Putting pork on your fork

In medieval times, eating pork and seafood was a test of a new convert's sincerity. Photo: Shutterstock
Published March 1, 2012

Food is an intimate part of daily life and an intimate part of religious life as well. As a culinary badge of faith, Christians in medieval Portugal and Spain developed dishes combining pork and shellfish, foods forbidden to Jews and Muslims. Christian ate these combinations freely, and made the public consumption of these dishes by Muslims and Jews who converted to Christianity a tangible test of their sincerity. Today, Spain’s popular paella, with its pork sausage and shellfish, recalls these origins, and Portuguese cuisine features several delicious dishes featuring pork with clams.


  • Diana Swift

    Diana Swift is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years’ experience in newspaper and magazine editing and production. In January 2011, she joined the Anglican Journal as a contributing editor.

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