Penelope Casas

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Penelope Casas (May 25, 1943 – August 11, 2013) was an American food writer, cookbook author and expert on the cuisine of Spain. Casas began authoring a series of English-language cookbooks focusing on the food of Spain during the 1980s, effectively introducing Americans to Spain's culinary heritage for the first time.[1][2]

Casas released her first cookbook, The Foods and Wines of Spain, in 1982.[1] Her first book is still in print, as of 2013.[1] She would publish five more indepth books and cookbooks on Spanish cuisine.[1] Her follow-up book, Tapas: The Little Dishes of Spain, released in 1985, introduced a large American audience to the concept of tapas and tapas bars for the first time.[2] Casas' last book was La Cocina de Mama: The Great Home Cooking of Spain in 2005.[1]

Casas was born Penelope Fexas to Greek immigrant parents, Antonia and Achilles Fexas, on May 25, 1943, in Whitestone, Queens, New York City.[2] Her only brother, Tom Fexas, was a yacht designer.[2] She met her husband, Luis Casas, while studying abroad in Spain as a Vassar College student during the 1960s.[2] She has also studied at the University of Madrid.

Casas died from leukemia at her home in Manhasset, New York, on August 11, 2013, at the age of 70.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e Parsons, Russ (2013-08-19). "Penelope Casas, pioneer of English-language Spanish cookbooks, dies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Vitello, Paul (2013-08-18). "Penelope Casas, Spanish Food Author, Dies at 70". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-09-09.