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Friday, June 22, 2012

CALABAZA DE SAN ROQUE WITH 13TH C RECIPE FOR FISHY GROUDS

Bottle Gourds
Photo from: 
Stinky Steve

calabaza vinatera, calabaza de peregrino, L. Cucurbitaceae, Eng calabash gourd or bottle gourd. The Spanish name is derived from L. calpar (wine vessel). It is a pear or bottle shaped gourd with spongy pulp growing in warm or temperate countries. It is believed to be a native of Indo-China, where the people are said to have sprung from the gourd, thus explaining the dense population. Excavators have revealed that Egyptians used dried and hollowed out gourds as vessels, containers and mandolins. Jews have eaten the squash in a variety of dishes since ancient times. In Biblical times, one of the most important crop in Erez Israel was this gourd. Traditionally, Jews eat squash dishes during their New Year’s celebrations. The shell was later used to store liquid and food. The arrival of the gourd in Al-Andalus coincided with that of the Almoravides and Almohades. From the 12-15 C. it was ever present in Andalusian cuisine. For peasants, it was a common food. The skins were dried and used as rattles. In northern Spain, they were known as the ‘pilgrims’ gourds’ because they used them to hold wine. This does not indicate permissiveness in Spain. Pilgrims of the Way of St. James, from the commencement of this pilgrimage, were advised not to drink the water from various rivers. Spanish water was not necessarily contaminated but changing water types has proved to have a negative effect on the digestive system due to varying mineral contents in different rivers. The name San Roque comes from the 14th C. French hermit whose dog cured him by licking the sores on his legs caused by the plague. To show his gratefulness for this, he came to Spain, with his dog, on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compestella and of course carried this gourd like all pilgrims. Later, he became a the patron saint of good health. [Conversations with MRGuitian. Feb 02; Ency Judiaca. 1971:7:Fr:832; Usher. 1973:349]

san roque
Photo from: 
warrantedarrest
RECIPE FOR FISHY GOURDS ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF ANON AL-ANDALUS #349. RECETA DEL PLATO DE CALABAZAS PARECIDAS A PECES, p 192
Four 4 persons

Ingredients

2 lbs gourd
3 eggs
1 c flour
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp coriander seed
1 c virgin olive oil

Garnish:
vinegar
murri[1] or fresh corriander juice

Preparation


Korean food - 붕어빵 (Boong uh bbang)
(“Carp Bread,” the Korean version contains red beans)

fPhoto rom Seoul Korea
With this recipe a patient and anyone else who wants fish can be tricked into eating gourds. Peel the gourd, remove the skin and the seeds.  Cut it into lengthwise pieces the width of about two fingers; scald them and shape the pieces in the form fish heads and tails.  Let sit for the water to drain off it; then put the eggs into a large dish and beat them; add white flour, cinnamon and coriander seed and knead until all is evenly mixed. Put the oil in a frying pan and heat. When boiling, brown the fish-shapes; remove from the pan and coat them with egg mixture turning several times leaving no trace of the gourd visible. Return them to the frying pan and gently fry until golden brown on both sides. Place them on a platter and sprinkle with vinegar and a little murri or juice of fresh coriander or other.


[1] See blog almori published August 25, 2011.

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