Women food writers in authoritarian regimes: upholding and subverting power in Cuba’s batistato and Paraguay’s stronato

Lara Anderson, Carlos Uxo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This article examines the role of female food writers in codifying cuisine in authoritarian regimes in Cuba (batistato, 1952–1958) and Paraguay (stronato, 1954–1989), providing examples of the way in which food discourse can both support and resist authoritarian power. As an everyday practice, the preparation and consumption of food offered the State the opportunity to promote, through the discursive codification of cuisine, official views of the nation as racially homogeneous (Paraguay) or as site of modernity, modeled on the United States (Cuba). The texts of four female cuisine writers (Josefina Velilla de Aquino, Graciela Martínez, Nitza Villapol and Adriana Loredo) are analyzed, to elucidate how each of them upheld or subverted the official discourse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-343
Number of pages17
JournalFood, Culture & Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Authoritarianism
  • cookbook
  • Cuba
  • Guarani
  • Paraguay
  • women

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