[Sca-cooks] Iberian Peninsula

Dragon dragon at crimson-dragon.com
Thu Feb 28 13:12:52 PST 2008

Terry Decker wrote:
>The generalized idea that fresh food was strictly local is questionable.  In
>the 15th Century there was a rather extensive movement of livestock over
>considerable distances (much as the movement of pigs, cattle and sheep on
>the American frontier) to market.  Many fruits and a number of vegetables
>are not quickly perishable, so a well established river trade, as there was
>in northern Europe could move them considerable distances.  Most cheeses
>travel fairly well.

All of these things are true in some places but not all. I never said 
the limited movement of fresh food was universal, just common in a 
lot of places. Also the movement of livestock is not what I was 
talking about so much as fresh produce, much of which is quite 
perishable. Yes, things like apples and melons and some other fruits 
are sturdy and will travel fine but some are far more delicate and 
won't last more than a few days without refrigeration. When river 
routes existed, they did extend the availability of a lot of things 
from their native regions.

In some cases, even live fish were transported, but that was far from the norm.

I would say aged, low-moisture cheeses generally travel very well, 
but soft, ripened cheeses do not.

>The Iberian Peninsula is a special case.  It was a collection of tribal
>regions that became kingdoms which were embroiled in regular warfare from
>711 to 1492.  It did not have a fast way to move goods and what trade there
>was was often interrupted.

Look at Italy in the post-Roman era, it too was a mish-mash of city 
states and other divisions and trade in the interior away from the 
coast was often difficult due to mountainous terrain and warring 
factions. This led to a similar result for both regions, a very 
diverse patchwork of regional cuisines.


  Venimus, Saltavimus, Bibimus (et naribus canium capti sumus)

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