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Medieval Spanish Cuisine

Author : Brian Petit


Food forms an integral part of every society. However the middle age era in Spain was characterised by a rather eccentric fact when all was narrowed down to the varieties of foods at the disposition of the Spaniard populace. The individuals' social class determined the food they were entitled to.

The gastronomy of the royalties and the well-to-do members of the society was characterised by superfluity of delectable food varieties as opposed to the underprivileged whose meals consisted of inferior quality provisions. This was not only facilitated by insufficient funds to foot their bills when it came to better rations but also the fact that some foodstuffs were only suited to the nobles and the humbled members of the society were not allowed to purchase them even when luck fell on their side and they would be able to acquire them.

The unfortunate members of the society tended their prolific lands only for the harvests to go to the well heeled. Consequently, they were only allowed the refuse of the nobles which did not do much good to their well being since it consisted of relatively low nutritional value compared to what the rich consumed. Their meals consisted of bread which was not favoured by the nobles. Their indispensable veggies diet was cabbage, carrots and turnips. Porridge formed an essential part of the peasants' diet. The only type of meat they were entitled to regularly was pork since it was commonplace.

On the other hand, their wealthy counterparts had access to a variety of foods. Their diets were healthier as a result of enhanced nutritional concentration. Their bread as opposed to that eaten by peasants was baked from ground white flour and the loaves were used as serving plates which later came to be known as trenchers. The leftovers were fed off to the peasants.

These high ranking members of the society were entitled to an assortment of meaty products to choose from. Rabbit, lamb, fish, deer meat, chicken and beef were plentiful to grace their hearty banquets.

The high ranking social class was not inclined to fresh fruit. They largely had a preference for currants, dates, figs and raisins. They did not consume veggies often since they held the notion that veggies lacked nutritional worth.

Wine was also an integral part of an archetypal Spanish meal. The nobles sipped a variety of wines and beers to down their scrumptious meals according to their individual preference.


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Submitted : 2011-10-21    Word Count : 401    Times Viewed: 551