How Arabic cuisine rediscovered Portuguese cuisine

Library: The contribution of Arabs and Maghreb to the Iberian Peninsula is evident through the advancement of architecture and education. But what about cooking? Portugal: The cookbook describes a wide range of Arab cuisine inventions in the country.

Among other notable products, the Arabs and Moors introduced sugar to the Iberian Peninsula. [Phaidon Press]

“For these new rulers, food is an art and food is a gift from God. It should be eaten in moderation and shared with those in need. ” Chef and author Leandro Carrera writes: “Portugal: The Cookbook” talks about the Arabs and Maasiks (Moors) who invaded the Iberian Peninsula and caused the food revolution in the early eighth century.

It is not surprising that 800 years of Islamic civilization in Spain and Portugal had an impact on the development of Portuguese cuisine, but what is even more astonishing is how extraordinary this impact was. In this new cookbook with about 700 cooking tips, half of them are inspired by Moores.

When the Moors arrived, they brought in the soldiers and administrators needed to rule over the newly acquired land; But with them came architects, astronomers, poets and cooks armed with cookbooks, as well as the famous medieval al-Baghdadi. Application book.

The Moors promoted oranges, lemons, apricots, pears, melons and cantaloupes and the use of spices such as pepper, ginger, olive pickles, nuts and sour cream to preserve the fish and leave them with rose water and oranges. No one has touched him. “

The most advanced Moorish civilization introduced hydraulics, which allowed irrigation of agricultural land (including orchards and leafy gardens).

Morse adorned the land elsewhere by planting citrus in the street for its fruits and aroma.

The list of crops presented by the Moors is extremely long: eggplant, artichoke, carrots, lentils, cucumbers and lettuce. The salad would later give its name to the inhabitants of Lisbon, who in conversation are called fascinas (“small greens”).

Morse popularized oranges, lemons, apricots, pears, melons and watermelons. The use of spices such as peppers, ginger, olive pickles, nuts and sour sauces to preserve the fish, rose water and orange blossoms have left an indelible mark.

The famous Portuguese art of frying fish in oil dipped in flour has its origins in Moroccan cuisine. The Moors of Mesopotamia were shocked by the amazing new breed of marine fish. They are accustomed to freshwater fish.

Salads with vinegar mousse soaked in spring water were the ancestor of Caspacho. The sugar cane grew, then the Portuguese exported it to their colonies and gave us a global boom in the sugar industry (harvested by slaves), which turned sugar – from Arabic sugar – into a luxury that everyone could afford. tasted like staple food.

Of course, Moroccan North Africans crossing into Iberia via Gibraltar carried bags of couscous. Rolled wheat oatmeal became a staple in the regional diet until the late 16th century, when it was replaced by cereals that require less time to prepare.

To this day, there are couscous villages in the northwestern part of the country that use the same methods and tools that Berbers used 900 years ago.

The Moors not only nurtured food and cooking tips, but also developed a sense of hospitality and hospitality with the range of foods on offer: soup that ends with sweets followed by fish or meat.

“Even though Moore’s rule over Iberia is finally over, the legacy remains tasty and delicious.

It is worth noting that the Jews, who are relatives of the Arabs, played their part in shaping Portuguese cuisine. The religious Jews had to prepare a meal after the Sabbath before the Sabbath, that is, to prepare a slow soup the next day.

Today, the Portuguese call it adafina, and it is a delicious blend of meat, chickpeas, roasted vegetables, boiled eggs and vegetables. The Jews have just introduced fried vegetables, which were later brought to Japan by Portuguese missionaries, so we have tempura.

Although Moore’s rule over Iberia has finally ended, the legacy is still visible and delicious. Even non-halal recipes (served with pork) are often rooted in recipes other than pork or whey.

What or What “Portugal: The Cookbook” beautifully illustrates the deep connection between peoples and the spontaneity of the current fashion and deceptive attempt to impose unique boundaries around cooking and shouting at anyone who sees a “cultural stake”.

What we eat cannot be easily divided into what is for us and what is for them. Food, far from language, tells the intertwined history of mankind. “Portugal: The Cookbook” A continuation of the new tradition of cookbooks, it reveals the history of food and beautifully adds to any favorite Mediterranean cuisine.

Khalil Borough is a Washington-based writer and civil rights lawyer. His work can be found in Washington Blade, Palestine Square and other publications.

Leave a Comment