Study Guide

Like Water for Chocolate Chapter 3

By Laura Esquivel

Chapter 3

MARCH, Quail in Rose Petal Sauce

  • Pedro (otherwise known as Mr. Obvious) sends Tita a bouquet of red roses to congratulate her on being named official ranch cook.
  • D'oh. Rosaura, who is preggers and knows what's up between her hubby and Tita, sees the bouquet and cries.
  • Mama E tells Tita to get rid of them.
  • What does Tita decide to do with the roses? Why, a recipe of course.
  • When the quail in rose petal sauce is served the reactions are mixed: Pedro loves, loves, loves it; Rosaura gets sick; and Gertrudis gets turned on.
  • Can you say aphrodisiac? Gertrudis is so hot and bothered that when showers the bathroom catches on fire.
  • Natch, she runs out of the bathroom to save herself and the smell of Gertrudis's body is so strong it makes Juan (a rebel soldier) gallop on horseback toward her.
  • When he sees Gertrudis he knows she "desperately needed a man to quench the red-hot fire that was raging inside her" (3,190).
  • What happens next is NOT for kids: Juan lifts Gertrudis onto his horse and they make intense love (and yes, the horse is galloping the entire time). Yowza.
  • Both Pedro and Tita watch the steamy escapade from the ranch—Pedro wants to ask Tita to run away with him, but doesn't. Talk about frustrating…
  • Post love-making sesh, Mama E asks Tita what happened and she invents a story about the Federal troops setting fire to the bathroom and kidnapping Gertrudis. Nice one.
  • Mama E buys the story, hook, line, and sinker.
  • Later, Father Ignacio (the parish priest) tells Mama E that Gertrudis is working at a brothel.
  • How does she react to this news? Mama E burns Gertrudis's birth certificate and pictures and her name is never mentioned again.
  • We are told that each year, Tita prepares the quail dish in honor of her sister's "liberation."
  • That same night, Tita works on her bedspread and starts writing a cookbook.
  • "TO BE CONTINUED…"