Cultural Pride in Local Cuisine

I’ve completed my project, and I want to share some of the results.  The most important component of my project was the interview with José Manuel Córdoba, the dueño and head chef of the restaurant “El Ventorrillo el Chato,” a highly popular and famous restaurant in Cádiz. He confirmed that the historical presence of many cultures on the Iberian Peninsula has had a major impact on the types of foods prepared today.  He said that the city of Cádiz does indeed have its own signature plates.  On the topic of the impact of modern globalization, Córdoba said that the new means of transport that arise from globalization has indeed changed the preparation of food completely. It is possible to deliver products much more rapidly, and also enables the use of products from different countries.  He affirmed that food is of great importance in the culture of Cadiz. He observed that when gaditanos have some money to spend, they spend it on food to eat with their friends and family, because food is central to social and culture.

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A Brief Spanish History, as seen through Cuisine

So… I’ve been pretty terrible with blogging.  I’ve done a lot of research on my project, but haven’t been keeping up with blogs! I’m back home, after being away for a service project and traveling to see family, and I’m tying up the end of my project.

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Balancing the Magic of España with the Realities of Life

Despite the fact that this is my first blog, I have actually been working on this project bit-by-bit for the past month.  My study abroad has been amazing, but so incredibly busy! Not only do we have full-time classes (and exams this week!), but also planned program activities to explore Cádiz and weekend excursions to other cities in Andalucía.  So, my first difficulty has been finding the time to do everything that I want and need to do!

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Abstract: The History of Food in Andalucía: Impacts of Cultural Mixing on the Development of Cuisine

In my research, I will investigate the lasting impact of cultural exchange upon the cuisine of Andalucía while study abroad in Cádiz, Spain with a William and Mary program. As invaders like the Romans and Muslim Moors conquered and settled the Iberian Peninsula, they brought new agricultural crops, culinary styles, and food preparation methods. For my project, I will examine the history of invasion in Andalucía and the cultural changes that took place under occupation. In addition, I will study the effect of environment on the types of dishes served in Cádiz, as the city has a coastal location and Mediterranean climate. I hope to synthesize the historical and environmental factors into an analysis of the modern cuisine that exists in Andalucía. I want to make a connection between the contributions of the different cultural heritages historically present in Spain and the geographic location and physical environment as having a distinct influence on the typical cuisine of Cádiz, Spain.
I hope to learn more about the historical context for typical dishes served today, and whether they are influenced by foreign cultures, by environmental factors, or by a combination of the two. Specifically, I will investigate the history of commonly prepared foods, and to what extend different backgrounds have become integrated into mainstream Spanish society. I hope to gain insight into some of the cultural pluralism that the rich history of the Andalucían coast represents through a combination of research in textbooks, recipe books, and interviews with local chefs and cuisine experts.