It was a love story told through food and cooking that quickly became an international classic.
The Mexican novel “Like Water for Chocolate,” written by Laura Esquivel, had been translated into a handful of languages after its release in 1989. By 1992, it was turned into an award-winning film with Esquivel serving as screenwriter.
“Like Water for Chocolate” follows the story of true love between Tita and Pedro in Mexico at the turn of the 20th century, a time when family tradition held that the youngest daughter in the family was forbidden to marry. Tita is forced to take care of her widowed, tyrannical mother while Pedro marries Tita’s older sister. Their oppressed love is told through recipes as Tita cooks her way through desperation, hope and independence.
More than two decades later, those themes still resonate today.
“There’s a new generation that is discovering the novel,” Esquivel told with Fox News Latino. “That, I did not expect, that they would continue finding something in it that moves them.”
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The novel quickly became an international bestseller, while the film swept the Mexican Academy Awards in 1993 and was the highest-grossing Spanish language film in U.S. box office history. With all its success, Esquivel said one thing remained constant in her life: love.
“What has never changed, what is always present and what is in the end what sustains us is that energy that I talk about in Like Water for Chocolate...that loving energy. Without that I wouldn’t have had the strength to keep going and enjoy life.”
And that theme may just be what connects the next generation to Tita’s story.
Now the story continues.
Esquivel is working on a trilogy based on her popular novel. “El diario de Tita” (Tita’s Diary) will be published in Mexico in April, followed by her third book later in the year.
The film was showcased during the South Beach Wine and Food Festival recently. It will also be featured at the Miami International Film Festival, which ends on Sunday.