[Sca-cooks] Hello, Intorducing myself

Craig Daniel teucer at pobox.com
Wed Dec 9 18:43:15 PST 2009

On Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 6:06 PM,  <lilinah at earthlink.net> wrote:
> Judith wrote:
>> On 9 Dec 2009, at 2:57 PM, Antonia Calvo wrote:
>>  > Craig Daniel wrote:
>>  >> Of course, that cuisine wouldn't include any versions with hogs even
>>  >> if a thousand new sources turned up for it, considering the dominant
>>  >> religious beliefs of the area...
>>  >
>>  > You never know. Presumably Spanish Christians continued to eat pork.
>> They did. As it was told to me (told verbally, in a synagogue class for
>> which of course there was no note-taking because it took place on Shabbat,
>> so no, I can't document it), pork eating was one of the ways that the Jewish
>> conversos to Catholicism had to prove their new allegiance to Christianity
>> and their abandonment of their Jewishness; Inquisitors would look
>> specifically for evidence that someone eschewed pork (among other things, of
>> course).
> Theres loads of evidence for that. No need for you to take notes on the
> Shabbat.

Indeed, this was done to both formerly Jewish and formerly Muslim
converts (as well as those that were merely "formerly" of those
religions, some of whom went along to blend in). In fact, the
traditional derogatory term for a converso suspected of still
practicing Judaism in secret was "marrano", which originally meant
"pig" and may have been extended to crypto-Jews in reference to
forcing them to eat pork to prove their Christianity. In the Balearic
islands, the word is "Xueta", which may (or may not) derive from
"xulla", meaning salt pork or bacon, for the same reason.

However, the food of Christian-dominated Spain and the food of
al-Andalus is very different, judging by surviving period cookery
books. Unfortunately, the Andalusian information doesn't tell us much
at all about what non-Muslims ate in al-Andalus; it would greatly
surprise me, however, if the Christians weren't eating pork.

> I think what was under discussion was the period of Muslim control.

Yeah, the source with the turducken-like dishes is the anonymous
Arabic-language cookbook from 13th-century al-Andalus.

> Conversely, even after the end of the Reconquista in 1492, there continued
> to be isolated Muslim villages for around a century or a bit more.
> Naturally, as the villages were discovered, the Muslim inhabitants were
> forced either to convert to Christianity or to flee.

In some places there were Muslim communities that were specifically
not evicted until the national order to expel all non-Christians in
1492; they were known as "Mudéjar," which apparently comes from an
Arabic word meaning "domesticated," and Mudéjar architecture and its
characteristic tiles painted with geometric designs in black, white,
and green and its heavily Islamic woodwork is well-preserved in
certain parts of Aragon and totally worth checking out if you ever
find yourself in that part of the world. It had a bit of a revival in
the 19th century.

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