Abuelita's Kitchen: Mexican Food Stories
Abuelita’s Kitchen: Mexican Food Stories
The voices of Mexican and Mexican-American abuelitas are amplified in this exhibition, featuring a group of indigenous, mestiza, Mexican-American, and Afro-Mexican grandmothers who have cooked, preserved, and passed on Mexican food culture while creating communities and cultures that are unique to Southern California. Through a documentary film; audio stories that can be accessed with QR codes; photographs; kitchen artifacts; and family recipes, this exhibit reveals each abuela’s relationship to Mexican cuisine, their birthplaces in Mexico, and the city of Los Angeles.
The stories of Mexican and Mexican-American women have too often been absent from the walls of museum collections. Documenting the histories and family recipes of women who are immigrants, undocumented, and non-English-speaking, enriches our understanding of the valuable contributions of Mexican and Mexican-American women to the culture of Los Angeles and Southern California.
The themes of identity, place, and food culture are central to this exhibit. The first section explores the dishes of the grandmothers made in their home kitchens: chiles en nogada, mole, tamales, pozole, mixiotes, enchiladas, and more. These dishes reflect the diverse origins and culinary traditions of Mexican immigrant groups, the valuable contributions of Mexican foodways to Southern California cuisine, and some of the grandmothers’ common struggles as immigrants and Mexican Americans. Using a map of Mexico and Los Angeles, the next space visualizes the migration stories of the grandmother, their strong ties to their home states in Mexico, and the diverse communities where they reside in Los Angeles. Through photographs of the abuelas and their family members, the final space represents their identities as traditional cooks, mothers, and grandmothers.
This Exhibition was made in partnership with the University of Southern California. For more information, visit their website.