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Monday, September 7, 2015


yummy delicious acorn bread
Photo from: Lisa Jordan

landes, L glans, glandis, Eng acorns. See bellota with 13th c gluten free acorn bread recipe published February 29, 2012

Acorns are fundamental in times of famine. As late as the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), many families were saved from famine by collecting acorns and making bread from mashed acorns made into flour. Colonists from Britian who arrived late in fall to North America were forced to scratch the earth for food. They too made acorn flour which they used to make bread.

Acorns are the main substance for pigs in southwestern Spain where the holm oak trees thrive. The pigs’ smell can distinguish between sweet and bitter acorns. If one examines the area on the ground below a holm oak, he will find acorn shells and whole acorns left by the pigs if bitter.

Holm oak acorns are credited with giving the unique taste to serrano ham as that is what the pigs eats while being raised to produce such a delicious leg. 

[Berceo. Libro. 1983:272:2565]  

Serrano Ham
Photo from: Martin Langford

Monday, July 6, 2015


Nosey Cow
Photo from: John Small
Gal, Leon, Sant, Arag, Alava  Bie. choto, calf less than a year old but older than a sucking calf (veal). The origin of the Spanish word is uncertain. [Ares. “Comidas.” 1994:92; Dialecto. 1947:194; and Pacho. “Cocina.” 1994:156]

For 8-10 persons


2 lb or more beef or mutton cut into 1 ½ ” cubes without bones
Adding Eggs, Saffron and Seasoning
Photo by: Lord-Williams
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 ½ tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp saffron
4 peeled garlic cloves
1 tbsp peeled and toasted almonds cut into slivers
2 c virgin olive oil or more if necessary to cover
1c or more strong, pure vinegar

When meat is cooked:
10 whole eggs
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp crushed lavender
2 tbsp saffron dissolved in raw egg
10 egg yolks
An Exquisite Dish for a Fiest
Photo by: Lord-Williams


Salt meat and put it in a pot. Add pepper, coriander, cumin, saffron, peeled and chopped garlic, peeled and chopped almonds and cover with olive oil. Add strong pure vinegar. Do not add water. Put it over moderate heat and stir ocassionaly until it boils. Reduce immediately to simmer and gently boil for about 2 hr.s

When it has reduced in size and the meat is done, turn off the heat. Dissolve more saffron in raw egg. Add enough to obtained the desired color. Beat the saffron, eggs, cinnamon and lavender together. Pour this over the meat mixture. Add egg yolks. Cover and let sit covered, on the hearth until eggs solidify. Serve over couscous or rice.

This dish can be preserved for several days without going bad; in the Algarve (Portugal) it is called wedding food and is one of the seven dishes cited in banquets in Cordova and Seville.

[1] Also called: ‘SIKBAJ,” A MEAT AND FRUIT STEW’

[2] The Flickr version divides the recipe into three parts.  The first part includes 12 figs sliced in half as well as the other ingredients mentioned above except cloves and almonds. Half way through cooking 3 c sliced onion, garlic, almonds, 2 oz citron leaves and 2 oz rose petal jam are added.
[3] This stew can have innumerable names such as "Baghdad," "Sikbaj" (meat and fruit stew) or "Vinagrette " Perry maintains that this called  “Mukhallal" (vinegar pickles) in Al-Andalus. He explains that it is called “wedding food” in the West (or the Algarve in Portugal) and is one of the seven dishes cited as "banquet food" in Cordova and Seville. He states that this dish lasts for several days without spoiling.

#14 PLATO A LA VINAGRETA, pp 21-22
Se coge carne de vaca gorda o de oveja gorda, se corta menuda y se pone en una olla nueva con sal, pimienta, cilantro seco, comino, mucho azafrán, ajo pelado y cortado, almendras peladas y cortadas y mucho aceite; se curbre con vinagre fuerte muy puro, sin nada de agua; se pone a fuego moderado de carbón y se revuelve; cuando hiere y se cuece y se deshace la carne y disminuye de volumen, entonces se deposita en el rescoldo y se reboza con mucho huevo, canela y espliego; se colorea con mucho azafrán, en el colorido que se desee, y se le ponen yemas de huevo y se lo deja en el rescoldo hasta que cuaje y se seque su caldo y se aclare su salsa. Este `lato se conserva muchos días sin que se altere ni echa a perder; se le llama en el Algarbe comida de boda, y es uno de los siete platos que se citan como usaos entre nosotros en los banquetes en Córdoba y Sevilla.

Friday, July 3, 2015


jarras de alfarería, Ar jarrah, Eng earthenware pitcher, jugs. They were used to conserve smoked meat in fat, olive oil, honey, dried fruits and flour. In the 10th C they were sold in the market of León by women from Tornarios, León. Earthenware jugs are made in several parts of Spain as there is plenty of clay and dry weather. Talavera de la Reina (Toldeo), Mensis (Valencia), Granada and Orense (Galicia) are just a few areas were these marvels can be found. [Benavides-Barajas. Alhambra. 1999:53; ES: Salloum. Jun 28, 05; and Sánchez-Albornoz. 2000:47]

NIÑODAGUÍA. Junquera de Espadañedo, Orenso, Galicia.
Photo from: Josercid

Josercid relates that he read on a website in 2008 that Augustín Vázquez Gerreiro, one of the few potters left in Niñodaguçia, stated ‘ . . . . society is impoverishing itself by allowing this beauty die. In this society, the aesthetic is a plastic container. If you say that God was the first potter, few trades can be more noble. Few objects can come out of the hand of man can that combine beauty, simplicity and elegance like this humble earthenware jar. '