[Sca-cooks] Sugar and rice in Iberia

Diane & Micheal Reid dmreid at hfx.eastlink.ca
Thu Jul 5 17:11:34 PDT 2007

 So in essence we are agreed that rice was in Spain, simply debating when it 
began proper full agricultural distribution. So is it a ?? Maybe ponderance 
until further evidence presents itself.
 Personaly I like the idea that Spain got sold for a bowl of rice to the 
Moors. ya I know simply funny is all considering some teachings I know.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Suey" <lordhunt at gmail.com>
To: <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
Sent: Wednesday, July 04, 2007 5:06 PM
Subject: [Sca-cooks] Sugar and rice in Iberia

> Stefan wrote:
>> . . . we have no way to determine how much earlier they were being
>> used. In this case, the recipe is probably being casually tied to the
>> Arab invasion of Iberia in 711 and the commonly accepted opinion that
>> they brought rice and sugar to the peninsula. >>> 711? Rice and sugar
>> in Europe, even if you include Iberia, that early? That is much
>> earlier than I had gathered from earlier discussions. I'm surprised
>> they wouldn't have spread north from there within centuries of then. I
>> got the impression from earlier discussions that both came in from the
>> east, not from the southwest. Or is this complicated by the fact that
>> while known in Spain they weren't really widely used because they were
>> still items that had to be imported from the east?
> and Volker Bach wrote:
>> Richard Fletcher speculates that the tipping point lay somewhere in
>> the 9th/early 10th century. Before that time, even if both crops had
>> been introduced, they would have been limited to market gardens
>> catering to the foreign elite (and with strong trade flows in the 9th
>> century, there's no reason they couldn't have been imported). Of
>> course, by the twelfth century sugar and rice are common crops, so the
>> introduction can't have been much later, either. Also, there's little
>> reason to think the Visigoths were unaware of rice or sugar even if
>> they didn't produce either.
>    I have found that rice was cultivated by the Byzantines during the
> 6th C in southwestern Spain but on such a small scale that the Muslims
> had to import in the beginning of their reign and took sacks of with
> them when they first went to Valencia. The Fletcher speculation could
> hold water as irrigation systems in Al-Andalus were re-established and
> expanded between the 8-10th C which could be a factor upholding this
> theory. Now we do have Avenzoar (1073-1162) commenting on rice bread
> which he claims difficult to digest.  The 13th C Hispano-Arabic
> anonymous MSS contains at least a half a dozen recipes with rice in the
> title and many more calling for it as an ingredient.
>    Stefan as far as the spread of rice is concerned from the Far East
> to Europe please see your rice-msg
> http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-BREADS/rice-msg.html  The answer
> there is pretty clear :-D . Rice that was first cultivated in Spain by
> the Muslims was around Seville and then spread over Al-Andalus and
> northeast to Valencia. It had to have taken hold there by the time James
> I conquered it from the Muslims in 1231 as Christians continued to grow
> it as happened in Seville when it was conquered by Castile. There
> Christians found 34% of the land dedicated to rice production.
>     I think we talked about sugar before. Anyway Maria Teresa Castro
> estimates that Muslims began planting sometime between the reigns of the
> first three Ad la-Raman's, Umayyad rulers (760-961). During the 9th and
> 10th centuries it spread in Al-Andalus and areas around Seville
> particularly. By 1150 Granada used 74,000 acres to cultivate it  and 14
> sugar mills.
> Suey
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