Many things get passed down in families, from eye, hair and skin color to old clock in the living room and the antique dishes as your kitchen plates. Among these inheritances are others such as family traditions, mythologies and if it is legendary enough , a code of conduct. Sometimes these things can make much life richer, a handful amount of times they do nothing but make life difficult and unpleasant. The book, Like Water for Chocolate, is about one family of women and how they deal with their specific inheritances of delight and heartache and agony. Esquivel uses family food recipes and homemade remedies to converse the other intangible inheritances that have been passed down from generation to generation. Actually, the title of the novel is taken from a food term used in the book to describe one character's rage with the result of things in her family.
Like Water for Chocolate main emphasis almost completely on the heritage of one single family, the De la Garzas. The De la Garza family comes with its own set of traditions, which are both encouraging and adventurous to also being impending and inhibiting. The cooking tradition is passed along from Nacha to Tita and later on to Esperanza’s daughter. By keeping the recipes alive, the future generations of the De la Garzas are able to recollect and honor their ancestors before them. However, the tradition of having the youngest child away from marrying, threatens to constrain two of the novels characters from finding their true love. Nothing like the cooking tradition which exists only to assist and delight its adherents, this tradition is abandoned and dropped because of the displeasure it brings.
The setting is the De la Garza farm ranch in the northern side of Mexico during a riotous time in Mexico's history at the time of the 19th century. Since the De la Garza family lives on a ranch, there is burden to retain a certain level of public standing. This affects behavior, potentials, choices, and the story that they be in each other's lives.
Tradition is an important part of life during Tita's time. In fact, it is tradition that keep Tita and Pedro from being together. Tita and Pedro are greatly in love. However, because tradition decrees that the youngest daughter does not and can not marry anyone in order to care for her aging parents, Pedro fails to gain Tita's hand in marriage when he speaks to Tita’s mother. She says to Tita on page 10, "If he intends to ask for your hand, tell him not to bother . . ." Instead, he is offered Rosaura, Tita's older sister. She is the middle sibling and is yet to be married. Tradition dictates that daughters marry in order. Pedro ultimately agrees to marry Rosaura, but only because he sees this as his only opportunity...