Madrid: A Culinary History

Maria Paz Moreno. Rowman & Littlefield, $38 (236p) ISBN 978-1-4422-6640-7
In this enjoyable and educational culinary history, Moreno, a professor of Spanish at the University of Cincinnati, enthusiastically explores the food of Spain’s capital. She methodically traces the culinary development of Madrid from the days when the Romans ruled the Iberian Peninsula, popularizing bread, olives, cheese, and roasted meat, to the mid-2000s, when Ferran Adrià and his restaurant, El Bulli, made molecular gastronomy a hit. Moreno provides brief historical sketches of the city, explaining that the cuisine was often influenced by the ruling class of the time: the Arabs introduced phyllo dough and nuts, the Bourbons and Hapsburgs indulged in sweets and pastries, and when Felipe V arrived in 1700, “he brought with him a French cook.” Moreno describes cookbooks published over the centuries, as well as restaurant menus, both historic and recent, that highlight Madrid’s vibrant culinary scene. In vivid detail, she describes markets such as Mercado de San Miguel and Centro Platea (“the largest gastro leisure space in Europe”) and introduces readers to Madrid’s two oldest restaurants, Lhardy and Sobrino de Botín. In a final chapter, Moreno provides recipes for the city’s most characteristic dishes, such as gambas al ajilio (garlic shrimp) and paella. Moreno’s informative guide is an excellent preview for those visiting the city. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/13/2017
Release date: 11/01/2017
Open Ebook - 216 pages - 978-1-4422-6641-4
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