The El Chico Cookbook

Since the 1950s, demand has soared in the United States for cookbooks featuring diverse ethnic cuisines. Reflecting a heightened interest in foods and flavors from various cultures, the explosion of ethnic cookbooks—and ethnic restaurants and markets—serves to educate the general public while often bolstering cultural pride among members of ethnic communities. Cookbooks not only provide instructions on how to prepare regional specialties, they often contain historical and cultural information about peoples and places.
During the 1960s, El Chico restaurants were developing into one of the largest Mexican dinner house chains in the United States. Following the lead of many chain restaurants of the time, El Chico was among the first Tex- Mex places to offer franchises. The chain also created and marketed its own line of packaged foods and cookbooks.
Object Name
date made
Physical Description
cardboard (overall material)
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 9 in x 6 in; 22.86 cm x 15.24 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Food Culture
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Food Technology
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
gift of Fifi Caballero Benson

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