This article examines Primo de Rivera's recipe for a modern nation through an analysis of food texts that were both reflective and formative of his vision for modernization. Through a close reading of a number of key culinary texts of the period, I demonstrate how authors became caught up in Primo de Rivera's agenda whether their texts were commissioned by the government or not. The writers considered here—Dionisio Pérez (1872-1935), Gregorio Marañón (1887-1960), and Ignacio Doménech (1874-1956)—each used food as a medium for social and economic regeneration, with an emphasis on top-down policy and agenda-setting. This was achieved in a variety of ways, from advocating the consumption of local foodstuffs, to codifying the nation's regionally diverse cuisine, as well as promoting tourism to the Iberian Peninsular. Accordingly, these culinary texts illuminate a range of sociocultural issues of a given period, from gender relations to nationalism and economic policy. If the Primo de Rivera government was only brief, its focus on food culture—initiated, in part, by the texts analyzed here—was picked up by the Francoist dictatorship that followed. Food discourse continued to mirror official notions of autarky, gender, and centralist nationalism and hence Spanish food culture is a key emerging field of study.


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pp. 75-99
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