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Gardens of New Spain

How Mediterranean Plants and Foods Changed America

William W. Dunmire

illustrated by Evangeline L. Dunmire



9×6in • 23×15.5cm

395 pages

85 b&w illus., 13 maps, 12 tables

index included

ISBNs: 029270271X • 9780292702714

University of Texas Press • 2004

The author traces the diffusion of agriculture, cuisine, gardens, and plants from late medieval Spain to the colonial frontier of Hispanic America and tracks their spread to Spain's settlements in Arizona, California, Mexico, New Mexico, and Texas.  Written in a readable style, casual tone, and interspersed with interesting vignettes about people, places, and plants, Gardens of New Spain is nevertheless a scholarly work on the subject.

Black and white photographs, some by Dunmire, appear throughout along with Vangie Dunmire's excellent illustrations and Deborah Reade's specially commissioned maps for which Dunmire received several grants.  A Master Plant List is provided which includes 158 cultivated plants from the Old World and 57 utilitarian plants under cultivation in the New World during pre-Columbian times.  A glossary, chapter notes, and a 20-page selected bibliography (400 references) dating to 1787 enhance the content.  Gardens of New Spain is highly recommended for all academic, public, and special library collections with an interest in agriculture, botany and ethnobotany, culinary science, ethnic studies, history, and horticulture.  A "must read" for all cooks and anyone with an interest in the history of food, this is a fascinating reading experience about some little known facets of food history, which consolidates, supplements, and extends the existing published literature in this area.

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