An observation (by Dan)

It has been fascinating to travel from Spain/Portugal to Morocco, and to see how these two regions have been intertwined for centuries. (I hesitate to use the word “countries”–that term was not even in existence at the time these cultures began their association).

The Iberian Peninsula, for its part, boasts astonishing examples of Moorish architecture. The Alhambra in Granada. The Alcazar Real in Seville. The palace of Sintra near Lisbon. The list goes on and on.

And Morocco is similar. The city of Fes, for example, was divided into a neighborhood called the “Andalusha,” which is across the river from the rival neighborhood (whose name escapes me).

But there is one striking difference between Iberia and Morocco that people like me just cannot overlook: In Morocco, there is no pork anywhere, nor any live pigs, and you certainly cannot find a thing to eat that has any sort of ham or other pork in it. But in Spain, you cannot find a single thing to eat that does not have ham in it. In fact, we nearly bought a bag of Ruffles potato chips that were jamon flavor. Seriously.

I guess some customs and traditions are too essential for the melting pot to blend together.


6 responses to “An observation (by Dan)

  1. I love the pig!!!! Spain is the place for me. bad , bad jew.

  2. Ham flavored potato chips. Isn’t that redundant with grease?

    Fascinating cultures, intertwined yet distinct.

  3. I bet there is other interesting food there to investigate, that is just as appetizing as pig. All the pigs are over here anyway, giving us all swine flu. Love the pictures, sounds like an amazing adventure!

  4. Dan & Lisa:

    I was wondering where you were. I knew you had embarked on the grand adventure, but silly me I thought you were off-line. I shared that with a few friends who are going to miss you at our upcoming reunion, and someone thought to do a google search. Volia! Up pops your travel blog.

    Can’t wait to read up on your adventures to date. Look forward to seeing you next year when you are back in the states.

  5. Fascinating observation! Of course, there was strong Jewish influence in that region as well, since the Moors bonded with them (maybe over the filthy pig?).

    The Moroccans love their goat though….

  6. Charles and I had the best ham we have ever eaten in the Basque area of Spain. I can’t find it anywhere in Denver. It was very expensive and worth every penny.

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