The ambiguity of chocolate is very similar to the complex character of Gertrudis. Gertrudis is the only daughter who is able to be emancipated from her tyrannical mother: she has the courage; she is pushed by some extraordinary power to leave and make her own life. Chocolate is known as a sweet treat nowadays, when in Mexico it was used as raw cacao beans and was very strong if not cooked and prepared carefully. The chocolate represents her very strong character as revolutionary leader; her leadership – her desire to be considered not less then a man on the battlefield, “how she had triumphed in life.Order now
She was a general in the revolutionary army.”(163). She has the power to make decisions for her own troops, like no other woman in the family; she has broken the traditions – just as the chocolate can make a person change in a glimpse of a second due to its hardness and tenderness at the same time. The chocolate can also represent the very energetic character she has. She is always intrigued by task that involves “rhythm, movement or music”(11), which also has its inconvenient, leaving Gertrudis flittering from one task to the other, rarely concentrating on difficult or uninteresting duties.
Sugar represents the love that Gertrudis has in her. She was a love child, created within a passionate relationship – she has this insight on true love and describes, Tita’s and Pedro’s love as being one of the truest she knows, she believes that nothing should come between them. Sugar is often said to appease the temperament of very strong individuals but also revive the less animated, Gertrudis has that ability to reanimate her sister Tita when she most needs it.
Rose extract, represents the passion that animates Gertrudis’ love. The extraordinary passion that Gertrudis feels is nothing less then the desire that Tita and Pedro have for each other. She has the aptitude to sense and understand true love; she lives and endures the physical emotions they have for each other which lead to her disappearances of the ranch, and her discovery of a man’s love. The fact that she will then work in a brothel gives us an insight into the amplitude of the desire she has for life, as no man could have satisfied her. She has a need to free herself from Mama Elena, her traditional rules that always kept her away from what she really was, a passionate and physical character.
The grounded chili powder is then, the obvious but very well hidden secret of her origins, a very sudden but intriguing hint of spiciness. Having “mulatto”(125) blood gives Gertrudis an enormous advantage on many levels. Not only has her sense of rhythm given it away, but her ability to command her troops with passion and care. Chocolate fondue is a mixture of texture and taste, very comforting at first and suddenly commanding, melted and hard. The sugary and spicy combination, create the ability to discover a rainbow of sensation and taste that is individual to all human being. The passion that is then added to the dish, though it can throw people off at first, procures a rush of adrenaline, then a more settle but very strong feeling of love and desire invades the body and the mind.
The passion fruit represents the contrast that exists within Trevino’s love and passion for Gertrudis. This fruit not only by its name, but also by its texture and taste reminds us of an unfulfilled love. The very sweet taste of the fruit – a metaphor for the love at first sight- a striking feeling that invades your mouth is the same feeling that stroke Trevino when he first meet Gertrudis. But also the crunchiness of the seeds within the fruit core: leaving an attractive need to experience this ambiguous combination again.
Like Trevino’s character towards Gertrudis, he still is a recognized “womanizer”(175) tempting every woman by its well-mannered behavior, but dedicating his love to one woman only, his true love. On the other hand this particular fruit also has a very sour touch when left in the mouth too long. The sourness of an impossible relationship, due to a society made of cast and traditions. A “generala”(173) cannot be with one of her soldier, even if Trevino knows this, he engaged himself in a personal battle to conquer the heart of his loved one, a person he has to fear, obey and respect according to the society.
The manliness of the mango reinforces the power Trevino demonstrates when he is ask to obey Gertrudis. Trevino demonstrates his skill, and proves to her that he could take care of any difficult task “even for him it was no easy task”(175), fulfilling it and at the same time restoring his familial honor. This means a lot to the eyes of Gertrudis, who then understands what man he really is. Through this achievement, he is able to gradually gain a very profound respect from her, becoming her guardian. The peppery taste of the mango then significantly underlines the difficulty Trevino encounters when Gertrudis is reunited with Juan: her true and only love. The only choice he has, after losing all hopes, is to reassign his feelings to protect and serve her on the battlefield. He then becomes on of her finest soldier and trusts him with her life. And the fact that she chooses him for the preparation of her favorite dish shows that she trusts him with her soul.
But lost love always comes with a cascade of repress emotions that is very well materialized by the banana. Under a hard and protective skin, a very soft and tender core is found where all emotions are hidden away. Trevino is very “emotional”(176), and always takes Gertrudis reprimanding very personal, as a rejection- dismissal of his love for her. To compensate this rejection Trevino as no other tool then to loosen his sadness into drinking. The combination of those three fruits, very well determined the emotions that Trevino has for Gertrudis a mixture of sweet and sour feelings.