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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

MANZANA WITH AN INCREDIBLE 13TH CENTURY RECIPE FOR APPLE STEW WITH CHICKPEAS, EGGPLANT AND PURSLANE

An Aroma that 'Fortifies the Heart and Brain'
Photo by Lord-Williams
OCast mançana, poma, Sp Heb mansána, L. Pyrus malus, Ar. tuffāh, Fr. pomme, Eng  apple. The apple region in Spain is in Asturias. In Leon popular ones are from Algadefe, while the Bierzo region prides itself with golden apples, known since Roman times. The Monastery of Carracedo has always been noted for those produced on the trees within the precincts.

Azanzoar claimed it was the most beneficial of fruits for its aroma fortified the heart and the brain. It is beneficial for the weak although it is more useful for those suffering from lack of stimulation. 

Nevertheless Avenzoar thought apples extremely harmful if eaten but he says no fruit is eatable. Apples, according to him, produce gases in the veins and muscular pain and probably consumption because once digested; the blood generated cannot circulate and decomposes gases left stuck in the veins. It is unlikely that these gases become powerful but they reach the blood and consumption is inevitable except in some cases. It does not matter, Avenzoar continues, if the apple is mature or green, if it has begun to mature or half matured, the result is very harmful and for that he did not recommend eating them. In reference to the juice and the dregs, he maintained that  they are harmful and not recommended for the sick or the healthy except for youths in good health with exceptional strength for they can digest them without causing any harm.

Villena instructs that the apple should be cut like the pear, lengthwise in four parts. They should not be peeled if small and mature. Big apples should be cut into slices lengthwise and then cut into chunks like the peach. If cooked, Villena advises to peel them and to cut them with a fruit fork to avoid touching them. The heart and seeds should not be eaten. See pero and perero.

[Aguilera. 2002:95; ES: “50 things.” Mar 17, 04; Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:73; Nola. 1989:xvi-1; Pacho. “Cocina.” 1994:162; Sas 493; and Villena/Calero. 2002:23a:42b:43b]

APPLE PURÉE ADAPTED FROM HUICI'S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN, AL-ANDALUS #192 HECHURA DE MANZANAS, p 123 

Ingredients[1]

A Gourmet Example of Color and Tastiness
in Medieval Cookery
Photo by Lord-Williams
1 c chickpeas
1 eggplant
4 sour apples
1 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp chopped celery leaves
1 tbsp rue
2 purslane stalks[2]
1 tsp thyme

Preparation

Soak chickpeas overnight.

Cut off stem and leaves of eggplant. Boil it until soft. Peel and chop.

Boil apples until soft. Macerate and strain them. Add oil, salt, pepper. Crush soaked chickpeas and add them to the apples. Bring the mixture to a boil and add mint, celery leaf, rue and stalks of purslane, and thyme and boiled eggplant. Put all this in a food processor and grind until pureed.

Pour the purée into a pot. Seal the lid of the pot with a paste made with water and flour. Cook 10 minutes or until done. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to enrich the flavor.

Ladle out the stew into bowls as a first course or use as garnish with meat.


[1] As the mixture of the ingredients were bland, the Medieval Spanish Chef added one chopped and fried onion, 1 mashed and fried garlic clove and ½ tsp ground cinnamon. This was ground in the food processor with the rest of the ingredients prior to finishing the cooking in a sealed pot
[2] As purslane was not available spinach was used as a substitute.


HUICI'S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN AL-ANDALUS




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