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It Is Fitting To Deal With The Knowledge Of Those Things With Which The Art Of Cooking Is Complete

This is an excerpt from An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook
(Andalusia, 13th c. - Charles Perry, trans.)
The original source can be found at David Friedman's website

It is fitting to deal with the knowledge of those things with which the art of cooking is complete, and by whose presence a kitchen is called a kitchen, the variety of foods and their flavors, according to the various kinds of vinegar, syrups, murri, oil, mustard, spices, the juices of apples, pomegranates and raisins, and all the basics for knowing the good from the bad; for if they are bad, what is made with them will be ruined and the dishes will be the opposite of the highly regarded foods which people find delicious, for they please souls with their goodness and deliciousness. Know that familiarity with the use of spices is the first basis in cooked dishes, for it is the foundation of cooking, and on it cookery is built. In spices is what particularly suits the various recipes, those of vinegar and foods such as the various kinds of tafaya, fried dishes and the like; in spices too is what distinguishes the foods, gives them flavor, and improves them; in spices is benefit and avoidance of harm.


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