Entre lo permitido y lo prohibido: azúcar y despliegue de los sentidos en el barroco hispanoamericano. Las alcorzas de las Monjas Clarisas de Santiago de Cchile (Siglos XVII y XVIII)

Isabel Cruz De Amenábar, Alejandra Fuentes González

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Taste -traditionally located in the last place on the scale of the senses- acquired with the use of sugar during the baroque, a valorization that manifested itself in the rise of pastry, with effects even in the peripheral Kingdom of Chile. The culture of sugar, as a symbolic product of luxury, power and sensuality, associated with women; It also included the closing nuns, represented in Santiago by the ancient poor clares. Its exquisite "alcorza" sweets delighted not only the palate, but through its shapes, smells and modeling, the five senses. How do you explain the candy store -source of multisensory pleasure- in those institutions where the religious women had to mortify their sensuality precisely? why this apparent paradox? did sugar contravene the monastic rules, or more broadly, the dietary patterns of time? The present article demonstrates the full acceptance of sugar in the Old Monastery of Santa Clara, through the historical route of this raw material, as well as the documentary compilation of the Jesuit chronicles and conventual records. Such was the prestige of sugar in this "microworld", which not only allowed the coexistence of these sweetmeats with ecclesiastical prescriptions, but also, an incipient revaluation of the sense of taste, prior to the sensualist theories of the eighteenth century.
Translated title of the contributionBetween the permitted and the prohibited: : Sugar and display of the senses in the spanish american baroque. The icing of clarisas nuns of santiago de chile (17th and 18th centuries)
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)191-209
Number of pages19
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021

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