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Like Water for Chocolate

(Como agua para chocolate #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  321,980 ratings  ·  9,079 reviews
To the table or to bed
You must come when you are bid

The number-one bestseller in Mexico in 1990, Like Water for Chocolate is a romantic, poignant tale, touched with bittersweet moments of magic and sensuality. Evocative of How to Make an American Quilt in structure, Tampopo in its celebration of food, and Heartburn in its irony and wit, it is a lively and funny tale of fam
Paperback, 246 pages
Published October 1992 by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group (first published 1989)
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gourmetkat You could try other magic realism books, e.g. One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez), Isabel Allende (The House of the Sprits), and th…moreYou could try other magic realism books, e.g. One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez), Isabel Allende (The House of the Sprits), and then there is Jose Amado's Dona Flor and her Two Husbands (which also contains recipes, in this case recipes from Brazil)(less)
Emily Yes, the whole book is basically a romantic relationship and there are a few times that it gets more explicit than kissing.

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Average rating 3.95  · 
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Ahmad Sharabiani
195. Como agua para chocolate = Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel
Like Water for Chocolate is a popular novel, published in 1989 by Mexican novelist and screenwriter Laura Esquivel. The novel follows the story of a young girl named Tita, who longs for her lover, Pedro, but can never have him because of her mother's upholding of the family tradition: the youngest daughter cannot marry, but instead must take care of her mother until she dies. Tita is only able to express herself when she coo
first things first: let's get rid of that ugly movie cover, and switch to the one i actually read....

okay, better.

this was my final selection for the readventurer challenge. i read them alphabetically, based on the suggester's first name, for arbitrary fairness.

it is strange that i have never read this book, as it is magical realism, doomed love story, and about food, all of which are interests of mine.

here is a quick story that has nothing to do with the book, and i am going to put it in a spoi
Nov 07, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
This book was disappointing. It felt overwrought and melodramatic.

Tita, the youngest daughter of overbearing Mama Elena, has to give up the hope of ever marrying. It will be her duty to take care of her mother in old age. This becomes a big problem when she meets Pedro. When Pedro learns of Tita's duty to her mother and impossibility of future marriage, he agrees to marry Tita's sister, just so he can be closer to Tita. This sets in motion this fable of unrequited love that is the thread through
Jan 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I couldn't help but fall for this short novel that encapsulates vividly yet simply the lives of these women in Mexico during the Pancho Villa Years. The family unit is both necessary AND a culminating curse-- it's hardly fair that our heroine must not live out the life she desires but the one that is handed down to her. A stupid family tradition (it is true-- mine's a bit like Tita's clan, sure, though not at all) dictates that the youngest daughter gets to take care of the matriarch and never m ...more
Emily  O
Sep 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
Have you ever finished a book and thought "Man, this is going to be hard to review?" Because that's the first thing I thought when I finished this little book by Laura Esquivel. Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments With Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies is a book that really left me conflicted. There were things about it that I absolutely loved, and things about it that made me very angry. The only way I can think to write this review is to explain what I found good and b ...more
What a wonderful, magical story. The tale of women in turn-of-the-century Mexico and how they live their lives. Tita is the main character and what a strong woman she is. This story is told in 12 month chapters though time progresses much faster. Each chapter is started with a recipe. Yes, the kitchen and food is central to this story. You get the details of the recipe and how to make and it's weaved so perfectly into this story.

In a nutshell, Tita is the youngest of three girls. They live on t
Kevin Ansbro
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: foodies
Magical realism is my favourite genre, but this didn't have quite enough ooomph for me, though it was a pleasant enough read.
There is, however, an alliterative line of such chutzpah that she sells sea shells by the sea shore is made to seem positively prosaic. Here it is, verbatim: "Unquestionably, when it came to dividing, dismantling, dismembering, desolating, detaching, dispossessing, destroying or dominating, Mama Elena was a pro".

3.5, rounded up to 4
Mar 21, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What an easily forgettable novel. The language was exceedingly childish, and the style of the novel massacred the subtlety with which magic realism is to be employed. This was my first taste of the famed Latin American style of writing, and I was sorely disappointed.

(Class discussions surrounding this book also bothered me - not only were we forced to read bad literature, we were forced to analyse it for meaningful content.)

The characters were not at all developed successfully; no motivations e
10 years ago I would have thought so differently about this than I do now. Mama Elena is one of the most monstrous, villainous characters I have ever met. Our main character is Tita, the youngest daughter in her family. The evil family tradition is that the youngest child will not get married or have a life of her own, she will take care of the aging mother.

Tita is the youngest and she falls in love with Pedro. They are electric together - passion. Tita also cooks. Each chapter is a recipe for
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hispanic-culture
I read Como Agua Para Chocolate in high school. At the time my mother had a rule that if I wanted to see a movie, I had to read the book first, because for the most part, the book is better. She maintains the rule to this day, which I have passed along to my children.
Laura Esquivel's debut novel focuses on a Mexican family at the turn of the 20th century. The heroine Tita is the youngest daughter in her family and according to her family tradition is not allowed to marry. Rather she is supposed
~The Bookish Redhead~
I love how this book just oozes with food and sex. Esquivel does a masterful job of combining the art of good cooking, with the art of raw, passionate sex, and I liked it. I liked it a lot.

I bought this rather short read a few years back, and now I've finally read it, it does beg the question, why have I only just got to it now? Well, the answer to that is simple. There are vast amounts of unread books in every nook and cranny in my home, and Like Water for Chocolate, admittedly got forgotten ab
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Antonomasia by: 4 contemporary Spanish A-level syllabuses
I enjoyed this tremendously - which was unexpected.

For the first quarter of the book - which I read quickly - I found the tone and the magic realism quite twee, in a way that reminded me a lot of 100 Years of Solitude, or rather my perception of it nearly 25 years ago. I was wondering what was wrong with me that I found this twee and unpalatably artificial, yet I loved a collection of Russian fairy tales I've been dipping into over the last couple of weeks. But something clicked, and I soon, at
Mar 31, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people in love, sexy folk, and romantics
Recommended to Amanda by: Zeke, regarding lovers and pie
Shelves: 2009
If all the lights inside you can be lit at once, your heart will burst, and infinity becomes permanent.

Fuck. My heart is beating hard these days. Poor Tita makes it beat harder. A beautiful sad story of forbidden love and orgasmic passion, Tita and Pedro's tale is the hope that love IS enough after all. At that life is worth living...

Three stars for the book in general, plus one because I'm feeling so "in love" these days.
Warning: This recipe may induce plenty of gushing. See notes below to see how severely affected this reviewer was... and still is)

1. Take one book
2. Add a few sumptuous recipes
3. Infuse with touches of magic realism
4. Add a heap full of fragrant flavours
5. Pour in a cupful of earthy, human emotion
6. Mix in a healthy dose of unresolved lust, tension and heated gazes

Pour in a bowl, mix them all together and watch as the perfect love story unfolds. Allow it to simmer, heat and send your system into
Oct 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: nancy-pearl, blog
Okay, so maybe more of a 3 1/2 star. I have a love/hate relationship with magical realism and, if anything, part of my disappoint with the novel comes from the fact that there's not as much "magic" as I had hoped for (I prefer Isabel Allende's House of the Sprits by comparison). However, I still enjoyed the novel as it was unique in its structure, and the conduit for the magical aspects of the novel--food--was beautifully rendered in the recipes and descriptions of the connection between food an ...more
Em Lost In Books
I have come across this book many times on GR but never considered reading it. But then I find it hard to resist BRs, so when a friend suggested this as weekend BR I jumped in right away and finished this in few hours. It's a short and easy read.

Like Water for Chocolate tells us the story of Tita and her family. Her falling in love and then a heartbreak because of a stupid family tradition. But at the heart it is story of Tita and her love affair with cooking. How she finds solace in food and ho
This is a classic love story, wrapped in a lovely shrug of magic realism.

The story takes place in Mexico just before the start of the Revolution. In the De la Garza ranch, tyrannical owner, Mama Elena has decided that Tita, her younger daughter will never married, remaining single to take care of her in her old age. Tita, who grows up to be a master chef, has only food and cooking to express herself.

Soon, Tita's relationship with food is such, her feelings soon seep into what she cooks invadin
Ivana Books Are Magic
Like Water for Chocolate was recommended to me by a fellow blogger. I stayed up until 3 am reading it and I liked it immensely. This is a beautiful and potent love story of Tita, the youngest daughter in the family. Born in a kitchen, Tita grows up to be a master chef, a real artist in the kitchen. This novel reflects that, as every chapter is predated by a recipe. Mexican culture and cuisine are present at every page of this novel. Perhaps it is as much a novel about Mexico, as it is about Tita ...more
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
This is a lovely book served in 12 courses (of meal). When it came out, it became a best seller right away; a 'first timer's luck' for Laura Esquivel. Even 2o years after being first published, it is still an intriguing story, knowing that many young girls around the world are still forced to obey illogical rules of tradition. The saddest part is; these undertakings are done by women onto women, mostly mother to daughter..

Esquivel's novel written in Magic Realism style, tells us the story of de
Like Water For Chocolate is an intriguing saga of a large Mexican family at the turn of the century in the days of Poncho Villa and focusing on the youngest daughter Tita. According to tradition, Tita, being the youngest daughter, was unable to marry because it was her responsibility to remain home to care for her mother, Mama Elena. We witness how Tita copes with her thwarted love for Pedro. This book literally sparkles with magical realism as well as delightful recipes opening all twelve chapt ...more
The back of my edition of Like Water for Chocolate describes it as a "fairy tale, and a soap opera", and this is 100% accurate. I can see why this novel is as popular as it is. There's a lot to like here, its entertaining, dramatic, fast-moving, and outrageous. What I've realised, or reconfirmed, while reading this is that romance just isn't the genre for me. I wanted more from the characters, who ultimately seemed a bit superficial, and although I enjoyed the historical context of the Mexican R ...more
Feb 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001, mexico
3.5 stars. Beautiful book about love and the forces ( positive and also distructive) it creates. Felt good to read after a long time another book written by a south american writer. Makes me want to come back to Marquez and Llosa and their magical realism.
Jan 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The only good thing in this book was John!!! I loved him so much and lost all respect for Tita when she chose that man-whore Pedro over him. I respect Gertrudis too but man, Tita went so far down hill when she decided that Pedro, who only seems to show affection when he damn well pleases, was a better man than John, who is kind to everyone including the man-whore. Basically the message of this book is that sensual passion is apparently greater than true affection. Basically it doesn't matter if ...more
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who love Sarah Addison Allen or Isabel Allende
Like Water for Chocolate was unbelievable – a whirlwind of colors that I got through in like two days, and so when I finished, everything closed up inside my head as if in a loop and I didn't even know where to begin with this review.

That's why here I am writing one, two months after I've actually read the book.

It was an amazing story, truly one of a kind. I'm not a big fan of magical realism, it's very hard to find books with magical realism that will go down well for me, but Like Water for Cho
Book Concierge
5***** and a ❤

UPDATE: Sept 2013

On her death, Tita’s recipe book falls to her grandniece, who then relates the story of her extraordinary relative. The novel takes place in the early 1900s on a ranch in northern Mexico, near the Texas border. The youngest of three sisters, Tita is destined from birth to stay at home to care for her mother, denied the option of love and marriage and her own family. But her attraction to the son of a neighbor rancher, Pedro, will not be so easily dismissed.

The poe
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Em*bedded-in-books* by: Deepika Booksy
3.5 stars.
Am not a fan of 'Magical Realism ' genre.
Still I enjoyed reading this short book oozing with the absurd as things were piling up thickly one above the other.
Added to it, the book started.with food. Food never fails to captivate me.
The weird story of a delinquent family, highly matriarchal - an old witch of a mother, three sisters, the elder Sister marrying the lover of the youngest at the mother's bequest and living in the same house , and the middle Sister running off naked with a re
May 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: romantics, women, fans of magical realism
This is kind of the ultimate chick novel, in that it's about unrequited love, romance, food, and it's a very well-written piece of magical realism as opposed to the kind of mass-produced romantic tripe that's marketed towards women these days. This is a beautiful, beautiful novel - not something that someone forged in order to meet a contract obligation stating that if they write a generic chick novel that they can follow it up with whatever they want.

This is filled to the brim with magical real
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenny by: Kavita Ramesh
I don't know why I had not even heard of this book until yet! Thanks you Kavita for recommending this book to me! ^^

I went into this book assuming that it was only about magical realism,but this book was full of surprises; I had expected there to be magic in the book,but magic,romance and food? For a person like me who loves cooking,this book couldn't have been more perfect! The best thing about this book is that every chapter starts with a recipe, which is also connected to the events taking p

Full review to come

Another book for Hispanic Heritage Month! I used to watch the movie adaptation of this with my sisters when we were kids (appropriate or not....) Finally reading the book was like coming home, in a lot of ways. The prose is so beautiful, smooth, seamless all while being tragic and at times over-the-top. I think it's a must read for everyone, if only to experience.
Nov 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-books, own
Wow, fascinating story. Quite fairytale-like at times. Great descriptions of cooking. The mother was definitely a villain.
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A teacher by trade, Laura Esquivel gained international attention with Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances and Home Remedies and The Law of Love. In both books she manages to incorporate her teaching abilities by giving her readers lessons about life. During an on-line Salon interview with Joan Smith, she said, "As a teacher I realize that what one lear ...more

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Como agua para chocolate (3 books)
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