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Friday, February 16, 2018


sal, salt. The necessity of salt has produced its incorporation into symbolism and rituals. Salt is the most essential ingredient in food preservation; even Egyptian mummies were preserved in salt. 

Salt Beds to Preserve Food Items
Photo by: Lord-Williams
During Biblical times, salt took on the meaning of permanence; therefore, the “covenant of salt” came into being. St. Mathew 5:13 states: “We are the salt of the earth.” Homer called salt “divine”. Salt played vital a role in the geographic locations of cities such as Rome, Cadiz, Spain, Tuzla in Bosnia-Herzegovina ("tuz," is salt in Turkish), and Salzburg, Austria. 

Societies living on grain diets, as opposed to dairy products, need extra salt. Salarium argentum, special salt rations that were given to Roman soldiers were the forerunner of “sal-ary” or “salt-money” that Eton College boys annually begged for it to help pay their expenses. After gold, it was most appraised. Arabs thought salt was ‘as necessary in food as grammar in lecture.’ Salt was a sign of hospitality. With bread it was offered to guests, see salero. Contrary to popular belief it not was used more than sugar in the Middle Ages. Salt, however, did cause the success and the downfall of empires. Control of salt mines made or broke dynasties. Salt’s role in universal history cannot be taken with a grain of salt. Governmental decrees and salt taxes and other salty factors shaped history. Salt continued to be expensive until the 16th C. when Europeans reverted to the ancient Chinese method of drilling for it. It was not only the quest for spice but also salt that incited the Spanish government to finance Columbus’ search for new trade routes, explorations in South America and the expansion of territories in what now is the United States. 

During the reign of Philip II of Spain and Flanders (including of the Netherlands), the Dutch blockade against the importation of Spanish salt was a major contributing factor to Spain’s bankruptcy. Salt was a major cause of Spain’s disappearance as an empire. For overspending in the American Revolution, the French gabelle (salt tax) increased from 14 to 140 times the cost of production, from 1630 to 1710 thus becoming a major grievance leading to the French Revolution. During the French retreat from Moscow, most of Napoleons’ troops died due to of lack of salt their wounds did not heal. Salt helps digestion through saliva, reinforces the stomach and promotes beauty. It eases molar pain, bruises and stops bleeding. For food preservation also see adobo, geletina and aguasal. 

[ES: Figueroa. “Sal.” Jan 29, 03; ES “Gastronomia.” May 2, 03. ES: “Hïstory of Tuzla.” Mar 14, 02; ES: MRBLOCH. Mar 27, 02; ES: Salt. May 28, 2002; Martínez Llopis. “Prólogo” 1982:34; Sánchez-Albornoz. 2000:43-44; and Villena/Calero. 2002:115]

Monday, February 12, 2018


 Lick the Bowl is a Must!
Its' so delicious!!!
Photo by: Lord-Williams

saborearlo, Cat assaborirlo, Eng to taste it, to flavor it. [Nola/Iranzo. 1982:167; and Nola/Pérez. 1994:xiii-3:189]

See blog titled “Asaborirlo” published Nov 11, ’11 for Nola’s recipe to “Make Sauce for Peacock.”

Friday, February 9, 2018


Hickory Shad
Photo from: Joe Friday
L. Alosa falax, Eng. shad, alosa, finta. This species of shad is smaller than others averaging 40 cm. in length. It has a thick body with a dark blue dorsal and sliver flanks. The upper jaw is not rounded but notched into which the tip of the lower jaw fits. Young fish have tiny teeth, while adults have none. It is found in the northern Atlantic from Scandinavia to Morocco and in the western Mediterranean.

Empanada with Shad
Photo by: Lord-Williams
It can be a fresh water fish too. In England, it is spotted and found in streams beginning in May where it breeds during the summer and goes back to the ocean in the fall. Although bony, the flesh is highly regarded. The Anón Al-Andalus in the section of  “Advise on Fish” explains that in Seville and Cordova, it was baked in a pot in the oven instead of a tajine. Nola's recipe is for shad pie. 

[Anón/Huici.1966:352:144; Christensen. 1978:61-63; Corbera. 1998:79; ES: Lord. Medieval. "Furn." Sep 22, 14; Nola. 1989:lviii-3; and Villena/Calero. 2002:23a]

See blog titled "Furn," published September 22, 2014 for Nola's recipe for delicious shad pie. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


Photo from: Andre Nance
Sabbath. As it was prohibited for Jews to work on Saturdays, cooking and house cleaning were forbidden also. Stews were prepared on Fridays. The top of the pots were sealed with dough to prevent the juice from escaping and cooked all night long, see adafina for the main meal on Saturdays. Cooked food was served for snacks and other meals. [Gitlitz. 1999:4:18]



Boiling Cholent
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 cup dried beans
3 whole garlic cloves
2  onions, chopped
14 oz turnips sliced
2 ½ lbs beef stew meat
2 marrow bones
½ c pearl barley
2 tsp ginger
½ tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 ½  tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp salt
½ tsp white pepper 
6 eggs 
1 quart chicken broth


Quickly soak beans in the bottom of a pot covered with water to allow epansion. Bring to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let soak hour. Drain and rinse. Set aside.

Put olive oil in a heavy oven proof pot and heat over a burner. Add garlic; stir-fry for about 2 minutes- Add onion and continue to fry until the onions brown, about five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove onion and garlic and set aside. Add beef and stir-fry over medium heat until lightly browned, about five minutes. Return onion and garlic to the pot and mix. 

Add beans, and remaining ingredients.  Add enough water to cover ingredients and bring to a gentle boil. 
Then put it in the oven and continue cooking over night.

Traditonally, this dish is prepared on Friday before sundown.

Monday, February 5, 2018



Sabadiego Sausage Patties
Ready for Frying
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ast. Leon. sabadeño (fr. sabadero [Saturday]), Bable sabadiegus, Alavés sabaderos, Estr. bofeña, chorizos de bofe, León chorizos de sabadiego, Palenca & Valadolid sabadeños, Sant sabiegus, Eng. Saturday pork sausage, made from the lungs, tripe and/or low grade chopped pork. It is a highly regarded product of the Maragato region in León.

Sabadiego,” as the name suggests, is a “Saturday sausage.” As per the Spanish Royal Academy’s Dictionary of  the Spanish Language, it is derived from “sabadigo” in Austuras or “sabadelo” in Leon. It was a sausage produced by lower classes during Lent as meat was not eaten on Friday and it seemed superfluous to eat meat in excess the following day, such as a pork roast for example.

For this reason, many people ate “sabadiego” which is made with intestines, onion and blood, as the reintroduction of meat after observing a meat free day, giving it the flavor of pottage. It was considered a sausage of poor quality.

In 1988, a group of friends founded the gastronomical order called “Knights of the Order of Sabadiego” for the purpose of recuperating this sausage, which had been forgotten over the ages.  Founders included the family of the company “Embutidos El Hórreo,” which reinvented the sausage. Later, it was put on the market by other businesses.

The classic ingredients were substituted with high quality meats. The result of the product today is first class and slightly smoked as other Austurian sausages.
It is used as an ingredient of the “fabada austuriana,” broad beans, chickpeas or lentils in stews, pottages and boiled foods. A quick way of preparing today it is to slice it and fry it with eggs and potatoes or cornbread.

 It can also be barbequed, roasted or cooked in cider, the latter being an Austurian recipe, especially in around Noreña It can be included in dishes like potatoes cooked with “sabadiego” (Riojana style). Today it is made with current recipes such as “sabadiego” pie promoted by the Casa Contado or more recently the “sabadiego” bombones elaborated by El Corral del Indianu Co.

 [Ares. “Comidas.” 1994: 104:112; Dialecto. 1947:317; ES: “El Horico.” Jan 9, 18: Jan 9, 18; Nueva Enci. 1955:V:S:3; and Villar. 1994:182]



A Real Saturday Treat
Photo by: Lord-Williams
½ onion finely chopped
olive oil for frying
2 chorizo sausages
1 blood sausage


Gently fry onion until translucent. Remove from heat and mix with the meat from chorizo and the blood sausage. If casings are not available, make patties and fry in olive oil.

[1] Not living on a farm, basic ingredients are often impossible to find. This recipe is for city folk.