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Aristocratic recipes


The Great Cathedral of Seville
Claudia Roden Writer
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Sometimes, in Majorca for instance, somebody made a pastry using pork fat, but the way they made the pastry, I saw it nowhere else. But somebody who was a Sephardi Jew, only one person had shown me before. And I just thought, oh yes. And now, so many things in Majorca as well. And then now, there's people writing books who were Jews who converted in Majorca to become Christian. And I had constant, constant experiences where somebody said they were of Maranos origin, of Jews who had converted to Christianity.

And even that nun, the old nun I went to visit, who took me around, she was called Davide something. She took me to the Great Cathedral of Seville. And there, she took me around, they have the little sort of parts around that are separated and they have a grill. And there are like little places for praying. And they also had, in some places, a tomb. So, she took me to one where she said her family always prayed. And she said, 'Can you see the name? It is Davide'. Because they had paid, they were a Marano family, they had been the wealthy families who did not want to leave Spain and had converted. And they paid for the Cathedral. And she took me around the cathedral, nearly all the names had been Jews, who had built the cathedral, Great Cathedral of Seville. But on the other side of her family, they were conquistadors. But, of course, went to Naples. They had conquered Naples. And they had conquered Latin America. And so, some of the names of her family were names of cities in there. But yes, so, there were many stories of that.

Claudia Roden (b. 1936) is an Egyptian-born British cookbook writer and cultural anthropologist of Sephardi/Mizrahi descent. She is best known as the author of Middle Eastern cookbooks including A Book of Middle Eastern Food, The New Book of Middle Eastern Food and The Book of Jewish Food.

Listeners: Nelly Wolman

Claudia Roden talking to her granddaughter Nelly Wolman about her life in food.

Tags: Great Cathedral of Seville, Marano

Duration: 2 minutes, 51 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2022

Date story went live: 04 December 2023