Crónicas, Livros, Restaurantes, Gastronomia...
|History and the Table|
|Domingo, 05 Julho 2009 15:10|
Sometimes I feel that I was taught history the wrong way. I learned about the Kings, the Battles, and all the set of teachings that led us to believe that the ideals of our Historical Heroes were the Supreme Will. And we believed this.
Was it necessary to chase away the Moors? All because of a Christian Faith? But we confiscated their goods… Were they given the opportunity to convert? And what about the Jews? And the enviousness of their fortunes?
I mention all this because we have to remember that our current culinary heritage was inherited from all these people, regardless of the reasons for expelling them or taking over their land after the wars.
History should not be taught this way, with manuals that contain supreme truths.
We learned how to cultivate olive groves and oranges from the Moors. We also learned to love almonds and figs.
They also taught us the much evolved technique, at the time, of working the sugar and the fine dough for sweets. And who do we owe the marzipan to? And the Pasteis de Santa Clara of Vila Real?
And our alheiras? If the Jews had not been expelled would we have alheiras? And the celebration of all pork?
And where did we learn to make good wines? We cannot forget the Romans. And what about the preservation of fish ?
That is to say that when some historical movements took place due to radical laws or rules, daily life did not change. And many traditions which we now consider ours were maintained.
Our History is rich in bad teachings. Or else the method of teaching History is bad. How many people from Trás-os-Montes have read the book “Trés Estórias (Pouco) Doces written by Augusto José Monteiro, where history is taught from simple facts?
If we start to question the origin of things, we will easily get to the issue of cooking techniques, with no complexes, being part of our historical heritage.
All religions have rules concerning food. These rules have been in force for centuries!
I promise I will get back to these issues.
© Virgílio Nogueiro Gomes