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Chickpea stew and the Spanish Inquisition

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
We (let's face it, I) often will refer people to Gitlitz and Davidson's The Pilgrimage to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook but that wasn't the only book they wrote together. I came across this video through my Facebook feed today and it shares some Spanish history and a recipe from another book they wrote: Chickpea Stew & the Spanish Inquisition.
 
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amancio

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Interesting! Indeed, at the time, the Spaniards were obsessed with spotting what they call "secret Jews" in this particular video, so people had to show off and boast that they were not Jewish at all. For example, up to quite recently (40 years ago), in rural Andalusia it was traditional to do all the big house cleaning on Saturdays (the Jewish Sabbath), you open the door and the windows of the house to let the air in and frantically sweep the front door, you shake the blankets and fluff pillows and mattresses loudly on the terraces, so that everybody sees you keep busy and do work on a Saturday, which serves to rule you out as a Jew.

That was the mentality in the middle ages, dark centuries in the history of Spain.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Some posts have been deleted. The first two posts in this thread are squarely in the “history” category (and fascinating!). Some of the subsequent responses strayed into politics and have been deleted. I know this line is a very difficult one to draw, but please try. Nothing good ever comes from dabbling in politics on a forum devoted to Spain and the Camino.
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
One thing I find fascinating is the window into medieval food. Our tastes have definitely changed. Chickpea stew sounds familiar enough, but...some of the rest not so much. And honey in savory food?
Here is the book title by them that I found:
A Drizzle of Honey: The Lives and Recipes of Spain’s Secret Jews
And a review:

What is amazing is that the court records were so detailed that the recipes could be revived, based on them.
 
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Holly Mitchem

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016, del Norte 2019
I have a dear friend whose family emmigrated from Béjar, Spain during the Inquisition. The family, and many others who were forced to leave because they were Jewish, took the last name Bejar. His branch of the family went to Turkey and many years later went to the United States. About 15 years ago the Béjar diaspora from literally all over the world had a reunion in Béjar, where they were welcomed by city officials. Because of this, my friend's sister, my friend and his three children have all passed the requirements to attain Spanish citizenship that was offered to all Jews that emmigrated due to the persecutions of the Inquisition. They now all have dual Spanish/US citizenship, and my friend's sister and her husband have purchased as small farm in Andalusia. My friend's wife and his sister's husband will also be eligible for Spanish citizenship after five years. Quite a story.
 

Dsavid Keyte

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino de San Salavador (2015)
Camino de la Costa (2016)
Camino Lebaniego 2017
One thing I find fascinating is the window into medieval food. Our tastes have definitely changed. Chickpea stew sounds familiar enough, but...some of the rest not so much. And honey in savory food?

Here is the book title by them that I found:
A Drizzle of Honey: The Lives and Recipes of Spain’s Secret Jews
And a review:

What is amazing is that the court records were so detailed that the recipes could be revived, based on them.
I use honey in curries and other Asian food
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
One thing I find fascinating is the window into medieval food. Our tastes have definitely changed. Chickpea stew sounds familiar enough, but...some of the rest not so much. And honey in savory food?

Here is the book title by them that I found:
A Drizzle of Honey: The Lives and Recipes of Spain’s Secret Jews
And a review:

What is amazing is that the court records were so detailed that the recipes could be revived, based on them.
My other passion is medieval culinary history, which is why this particular video ended up in my feed. You can see that from the photo of my bookshelves below. :)

Mixing the sweet and savoury or spicy was not uncommon in Western European medieval cuisine.

Incidentally, the Book of Sent Sovi, just to the right of the Neapolitan Recipe Collection in the photo below, is a Spanish (Catalan) recipe collection from 1324.

20210427_113724.jpg
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Some posts have been deleted. The first two posts in this thread are squarely in the “history” category (and fascinating!). Some of the subsequent responses strayed into politics and have been deleted. I know this line is a very difficult one to draw, but please try. Nothing good ever comes from dabbling in politics on a forum devoted to Spain and the Camino.
I appreciate this. I am Jewish. My mother's family comes from Syria. My Grandfather last name was Habeb which was changed to Haber when he came to America. My Grandmother's last name was Cheja. They were from Spain and eventually moved to Syria after the inquisition. My Grandmother actually spoke Ladino. Of course she also spoke Arabic, Hebrew, French, Spanish and English. She spoke Ladino to her sisters and brothers in letters. They lived in Argentina. In their home my Mom spoke Arabic and Spanish. Spanish because they grew up in a border town in Texas and no one spoke English. She learned English in school.
My Grandmother only cooked Arabic food. When I asked her about why she never made Spanish style food she laughed and said we haven't been in Spain in a few years and Pa (my Grandfather) is a much better cook then I am. That sure was true!!!!! As my mom said, what happened to our family in Spain is barely a memory anymore. I always wished she could have cooked Spanish food but the moment my Grandfather would put his Grape Leaves in front of me I was in heaven!
 
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2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
During my working days, I often enjoyed the local Moroccan restaurant, which offered an empanada-like (with flaky pastry) dish with sugar sprinkled on top. A Persian colleague, amused by my surprise, then introduced me to the pomegranate- and raisin-laden cuisine of her home province. Intrigued by these discoveries which happened at the same time I first went on the Camino, Spanish cookbooks have formed a small pillar in my house-- it's clear that the Sephardic emigration brought their recipes with them and with the arrival of a family next door last year with a maniacally culinary daughter, I have been the happy beneficiary of occasional plates. Girona to Cephalonia to Ottawa....
 
Past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
We (let's face it, I) often will refer people to Gitlitz and Davidson's The Pilgrimage to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook but that wasn't the only book they wrote together. I came across this video through my Facebook feed today and it shares some Spanish history and a recipe from another book they wrote: Chickpea Stew & the Spanish Inquisition.
I have two fat books with Spanish recipes, and you have prompted me to take down the second of them - the Food of Spain, by Claudia Roden. The first one (1080 recipes) is opened fairly regularly, and has a great recipe for chickpea stew with rice and potatoes... I am so sorry to be reminded of Roden's book, as it is now beside me and demanding to be read!
When I eventually pay a visit to Spain again, I will bring home a box of chickpeas along with the household soap and big tubs of parsley that take up the spare corners in my luggage. That's my kind of souvenir! 😁
 

Aspi

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
As I watch the video it seems that the recipee is very close to the "cocido madrileño", the most popular meal in Madrid until today. In north Spain - I´m from basque country - traditionally the chickpea was less usual and was used as a special "cocido"s of Sunday.

Clearly judeo.arabic are the spanish dessert in christmas time, all with Almonds and honey.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
I've got a number of Spanish cookbooks, but only two of them from the medieval period: the Book of Sent Sovi (shown above) from Catalunya in the 14th century and a translation of an Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the Thirteenth Century. Do one from Chirstian Spain and one from Muslim Spain. For those interested in medieval Portuguese cookery, there is a translation online of A Treatise of Portuguese Cuisine from the 15th Century.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
As I watch the video it seems that the recipee is very close to the "cocido madrileño", the most popular meal in Madrid until today. In north Spain - I´m from basque country - traditionally the chickpea was less usual and was used as a special "cocido"s of Sunday.
Except, of course, that as I recall it the cocido madrileño uses pork rather than beef. :)

I also recall the big chunks of pure pork fat that were an important part of the dish and that were quite shocking to me just over thirty years ago when I was living in Madrid, coming from North American cuisine where we tended to try and avoid fat.

I seem to recall the the Cocido Maragato was basically meat, chickpeas, and cabbage. Once again, pork is the main meat, with a variety of cuts. When I had it in Astorga, although they were likely all cooked together, they were served separately: first the pork, then the chickpeas and cabbage, then the broth.
 
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Aspi

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
Except, of course, that as I recall it the cocido madrileño uses pork rather than beef. :)

I also recall the big chunks of pure pork fat that were an important part of the dish and that were quite shocking to me just over thirty years ago when I was living in Madrid, coming from North American cuisine where we tended to try and avoid fat.

I seem to recall the the Cocido Maragato was basically meat, chickpeas, and cabbage. Once again, pork is the main meat, with a variety of cuts. When I had it in Astorga, although they were likely all cooked together, they were served separately: first the pork, then the chickpeas and cabbage, then the broth.
The complete "cocido madrileño" uses beef, chicken, pork's bacon and chorizo and morcilla ( well, and the bones of all those poor animals)... and all them are called "los sacramentos"
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I love chick peas.

One of my simple meals for albergue cooking alone, is a bag of vegetable soup, with chick peas and chopped choriso in it. Bread & a bottle of Rioja as side orders, and I am ready for bed and another day of walking. :)
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
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Frances 2015;
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Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I too, love chickpeas. I use them on top of salads, in vegetable soup, and they can be made into hummus. I also have sprouted them for use on salads.
Not Spanish food, but hey ho...all good!
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
I will bring home a box of chickpeas
Haha! But surely Ireland has dried chickpeas? Any natural food store would likey have big bins of them for the humus makers of the world. Yum.

Clearly judeo.arabic are the spanish dessert in christmas time, all with Almonds and honey.
Also yum.
 
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Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
There is also "cocido gallego" that has chickpeas too.
"Callos a la gallega" has chickpeas but "Callos a la madrileña" doesn't have them.
It is strange because there isn't chickpeas production in Galicia.
 
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MarkyD

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
We (let's face it, I) often will refer people to Gitlitz and Davidson's The Pilgrimage to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook but that wasn't the only book they wrote together. I came across this video through my Facebook feed today and it shares some Spanish history and a recipe from another book they wrote: Chickpea Stew & the Spanish Inquisition.
One of my best meals on the Camino Frances was in cafeteria El Camino in El Burgo Ranero. I had previously suffered the tummy bug in Carrión de los Condes, or at least that's where the symptoms presented themselves. So the next 24 hours I hardly ate anything, and what I did, well you know.....
On reaching El Burgo Ranero I stopped in the said cafeteria/bar. They tried to persuade me not to go to albergue La Laguna, but I did anyway. After checking in, shower, change & hand wash clothes (the usual ritual) I walked back to the bar and had a really enjoyable homemade chickpea stew. I really appreciated the simple and nutritious meal.
On getting back to the albergue later that evening there was hardly anyone to be found, I discovered why several days later, but that's another story......
 
Past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
Haha! But surely Ireland has dried chickpeas? Any natural food store would likey have big bins of them for the humus makers of the world. Yum.


Also yum.
Screenshot 2021-04-28 at 11.52.27.png
This is the box I referred to. Much plumper than the tiny things in Tesco over here! However, thanks for the tip, I will check out a natural food store soon...
 

VeronicaF1

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Walked from Pamplona to Los Arcos, Planning to continue from Los Arcos
Interesting! Indeed, at the time, the Spaniards were obsessed with spotting what they call "secret Jews" in this particular video, so people had to show off and boast that they were not Jewish at all. For example, up to quite recently (40 years ago), in rural Andalusia it was traditional to do all the big house cleaning on Saturdays (the Jewish Sabbath), you open the door and the windows of the house to let the air in and frantically sweep the front door, you shake the blankets and fluff pillows and mattresses loudly on the terraces, so that everybody sees you keep busy and do work on a Saturday, which serves to rule you out as a Jew.

That was the mentality in the middle ages, dark centuries in the history of Spain.
In Loyd Grossman's book The World on a Plate he mentions that slaughtering a pig and having a communal feast were also ways of outing Jewish families in villages.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Oh. One explanation for why there is so much pork in Spanish cuisine.
Not really -- the historical claims at the start of the video are rather inaccurate, but then that would involve discussing religion, so hmmm maybe not ; but pork (& wild boar) is a staple of the European diet and has been for millennia, and this is why there are so many pork foods in Spain.

Whereas in the hotter middle eastern countries, this type of meat could go bad very quickly, and could make people sick ; until the invention of the refrigerator, that is.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
Not really -- the historical claims at the start of the video are rather inaccurate, but then that would involve discussing religion, so hmmm maybe not ; but pork (& wild boar) is a staple of the European diet and has been for millennia, and this is why there are so many pork foods in Spain.

Whereas in the hotter middle eastern countries, this type of meat could go bad very quickly, and could make people sick ; until the invention of the refrigerator, that is.
Not to talk religion but I've been both to Israel and to Andalucia and I don't think pork is going bad much slower in an Andalucian summer. I can't speak to the historical claims at the start of the video that you find rather inaccurate, but I believe that the historical research that forms the basis of the book cited (A Drizzle of Honey by Gitlitz and Davidson) is fairly solid.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I can't speak to the historical claims at the start of the video that you find rather inaccurate, but I believe that the historical research that forms the basis of the book cited (A Drizzle of Honey by Gitlitz and Davidson) is fairly solid.
FWIW, I don't have A drizzle of honey but I've read part of it online as it is available. Perhaps not surprisingly, Gitlitz/Davidson's description of the historical situation is a lot more nuanced than the summary way in which it is presented in the cooking video.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
FWIW, I don't have A drizzle of honey but I've read part of it online as it is available. Perhaps not surprisingly, Gitlitz/Davidson's description of the historical situation is a lot more nuanced than the summary way it is presented in the cooking video.
I now own a Kindle copy of the book, but can't claim to have read it all yet. There are too many other books ahead of it in the stack. But I did try the cabbage, chickpea and beef stew featured in the video last night. Not bad, but not a huge hit.
 

Bagobev

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Lisbon to Santiago (2017)
I love chick peas.

One of my simple meals for albergue cooking alone, is a bag of vegetable soup, with chick peas and chopped choriso in it. Bread & a bottle of Rioja as side orders, and I am ready for bed and another day of walking. :)
Okay I'll bite, what is a "bag of vegetable soup"?
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Soup in a pouch, sold in many supermarkets in Spain. Sometimes to be used full strength, sometimes it is a concentrate to which one adds water.
 

Bagobev

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Lisbon to Santiago (2017)
Soup in a pouch, sold in many supermarkets in Spain. Sometimes to be used full strength, sometimes it is a concentrate to which one adds water.
Sounds like a quick and easy meal after a long walk, especially if you can add some extras. I like it!
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Not to talk religion but I've been both to Israel and to Andalucia
Spain is not Andalucia alone -- and the wild boar in Spain are mainly in Catalonia, along the northern Atlantic coast, and near Madrid. And not many at all in Israel.

And whilst domestic pigs are everywhere, the traditionally pork-eating countries are those where the wild boar is found.
 

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