Expenses and kitchen notes of the Lord's house President of the Republic Don Benito Juárez

Inside the house of President Benito Juárez: an "inventory" of the ingredients that made up the dishes consumed by the Benito Juárez and his family.

By Archivo General de la Nación - México

Licenciado Benito Juárez, Presidente Constitucional de la República Mexicana by Don Benito JuárezArchivo General de la Nación - México

In the funds of the Archivo General de la Nación, two essential documents are kept to know a personal aspect of the “Benemérito de las Américas”, his cooking expenses, which although they do not contain the recipes of the dishes he ate with his family if they show the ingredients that they used for their preparation, which gives an idea of ​​the products that were consumed at the time. Expenditures are referred to in the colonial monetary system based on reais and grains and not on pesos and cents.

Gastos y apuntes de cocina de la casa del señor presidente de la República Don Benito Juárez (1860) by Domingo ArcelosArchivo General de la Nación - México

The documents are from two different times in the life of Benito Juárez, the first reflects the expenses produced during the months of May and June 1860, in the midst of the War of the Reforma and the second from January 1871 to July 1872, his last years of life.

Gastos y apuntes de cocina de la casa del señor presidente de la República Don Benito Juárez (1860) by Domingo ArcelosArchivo General de la Nación - México

Expenses and kitchen notes of the Lord's house President of the Republic Don Benito Juárez

He document was made by the butler of the Juárez house, Domingo Arce. He carefully recorded the products and services paid daily.

Gastos y apuntes de cocina de la casa del señor presidente de la República Don Benito Juárez (1860) by Domingo ArcelosArchivo General de la Nación - México

He wrote down the products, placing the used ones on the top of the strong plate until he reached the minutiae and other expenses.

Gastos y apuntes de cocina de la casa del señor presidente de la República Don Benito Juárez (1860) by Domingo ArcelosArchivo General de la Nación - México

They were carried out during Benito Juárez's stay in the port of Veracruz during the War of the Reforma.

Gastos y apuntes de cocina de la casa del señor presidente de la República Don Benito Juárez (1860) by Domingo ArcelosArchivo General de la Nación - México

Every day, an average of ten varieties of meat were bought, mainly beef, pork and venison.

Banana and sweet potatoes are the fruits that were consumed almost daily.

Gastos y apuntes de cocina de la casa del señor presidente de la República Don Benito Juárez (1860) by Domingo ArcelosArchivo General de la Nación - México

Snow, ice cream and chocolates were products that could be liked by the president and his family, since it is common to find them in your kitchen expenses.

Gastos y apuntes de cocina de la casa del señor presidente de la República Don Benito Juárez (1860) by Domingo ArcelosArchivo General de la Nación - México

Sherry and Bordeaux wine appear among Juárez's table expenses.

Cuenta de gastos de mesa realizado por Benito Juárez (1872) by Don Benito JuárezArchivo General de la Nación - México

Table expense account

The document is the handwritten record of Benito Juárez de los daily expenses of the president's house in the National Palace.

Cuenta de gastos de mesa realizado por Benito Juárez (1872) by Don Benito JuárezArchivo General de la Nación - México

Unlike the previous one, Juárez registers in a more general way the kitchen expenses, he no longer mentions the ingredients, but includes them as "table" or "expense".

Cuenta de gastos de mesa realizado por Benito Juárez (1872) by Don Benito JuárezArchivo General de la Nación - México

Make the registration on a monthly basis, writing down the generic of the expenses per day.

Cuenta de gastos de mesa realizado por Benito Juárez (1872) by Don Benito JuárezArchivo General de la Nación - México

The expenses show his taste for French Bordeaux wine and Spanish sherry, as well as the purchase of champagne and cognac.

Cuenta de gastos de mesa realizado por Benito Juárez (1872) by Don Benito JuárezArchivo General de la Nación - México

Los gastos dan cuenta de su gusto por el vino francés de Burdeos y el español jerez, además aparece la compra de champagne y coñac.

Cuenta de gastos de mesa realizado por Benito Juárez (1872) by Don Benito JuárezArchivo General de la Nación - México

On April 7 it appears that everyone was terminated from service. On the 10th the hiring of a butler chef, two poultry and two waiters appears. With this change, spending on service salaries went from 93 to 121 reais.

Cuenta de gastos de mesa realizado por Benito Juárez (1872) by Don Benito JuárezArchivo General de la Nación - México

These documents show, in addition to the order and thoroughness of President Juárez in his personal expenses, the products to eat and drink in 19th-century Mexico, in which the combination of national elements with Europeans was so profound that they prevailed despite the recent French invasion.

Cuenta de gastos de mesa realizado por Benito Juárez (1872) by Don Benito JuárezArchivo General de la Nación - México

Cuenta de gastos de mesa realizado por Benito Juárez (1872) by Don Benito JuárezArchivo General de la Nación - México

Cuenta de gastos de mesa realizado por Benito Juárez (1872) by Don Benito JuárezArchivo General de la Nación - México

At the end of the expenses of 1871, there is a relationship with the sum of the monthly expenses, where the phrase “They owe me” appears, so it can be intuited that the documents were made with the intention of registering those expenses that were they would have to repay the president as soon as the national coffers improved.

Cuenta de gastos de mesa realizado por Benito Juárez (1872) by Don Benito JuárezArchivo General de la Nación - México

Cuenta de gastos de mesa realizado por Benito Juárez (1872) by Don Benito JuárezArchivo General de la Nación - México

The last record that appears is from July 12, 1872, six days before his death. Friday came Bordeaux, 12 reales. This wine accompanied him in his last meals.

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