Of Love and Cooking: Jorge Amado’s Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands (1966)

Nico and Amy's Literary Kitchen

Dear readers,

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands is not for the abstinent: detailed recipes of luxurious Brazilian food, interspersed with carnivalesque descriptions of love scenes and frequent complaints about an excessive absence of sex with the beloved one, spice up the life of Dona Flor dos Guimarães (or Florípedes Paiva Madureira, after her second husband). I already know what is swirling around in your heads: is this week’s blog post going to talk about infidelity and carnal pleasures, and are Amy and Nico recommending a rather dubious-sounding book?

Yes, and no.

The novel opens with Dona Flor responding to the writer’s request of getting her recipe for corn cake by discussing her private life, torn between two husbands — one dead, one living. This cake is of course symbolical of Dona Flor herself, as the only thing the two husbands have in common, apart from Dona Flor herself clearly…

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