Culinary art in the Córdoba of al-Andalus

From 7 July to 17 October 2021

Teatro Cómico Principal de Córdoba

Food is one of the richest information sources to learn about a culture.

Through the ingredients used for cooking we know whether a people are sedentary or nomadic, or the trade relations they maintain with others. Kitchenware and tools reveal the technological levels they achieved, their degree of refinement or simplicity as well as the interactions with other places. Besides, these aspects related to food indicate social differences, health, diet, climate issues, etc.

In the case of al-Andalus, all this information comes from a great variety of sources: historical ones are unquestionably what supplies the most important data about the arrival of new ways to prepare food, modes of serving it, etc.

Archaeology provides us with types of tools used both to cook and as table service. In the same way, by the study of bones, whether human or animal, we know how the consumption of meat was, and how was the dietary health of the people of al-Andalus. .

Treatises on botany, and even on medicine, show which ingredients were of plant origin, and if they were autochthonous or came from the East, how they acclimatized to the Iberian Peninsula, their uses, and how farming systems changed…

And together with these texts there are other types of sources that provide us with even more information about gastronomy in al-Andalus: the hisba treatises (which include instructions on how souks should be governed) and the two culinary treatises that have survived that contain original recipes.

The exhibition discourse of “Culinary art in the Córdoba of al-Andalus” gathers all these data, explaining the ingredients that were included in the nutrition of al-Andalus in general and in Córdoba in particular. Also featured are the most important crops, which were the foods of animal origin, the ways crockery was used in the elaboration of foods, what the dinner service was, how was it used and how all this lives on in our gastronomy today.

This exhibition is organized by the Andalusian Public Foundation El legado andalusí, in collaboration with the Department of Culture and Historical Heritage Córdoba under the Andalusian Government and the Archaeological Museum of Córdoba.

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