Great food and the stories behind them The Converso Cookbook, offers unique dishes:
A new online publication, The Converso Cookbook, offers unique dishes based on the recipes of 14th- and 15th-century Jews who were persecuted by Spanish authorities. One of these recipes, Jewish Ham—or cecina de ansarón or ansarón cecinado—is a perfect Thanksgiving alternative. The “ham” is actually salt-cured duck or goose; when sliced, the final product looks rather similar to salted pork.
The Converso Cookbook is the work of Ana Gomez-Bravo, a professor of Spanish and Jewish Studies at the University of Washington. She’s involved with the university’s Sephardic Studies Program. A native of Madrid, Gomez-Bravo specializes in medieval and early modern Spanish literature. She has long been fascinated by the culture of converso Jews—those who were forced to convert to Christianity during the Inquisition period. Gomez-Bravo realized that food practices could serve as a rich source of information about medieval Sephardic identity, and began to hunt for textual evidence in both Jewish sources and Inquisitorial records.
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