This article explores the notion of the periphery as it concerns Hispanic food studies. It argues that the periphery has a multiplicity of meanings in this context, and also that it is useful for various methodological and substantive reasons. These include the initial academic marginalisation of food studies itself, the slow acceptance of culinary texts as an object of academic study, as well as the ongoing drive to move food studies from the margins of Hispanic cultural studies. By reference to the Author’s own research on Spanish culinary nationalism, this article also shows how the tension between centre and periphery is key to understanding Spanish food discourses of the past few centuries. This discussion hopes to show that the academy is increasingly paying attention to peripheral cultures and objects of study.