A Drizzle of Honey: The Life and Recipes of Spain's Secret Jews


by: Gitlitz, David M.
Format: Paperback

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Product Description When Iberian Jews were converted to Catholicism under duress during the Inquisition, many struggled to retain their Jewish identity in private while projecting Christian conformity in the public sphere. To root out these heretics, the courts of the Inquisition published checklists of koshering practices and "grilled" the servants, neighbors, and even the children of those suspected of practicing their religion at home. From these testimonies and other primary sources, Gitlitz & Davidson have drawn a fascinating, award-winning picture of this precarious sense of Jewish identity and have re-created these recipes, which combine Christian & Islamic traditions in cooking lamb, beef, fish, eggplant, chickpeas, and greens and use seasonings such as saffron, mace, ginger, and cinnamon. The recipes, and the accompanying stories of the people who created them, promise to delight the adventurous palate and give insights into the foundations of modern Sephardic cuisine. About the Author David Gitlitz and Linda Kay Davidson are professors at the University of Rhode Island. Each has written several books on Spanish culture, including Gitlitz's Secrecy and Deceit, an alternate selection of the History Book Club and winner of the 1996 National Jewish Book Award for Sephardic Studies and the 1997 Lucy B. Dawidowicz Prize for History. They are married and this is the first book they have written together. Their newest book is The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago, now available from St. Martin's Press. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. A Drizzle of Honey Recipes, Stories & Commentary Salads and Vegetables Salads tend to be eaten raw, while vegetables are usually cooked, but the line of demarcation between the two has always been a thin one. Beets, peas, and spinach, for example, are served both cold and hot; they can stand alone as a main dish or be mixed with other ingredients. Lettuce can be eaten cold in a salad or fried in oil, and its stalks can be boiled with lots of sugar to make a conserve.1 Spanish culinary traditions and terminology complicate matters further. Spanish categories overlap: an hierba is a grass or an herb; a legumbre is a vegetable, but especially a legume; verdura gives the sense of something green; while an hortaliza is almost anything that grows in the huerta, or garden. All of these terms were used in the Middle Ages, sometimes interchangeably. Enrique de Villena's Arte cisoria ( The Art of Carving) lists twenty "yerbas," including thistle, carrots, lettuce, turnips, onions, garlic, borage, purslane, fennel, caraway, and mustard.2 The seventeenth-century dictionary writer Covarrubiaseven uses the same two examples--lettuce and radishes--to illustrate two different categories, verduras and hortalizas. For Covarrubias, the legumbre has fruit that develops in a pod, while hierba denotes produce without stalks that can be either cooked in stews or served raw in salads.3 In the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, salads must have been ubiquitous. The occasional references suggest that they included a wider variety of ingredients than are common today. Covarrubias defines "salad" ( ensalada) as "different herbs, meats, salted [ingredients], fish, olives, conserves, condiments [,] egg yolks, borage, sugared almonds, and a great diversity of things ... ."4 He also tells us that its name derives from the custom of sprinkling the miscellany with salt ( sal).5 The single salad recipe in the late fourteenth-century cookbook from the kitchens of English King Richard II lists more than a dozen different ingredients, including some still-common greens and herbs such as parsley, garlic, onions, and watercress, and others not quite so common: fennel, leeks, borage, mint, rue, and purslane.6 Renaissance literary references tell us about "sliced lettuces and carrots with oregano"7 and "onion ... artichoke ... and chopped cucumber."8 Sources such as these suggest that any


Product Code: 9780312267308
ISBN: 0312267304
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: 2000-09-25
Number of Pages: 352 pages
Languages: English
Edition: 1st
Dimension: 7.48 x 0.94 x 9.13 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.28 pounds