Elcano's Around the World inspires Andalusian cuisine 500 years later

Magellan and Elcano left Seville and Sanlúcar de Barrameda, in 1519, with the cellars full of bread, wine and oil. They also brought fruits from Huelva, vinegar or seasonal fish. But sardines, for example, were not used for cooking but as bait to get larger pieces.

The journey was not easy. It lasted three years and, in fact, cost most of their lives (only 18 of the 265 who left returned). But that great adventure ended reasonably well, with the Victoria ship docking in the port of Seville full of endless spices highly valued in 16th century Spain, such as cloves.

The trip was a before and after for Humanity, revolutionizing commercial and cultural relations between Europe, America and Asia. 500 years later, in fact, that first round the world has also become a source of inspiration for Andalusian cuisine.

Tourism, gastronomy and history

This summer around a hundred Andalusian restaurants They will offer dishes inspired by the journey around the world of Elcano and Magellan. But the champion of the project, promoted by Turismo de Andalucía, has been Julio Fernández, chef of the Sevillian restaurant Abantal (the only one in Seville distinguished with a Michelin star), which this week – coinciding with FITUR – has presented in Madrid a menu of high cooking based on that adventure.

To prepare the menu, the Sevillian chef has collaborated with the historian Antonio Sánchez, from the Archivo de Indias, combining some of the products with which Magellan and Elcano left Spain (bread, almonds, vinegar or rabbit) with others that were found in America and Asia (pineapple, cocoa, spices): ajoblanco of almonds with plums, capers and dried sea bass; bluefin tuna facera encebollao; stripe in pepitoria; crispy cheek to X; socarrat with fish tartar …. and even a coconut-based “finishing touch”.

The result is still an —exquisite— reinterpretation of the gastronomic potential of that adventure in the key of the Andalusia of the XXI century, but as the chef has assured Cadena SER on Twitch, the exercise of combining history with gastronomy may be the origin of new dishes in the future.

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