How can one begin to write a history of Tamil food? What can we learn if we read the archives for clues about how people lived, cooked, and ate instead of telling tales of rulers, wars, and power conflicts? What did spice mixtures taste like in the Tamil region before the introduction of hot chillies? And who must we really credit for the invention of that most iconic of Tamil dishes: sambhar? The fortunately vast historical record of texts in Tamil language, from the ancient period through the modern, provides ample food for thought. In her Talk, "Tastes of the Tamil Land: Recipes and Culinary Practices from History", Dr. Andrea Gutiérrez of the University of Texas at Austin, utilizes various archives of written material, from sangam poems and inscriptions to manuscripts and print cookbooks, in order to assemble a better picture of the culinary history of this region so well-known for its varied and delectable dishes. les of the era. She will also explore the relationships between the various Buddhist sites in the region. About The Speaker: Dr. Andrea Gutiérrez is Assistant Professor of Instruction at The University of Texas at Austin, USA. Her two research priorities are food history of South Asia and historical animal studies for the region. Her most recent publications include “Toward a Better Understanding of Medieval Temple Food Practices: The View from Srirangam” (Journal of Hindu Studies) and “Elephant Education, Linguistic Articulation, Punishment? Gajaśikṣā as Interspecies Communication in Elephant Care Manuals of Early India” (Bloomsbury). Dr. Gutiérrez is presently finishing her monograph on Royal Pleasures of the Dining in India’s History and is actively researching her project on captive elephant history of India. She was recently awarded a Getty Library Research Grant for work on food history (Getty Research Institute, 2022). Dr Gutierrez's work has been awarded a number of prizes, including the DK Award for the Outstanding Doctoral Thesis on Sanskrit (International Association of Sanskrit Studies) and the Specialist Accolade for Dissertation in the Humanities, from the International Convention of Asia Scholars.