Maggie feels Pool is similar. The author of Where the Devil Lost His Poncho, arrived in Argentina “not well after the war” and “is dazzled by the wealth you see in Buenos Aires, by the size of the steaks and desserts from a simple restaurant where eat what no English family seen for years. ” (13)

In its early days in Argentina, Captain Kovacic is amazed at himself: “What we drew attention in Argentina was plenty. Everything was excessive. We looked at people eating in restaurants. We could not believe. These huge steak. This country, for someone coming from the war, was … an amusement park! ” (14)

The availability of food before denied a cause of some incidents, like the one that tells Jorge Baron Biza. His housekeeper was a refugee from East, who brought his tour of the city of Rio on a stretcher. She “never tasted bananas. Before the war had seen in European cafes, wrapped in cellophane. In the streets of Rio, dozens of vendors offered bananitos cents gold” (15). He ate so many they had to assist. It was the result of the contrast between the European poverty and the American reality.

The power of those who left their land, besides being a recurring theme in literature has been designed by renowned specialists. In “Traces of the immigrant,” Fernando Devoto refers to the native cuisine as a way to differentiate: “Although immigrants were initially dazzled by the abundance of meat kept their eating habits. The statistics showed the trade and the range of stores. aspire to preserve their traditions as socially differentiated by their consumption. not produced a merger or ‘melting pot’ cooking with native cuisine but rather a juxtaposition. The various components coexisted in a menu without mixing in a same plate ”

Foreign influence soon be felt: “Some of the kitchens of immigration had a great ability to irradiation. Above all the Italian, which was a combination of predominantly northern regional cuisine” (16).

In the tenement

As they ate, Santiago de Estrada could recognize the origin of the inhabitants of the tenements, “burn charcoal in front of their cells that eat pots: these are Americans. Some eat raw vegetables, cheese and bread: these are the Piedmont and Genoa. Others eat bacon and bread: these are the Asturian and Galician. The tenement is the kingdom of raw salad “(17).

In the island expands, Grinbaum Carolina, the little protagonist recalls his feelings before the meal with an Italian family: “My nose hungry tentacles extended in order to transfer the perfume of food nearby to my bland dish. He scanned the swallowed soups, hearty broth rumoreante as ocean waves, huge floating like noodles dedalito countless yachts, the rich cheese, which spread as strong rain-the rain that leaves a happy smell of dry-land ” .

It also discusses the Polish-Jewish, who “In a constant effort to try to feed and cheer up the family, Mrs. Matilda that was his name-he spent long hours in the kitchen, pots and pans manipulating the finally extracted the best dishes prepared in the European way “(18).

Archaeology has recently provided data on the supply of lower-class immigrants, “says Schavelzon on a dig in what was a tenement, in the Defense and San Lorenzo streets, discovered a large food diversity in theory had to do with immigrants of different origin that inhabited it. “ate guinea pigs, ostriches and lizards’ he reports. And not much beef: many of the cows were wild and his flesh, very hard” (19).

In neighborhoods

Century-old, Maria Luisa Cuccetti, daughter of a Genoese immigrant musician, recalled in an interview feeding their early years. In The Mouth, “birthdays are celebrated with cakes and hot chocolate. And it was all done at home, what else was eating risotto. Of course, the best ride was to go at night to eat nuts warm in port …” (20). His evocation us back to the book La Boca del Riachuelo, where Orlando Barone says: “I think the Boca captures part of Buenos Aires Buenos Aires identity because he was always closer to immigration than the native” (21).

The daughter of Joaquin Gonzalez Gallego that immigrants from that source, “They liked to eat ham, drinking good wine.” In this land, “says Claudio Savoia-coming manzanillas and cod (22) As a thank you for parcels of clothing sent during the Civil War, my grandparents received sausages da terra crossing the Atlantic in empty cans of sweet potato.

In Argentina, who want to eat the real “cake for the Apostle” will find the recipe in Celtic Traveler (23). On the Galician cuisine can read the notes of Manuel Corral Vide in Galicia in the world (24), who also offers his restaurant Morri~na, a name that certainly speaks of feeling that brings together chefs and diners.

Grandma’s recipes still survive today. In his restaurant, the brothers made the Galician empanada Morales as we did in Padron Manuela Eiras, according to the recipe brought from La Coru~na forty-three years ago (25). Hand, in Spain, a Galician who returned without being able to “make America” Argentine dishes found in half of life. Norma Morandini tells “the homeland is childhood, time evokes the flavors that were lost. In a street bakery Menendez y Pelayo, Cavia near the square, forming a line to buy. A small business where you can get croissants, spinach pie, tea, Argentine wines and the delight that we gun as exclusivity, sandwiches de miga. (…) away from what might be expected, the business does not belong to Argentina. His owner, a Galician who lived twenty years in Argentina, returning found prosperity was elusive as an immigrant. Thanks to the flavors that are brought from the Rio de la Plata, your business is growing every day “(26).

In the night I want, Jorge Torres Zavaleta evokes Creole intolerance to different tastes. “The Americans and the British” the narrator says they were “some animals” because snuggled “to one side of the plate the rest of dulce de leche” because they did not like. This was experienced by man as a true “lack of education” (27).

The confluence of immigrants of different origins and criollos allows fraternize, and they know their cuisine. In a Buenos Aires street lived Catalina’s mother, Miriam Becker. In a heartfelt evocation written shortly after the death of the Romanian, says the old lady “of its neighbors, Spanish, Italian, Argentine interior,” had discovered that the best chicken rice did Dona Maria, Galicia, but without bacon; how rich you were grelo the nabiza and chicory as preparing the Brunetta, the Italian know-eat vegetables, and meat pies with a knife cut Dona Pepa were better than the common bite. ”

As noted by Ennio Carota, cooking was a way to entertain, to alleviate poverty with love. So did she: “Cooking was his passion and a way to give love. To my grandchildren, I can buy toys like other grandmothers, because I reached retirement, but I make brownies with orange juice (quilalej) to they invite their friends “(28).

In “Current ghetto corner”, Manuela Fingueret evokes meals for her community: “Everyone / with the voices of the market / fresh from Warsaw / pickles / or mailbox on the corner / / The Promised Land / spread on bread Goldstein / between pastrom hot / and crossed the Red Sea / by currents or by Serrano / waiting for Moses / she does not know idish / to decrypt the commandments “(29).

, As does Luis Leon, when his story “Chacarita. Eve of Passover,” he writes: “The matzah was not good and got eggs were scarce, the dishes were still contaminated by the Boii meal” (30).


But you must not think that everyone ate well in our country. The settlers at first were fed not what they used in their countries of origin, but there was. We saw that in the Immigrants Hotel, the Jews had to eat meat “unclean” and in the provinces, soaked to soften tough cookie (31). The Poles went to the newly founded colony of Apostles, “says one historian,” had to wait two years to eat bread, since the ants and the capybaras decimated the plantations of maize. They ate mainly cassava, beans, sweet potato and took advantage of the abundance of wild animals that provided them with meat (32). ”

Decades later, Magdalena, one of the characters of Mempo Giardinelli Chaco in Santo Oficio de la Memoria, enjoy prosperity. He is interested in different local dishes and, when the cooking is worthy of praise: “All things Jewish, delicious, well seasoned. Kippers, and some blintzes, my mother, scrumptious. And not just Jews because it also paella was a bed left you. And do not tell you that preparing jams, rosehip, blackcurrant, pomegranate, figs. Or ravioli with Bolognese sauce, or the Prince di Napoli, Mamma Mia. It also made some stews carters dad taught him, very sensitive, because they had the exact doses of herbs, exotic spices, hints of this and the other, all done with love, with love morphine is something else “(33) ..

In the province of Buenos Aires, were also excellent cooks. One of them added to his culinary skill, the talent for hunting. We refer to other centenarians, Margarita Marc de Soto, the daughter of French settled in Alberdi, about Muzi Carolina who writes: “The kitchen was a constant in his life and pickled partridges, one of the most frequently held by family and friends. But Margaret not only cooked, also hunted “(34).

In Bahia Blanca is still some Spanish traditions. In the meadow of asphodel, Ruben Benitez, one of the characters says: “Do~na Lorenza’s treated to fried donuts. A bagel like the ones my mother did in my village in Spain. Do~na Lorenza was Villar’s Deer a neighboring town to ours. How beautiful donuts! delicious! ” (35).


In poverty or wealth, immigrants kept culinary traditions as a way to link the long-desired land, preserve their culture, and to pass from generation to generation, while in the kitchen were a means to differentiate native in a cosmopolitan society.


* Delgado, Alicia: “A sick homesick Galician” in The Nation magazine, Buenos Aires, May 30, 1999.

* Anzorreguy, Chuny: The Angel of the master. Biography of Capt. Miro Kovacic Croat. Buenos Aires, Corregidor, 1996.

* Becker, Miriam: “Home and Italian,” in The Nation magazine, December 23, 2001.

* Becker, Miriam, op. cit.

* Andruetto, Maria Teresa: Stefano. Buenos Aires, Sudamericana, 2000.

* Betti, Atilio: Night Lombard. Buenos Aires, Plus Ultra, 1984.

* Mendez Muslera, Luciano: “Asturias in emigration, in

* Scotti, Maria Angelica: Journal of illusions and shipwrecks. Buenos Aires, Emece, 1996.

* “Buenos Aires 1910. Memory of the future” in Abasto, 1999.

* Saavedra, Guillermo: “Darn. A washed face,” in The Nation magazine, Buenos Aires, May 5, 2002.

* Rivera, Andres: Guido., In For them, Paradise. Buenos Aires, Alfaguara, 2000.

* Smolensky, Eleonora M. and Vigevani Jarach Vera: So many voices, a story. Buenos Aires, Editorial Temas, 1999.

* Soper, Germain: “distant”, in La Nacion, Buenos Aires, July 13, 1997.

* Anzorreguy, Chuny: op. cit.

* Baron Biza, Jorge, “History, nonsense”, Clarin, Buenos Aires, April 25, 1999.

* Devoto, Fernando: “The footprint of the immigrant,” Clarin, Bune Aires, July 2, 2000.

* Estrada, Santiago: Travel and other literary sites. 1889. Cited by Jorge Paez in the tenement, Buenos Aires, CEAL, 1970.

* Grinbaum, Carolina: The island expands. Buenos Aires, ig, 1992.

* S / F: “Dumps the past,” Viva Clarin, Buenos Aires, January 9, 2000.

* Muzi, Carolina: “The century I saw”, Clarin, Buenos Aires, September 26, 1999.

* Barone, Orlando Shakespeare, Raul: La Boca del Riachuelo.

* Savoia, Claudio: “The baggage of dreams”, Clarin, Buenos Aires, January 14, 2000.

* S / F: “Cake for the apostle” in Celtic Voyager, Year I, No. 9. Buenos Aires, July 1996.

* Vide Corral, Manuel: “Kitchen Galician in Galicia in the world, Mercosur edition.

* Morandini, Norma: “Land of Exile”, Clarin, Buenos Aires, February 25, 2001.

* Torres Zavaleta, Jorge: The day I want. Buenos Aires, Planeta, 2000.:

* Becker, Miriam, “The last idische mame” in The Nation magazine, March 23, 1997.

* Fingueret, Manuela: “Corrientes ghetto corner” in Viva Clarin, Corners. Catalogs. Buenos Aires, 2001.

* Leon, Luis: “Chacarita. Eve of Passover” in SEFARaires, No. 2, June 2002.

* Feierstein, Ricardo: The lodge’s doorstep. Buenos Aires, Mila, 2001. Quoted in Gonzalez Rouco, Maria: “Migration and Literature: Early Days” in

* Brochure Location The Cachuera, Apostles, Misiones.

* Giardinelli Mempo: Holy Office of the memory. Buenos Aires, Seix Barral, 1991.

* Muzi, Carolina: op. cit.

* Benitez, Ruben: The meadow of asphodel. Bahia Blanca, Syrinx, 1989.





Sent work

Ms. Maria Gonzalez Rouco

Bachelor of Arts UNBA, a Registered Professional Reporter