Books on the Berreyesa Family

The Berreyesa family has been fortunate enough to have a few books written on the family, and by the family. In this page you will find some of the few known books on the family.

Encarnación's Kitchen - by Encarnación Berreyesa Pindeo

From the Publisher

In 1991 Ruth Reichl, then a Los Angeles Times food writer, observed that much of the style now identified with California cuisine, and with nouvelle cuisine du Mexique, was practiced by Encarnación Pinedo a century earlier. A landmark of American cuisine first published in 1898 as El cocinero español (The Spanish Cook), Encarnación's Kitchen is the first cookbook written by a Hispanic in the United States, as well as the first recording of Californio food--Mexican cuisine prepared by the Spanish-speaking peoples born in California. Pinedo's cookbook offers a fascinating look into the kitchens of a long-ago culture that continues to exert its influence today.
Of some three hundred of Pinedo's recipes included here--a mixture of Basque, Spanish, and Mexican--many are variations on traditional dishes, such as chilaquiles, chiles rellenos, and salsa (for which the cook provides fifteen versions). Whether describing how to prepare cod or ham and eggs (a typical Anglo dish labeled "huevos hipócritas"), Pinedo was imparting invaluable lessons in culinary history and Latino culture along with her piquant directions. In addition to his lively, clear translation, Dan Strehl offers a remarkable view of Pinedo's family history and of the material and literary culture of early California cooking. Prize-winning journalist Victor Valle puts Pinedo's work into the context of Hispanic women's testimonios of the nineteenth century, explaining how the book is a deliberate act of cultural transmission from a traditionally voiceless group.

Encarnación Pinedo was the daughter of Lorenzo Pinedo and Maria del Carmen Berreyesa. Maria del Carmen Berreyesa was the daughter of Jose de los Reyes Berreyesa. So the very first cookbook written by a Hispanic woman, was a descendant of Nicolas Berreyesa! Well would you believe that!? More information about the Berreyesa family, and about Encarnación, can be found in the introduction of the book.

Berreyesa: Rape of the Mexican Land Grant Rancho Canada de Capay - by Eftimeos Salonites

In Berreyesa: Rape of the Mexican Land Grant Rancho Canada de Capay, Mr. Salonites presents a will researched work on the lives of the Jose de los Reyes Berreyesa family, and the struggle to hold on to the Rancho Canada de Capay. During the 1840's, '50's, and '60's, the Berreyesa family, and many other northern and southern California families were struggling to keep their land. Because of the high migration rate that the Gold Rush of '49 brought in, many "Squatters" were to be found on many private ranchos, and in order for the land grant owners to get them off their land, many of them would have to sell off parts of their beloved ranchos to pay the greedy, money-grubbing lawyers. Many of the old Californios died because of the mental stress and the loss of will to stay alive.

Though the book is no longer in print, it may be bought from the writer's family, since the writer passed away January 1, 2004. To order a copy of Berreyesa: Rape of the Mexican Land Grant Rancho Canada de Capay, please send a $45 check to: Nadine Salonites - 1510 West St., Woodland, CA. 95695

Vaca-Pena Los Putos Rancho and the Pena Adobe - by Wood Young

Wood Young was curator of the Pena Adobe in the 1960's and from the time spent there, was able to learn most of the history of the Pena Adobe and the Juan Felipe Pena family. Though this is not focused on the Berreyesa family, it still has quite a bit on the Berryessa/Pena family, which can be an important part to the research of anyone doing research on the Berreyesa family. This book has many photos, and is filled with great information and is sourced for access to the records he used in his research. Though this book is no longer in print, and can not be ordered from anyone, there is still on last place you can go to get an electronic copy - the Vacaville Heritage Council. If you would like to receive a copy of Vaca-Pena Los Putos Rancho and the Pena Adobe on CD-rom, please e-mail Jerry Bowen of the Vacaville Heritage Council at Also, visit their web site at

Berreyesa Family, Alta Califonia, Berryessa Valley, 1735 - 1999 - by Marlene Coppi

Written printed in 1999, Berreyesa Family was written by Marlene Coppi descendant of Julian Berryessa and Emiliana Pena. This book is a great book for those just starting to do research on the Berreyesa family. Though this book mainly focuses on the Jose de Jesus and Sisto Berryessa families, it still has a lot of good information on all the other families as well. You can buy Marlene's book by sending a $35 check to: Marlene Coppi, 556 North Ave., Gustine, CA. 95322. Marlene's e-mail address is

Her book also covers the Peña family, the Higuera family, and the Trujillo family which married into the Peña family.

This page belongs to The Berreyesa Researcher