jueves, 23 de febrero de 2017

Origen de la expresión española "la gente de la manteca" según Brenan

En el siglo XIX, las familias adineradas de Málaga solían importar barriles de mantequilla salada de Hamburgo, y por eso se conocían como la "gente de la manteca" o "la mantequilla". Era un lujo que marcaba un sello en la posición social, como tener un coche hoy.

  -Retrato original María José González-

La mantequilla según Brenan era desconocida a principios del siglo pasado en España.

"Manteca" significaba manteca de cerdo o grasa elaborada con ajo y comida con pan. Esto se explica por el hecho de que los españoles no tenían vacas lecheras. Incluso en el norte de España se dice que no había hasta que la influencia flamenca en la época de Carlos V las trajo, y ha sido en época reciente que se han  introducido en Andalucía (Brenan, 1963). 

Esto se produjo por la difícil adaptación del ganado vacuno, destinado al trabajo o consumo de carne, a la nueva demanda de producción lechera en el siglo XX. Por esta razón se tuvieron que importar nuevas razas de Holanda o Suiza, las cuales eran criadas en condiciones climáticas muy diferentes. En Andalucía y, especialmente, en Málaga, en 1933, la leche de cabra lideraba la producción láctea.

Bibliographic source 
Brenan, G. (1963). South from Granada. London: Penguin Books.
https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/15567/south-from-granada/
Hernández, I.(2012). La difusión de un nuevo alimento: producción y consumo de la leche en España 1865-1936. Universitat autónoma de Barcelona. 
Recuperado 02/03/2017 <http://www.tdx.cat/bitstream/handle/10803/96856/iha1de1.pdf?sequence=1>

Origin of the Spanish expression "la gente de la manteca" according to Brenan

  -Retrato original María José González-

In the ninenteenth century the wealthy families of Malaga used to import barrels of salted butter from Hamburg, and on that account they became known as la "gente de la manteca" or "the butter folk". It was a luxury that set a stamp on one´s social position, like having a car today. Butter was unkown. "Manteca" meant either lard or rancid dripping worked up with garlic and eaten by workmen in the coast towns with bread. This is explained by the fact that Spanish people had no milch cows. Even in the north of Spain there are said to have been none till the Flemish influence at the time of Charles V brought them in, and it is only in recent years that they have been kept in Anadalusia (Brenan, 1963).

Bibliographic source 
Brenan, G. (1963). South from Granada. London: Penguin Books.
https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/15567/south-from-granada/

miércoles, 22 de febrero de 2017

The 28th of February, Day of Andalusia by Lola Ortega

Every February 28 we celebrate the Feast of our Community.



The referendum on the autonomic process of Andalusia was celebrated the 28th of February of 1980. The Statute of Autonomy was approved by the elections of the Andalusian region in the year 1981. The Statute of Autonomy is a document in which is the most important law for the Andalusians after the Spanish Constitution. This document guarantees the Andalusian people:
Freedom, equality and justice - Fundamental Rights – Institutions - The symbols of the Community.
The Junta de Andalucía is the institution that organizes the government of the Community. It is made up of Parliament and the Governing Council. The Parliament represents the Andalusian people, which is formed by the deputies who choose the Andalusians by vote every four years. The deputies elaborate the laws, elect the President of the Community and they must control the Council of Government and the President. The Governing Council consists of the President of the Andalusian Government and its Councilors in different areas. They are Ministry of Education, Health, Work, Culture, etc. They must enforce the laws and administer community money. They should make it possible for all Andalusians to have access to education, culture and a job. They should also improve health services and communication channels. In addition to protecting the environment and our heritage, among other things. The High Court of Justice of Andalusia judges people who commit crimes.

Symbols of Andalusia: the flag, the shield and the anthem

The flag of Andalusia is formed by three horizontal stripes of equal width: green, white and green. The colours evoke the Andalusian landscape, symbolize the values of peace (white) and hope in the future (green). In the shield appears the Greek hero Hercules between two columns, dominating two lions like sign of strength. The foot reads: "Andalusia by itself, for Spain and humanity." The lyrics of the anthem (hymn) were written by Blas Infante (Casares, Málaga, 1885 - Seville, 1936). Political, historian, anthropologist, musicologist, thinker, ideologist, and Andalusian writer, considered "Father of Andalusian Nationalism."

Anthem
The white and green flag
Returns after centuries of war
To say peace and hope
Under the sun of our land ...

jueves, 16 de febrero de 2017

Gerald Brenan is a British writer and Hispanist

         


Edward Fitzgerald Brenan was a British writer and Hispanist. Sliema, Malta, April 7th, 1894 - Málaga, Spain, January 19th, 1987.

He spent much of his life in Spain. He wrote different essays and books, two of the most important works are South from Granada and The Spanish Labyrinth, a historical work on the background of the Spanish Civil War. He was in contact with writers such as Virginia Woolf and Hemingway.

Brenan had an itinerant childhood because his father worked for the British Army: Malta, South Africa, England, Ireland, India, etc. He studied at Radley College.

Young rebel, in 1912, he did not want to be a professional soldier and he escaped with his friend Hope-Johnstone. The First World War forced him to join the army in 1914 and he left it in 1918 with honours and a pension.

He preferred the intellectual circles, as the Bloomsbury group, where he met his beloved Dora Carrington, an artist and partner of Lytton Strachey (famous biographer). In 1919 he moved to Spain. First, he rented a house in the small village of Yegen, in the Alpujarras district of the province of Granada. He spent his time catching up on the education which he felt he had missed by not attending university. In 1930 he met the American poet and novelist Gamel Woolsey (Death's Other kingdom); they married in Rome in 1931.

Later, they bought a house in Churriana, Málaga, in 1934; but they had to go back to England because of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Brenan was permitted to return to Spain in 1953 despite holding views which were critical of Franco’s regime.


Gamel Woolsey died in Spain in 1968 and she was buried at the English Cemetery in Málaga. Brenan died 19th January 1987 (aged 92). He donated his body to the Medicine Faculty of Málaga for medical research and later cremated. In the end, his ashes were buried next to his wife.  

Sources

Brenan, G. (1962):  A Life of One’s Own. London: Jonathan Cape.

Brenan, G. (1974):  Personal Record 1920-1972. London: Jonathan Cape.

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Brenan



Brenan in Churriana


-Obra original María José González-


Brenan used to live in Yegen (Granada), then he  bought a house with his partner Gamel in Churriana (1934) and they brought down with them from the village three servants: Antonio (the gardener), his wife Rosario (the cook), and her sister Maria (the housekeeper):

The house contained five downstairs rooms as well as kitchen, pantry, bathroom and coachhouse. Upstairs there were ten bedrooms with a mirador or tower, which had once been used as a billiard room. Behind the house there was a patio with orange trees and a fountain, closed at the further end by a raised alberca or tank which was big enough to swim in. Beyond this was a walled garden  planted with fine trees and covering three quarters of an acre (Brenan,1974).



         http://poesapalmeriana.blogspot.com.es/2014/04/se-inaugura-la-casa-rehabilitada-de.html

They had left Málaga two months after the outbreak of the civil war in 1936. When they returned to England, they left Antonio with the authority to let the house to pay the taxes, and keep whatever was left over as wages. This Antonio had done, reserving the lodge and garden for his own used and letting the house. The families who took the first floor were Spaniards and found other lodgings when they knew that Brenan and Gamel were returning to their house. But the ground floor had been rented to an Englishman and  he showed no intention of leaving. Brenan and Gamel had to share the house with another couple. Brenan and his wife occupied the top floor and the tenants the ground floor, except for a garden room off the patio. They lived in the same house for sixteen years without any communication between them.



In spite of the problems, they had left the cold English winter for the warmth of the southern Spain. The mirador had been set aside for their books and furniture. The first book  Brenan wrote here was South from Granada. He used to work in the mornings and after tea and in the afternoon went for a walk. The street on which his worked room looked, now it was shaken with the screech of motor traffic. In that time the development of the area was beginning to grow:

The building explosion was accompanied by a parallel explosion in the standard of living. Every Spaniard who had a shop or a business or who worked in the building trade was making money, with the result that, whereas in 1953 there had been only one car in the village and no motor bikes, soon there were several hundreds (Brenan,1974).


Brenan, G. (1974). Personal Record 1920-1972. London: Jonathan Cape.

Brenan´s house in Churriana, Málaga

Brenan used to live in Yegen (Granada), then he  bought a house with his partner Gamel in Churriana (1934) and they brought down with them from the village three servants: Antonio (the gardener), his wife Rosario (the cook), and her sister Maria (the housekeeper):
The house contained five downstairs rooms as well as kitchen, pantry, bathroom and coachhouse. Upstairs there were ten bedrooms with a mirador or tower, which had once been used as a billiard room, and you could see the city and the sea in the distance. Behind the house there was a patio with orange trees and a fountain, closed at the further end by a raised alberca or tank which was big enough to swim in. Beyond this was a walled garden  planted with fine trees and covering three quarters of an acre (Brenan,1974).
         http://poesapalmeriana.blogspot.com.es/2014/04/se-inaugura-la-casa-rehabilitada-de.html

They had left Málaga two months after the outbreak of the civil war in 1936. When they returned to England, they left Antonio with the authority to let the house to pay the taxes, and keep whatever was left over as wages. This Antonio had done, reserving the lodge and garden for his own used and letting the house. The families who took the first floor were Spaniards and found other lodgings when they knew that Brenan and Gamel were returning to their house. But the ground floor had been rented to an Englishman and  he showed no intention of leaving.


Brenan and Gamel had to share the house with another couple. Brenan and his wife occupied the top floor and the tenants the ground floor, except for a garden room off the patio. They lived in the same house for sixteen years without any communication between them.

In spite of the problems, they had left the cold English winter for the warmth of the southern Spain. The mirador had been set aside for their books and furniture. The first book Brenan wrote here was South from Granada. He used to work in the mornings and after tea and in the afternoon went for a walk. The street on which his worked room looked, now it was shaken with the screech of motor traffic. In that time the development of the area was beginning to grow:

The building explosion was accompanied by a parallel explosion in the standard of living. Every Spaniard who had a shop or a business or who worked in the building trade was making money, with the result that, whereas in 1953 there had been only one car in the village and no motor bikes, soon there were several hundreds (Brenan,1974).



Brenan, G. (1974). Personal Record 1920-1972. London: Jonathan Cape.
Brenan, G. (1987): The Face of Spain. London: Penguin.

sábado, 11 de febrero de 2017

Brenan´s favourite food: "Everyone agrees about the excellence of Spanish bread"


Brenan said in his book, South from Granada (1963), his favourite food in Spain. In the village, few people used to eat meat except on feast days, but they could  fish from the coast (sardines, anchovies, horse mackerels, mackerels and octopus or cuttlefish), except in summer. There was a popular adage: In the months that have no R in them keep off fish. The explanation was that in summer fish are thought to be unwholesome because of the temperature. Although this habit seems more typical of Churriana (located near the coast) than Yegen. 


The most characteristic of Spanish food for Brenan was salt cod (bacalao): "This is the fish that when cooked gives out a smell like the lion-house in the zoo, but when well-cooked and of good quality is as delicious as it is nutritive and sustaining."

He discovered two new dishes, the first one was gachas, a porridge of wheat flour simmered in water. The second one was migas, which is also a sort of porridge, but fried in olive oil, garlic and water. It could be made either of wheat or maize flour or of breadcrumbs: "The poor eat it with the invariable sardines, the cheapest and dullest of the Mediterranean fishes and often the only one to reach the village, while the rich like to pour hot chocolate over it."

But his first favourite dish was la cazuela de arroz, the name is from the pot in which it was cooked. It was a stew of rice, potatoes, and green vegetables with either fish or meat and seasoned with tomatoes, pimentos, onions, garlic, powdered almonds, and saffron. The method of preparing it was to begin by frying the ingredients in olive oil and when it had acquired a golden tinge, to add rice. After some minutes you cover with water and put the potatoes. The result should be after twenty minutes’ simmering to be eaten with a spoon because it should have some liquid. 


The second one was la paella: "shellfish, chicken, pimento, and rice are the principal ingredients, and there are no potatoes. It is cooked in a very large, flat frying-pan till all the water has been absorbed, and is then eaten elegantly with a fork." Several stages lower in the list: olla gitana, ropa vieja, puchero, lentils and bean pottages, string beans with eggs, omelettes, etc.

Brenan could have salads almost all the year and other variations of vegetables as the Andalusian Gazpacho in summer or  Gazpachuelo in winter, a poached egg floating on a mixture of water, vinegar, and olive oil among small pieces of bread:

Almost everyone agrees about the excellence of Spanish bread. The loaf is very close textured, but it has a taste and sweetness like no other bread in the world. This may be because the grain is entirely ripe before being harvested. The poor, and sometimes the rich too, ate maize bread, and in the mountain farms they ate black bread made of rye. For shepherds it had the advantage of not going stale (Brenan, 1963). 

Bibliographic source


     

viernes, 3 de febrero de 2017

CASA BRENAN´S STORY: BRENAN, PROMOTER OF CHURRIANA


After their experience in Yegen, Brenan and Gamel were looking for a better connected house in a warmer climate. They were searching along the coast, but in the end, they found what they wanted in Churriana.The house wasn´t being offered for sale, but they were attracted by it and an agent said to them that he would enquire whether the owner would consider selling it: "Carlos Crooke belonged to an old Málaga family which like most old Málaga families had English blood in it, but things had gone badly for him and he had to run a small poultry farm." (Brenan, 1974)

Graciela Crooke, his daughter, years later, said in an interview: "My parents sold the house to Brenan, who helped us leave Spain in those difficult times. Gerald was his best friend."

The chaotic state of Spain, shortly before the Civil War, had caused a fall in the value of landed property. Everybody wanted to sell. Brenan saw there was a risk in putting their money into such a large house in those uncertain times, but he thought it was worth taking. He got the house for £1,200 (47.000 pesetas or 8000 euros). It was a bargain:

The house contained five downstairs rooms as well as kitchen, pantry, bathroom and coachhouse. Upstairs there were ten bedrooms with a mirador or tower, which had once been used as a billiard room. Behind the house there was a patio with orange trees and a fountain, closed at the further end by a raised alberca or tank which was big enough to swim in. Beyond this was a walled garden  planted with fine trees and covering three quarters of an acre (Brenan, 1974).



Gerald found a paradise on earth and he shared his discovery with his friends in letters and books: The Face of Spain, Personal Memory, etc.

Brenan recommended the purchase of "La Cónsula" to an American couple: Bill and Annie Davis, this couple often invited intellectuals like Hemingway. There, the English writer was able to personally meet the famous Nobel Prize winner.

http://spanishcoursegeraldbrenan.blogspot.com.es/2014/10/intercambio-idioma-malaga-la-consula-un.html


Years later in 1957, Julio Caro Baroja, writer (nephew of the eminent Pío Baroja) also bought the cortijo "The Carambuco". The seller was Eugenio Gross (a prominent man from Málaga) on the advice of his friend Gerald Brenan.



Bibliographic source

Brenan, G. (1974). Personal Record 1920-1972. London: Jonathan Cape.



miércoles, 1 de febrero de 2017

¿What is the difference between cortijo and finca?

Cortijo
Cortijo is a type of traditional rural habitat, surrounded by cultivated lands in the Southern half of Spain. The families who used to live in a cortijo, they were known as "cortijeros".
Many cortijos became deserted by the abandonment of local youth.



Finca: property in the countryside or in the city


Rustic Finca: it is normally a large area of rural land, it is limited to urbanize in terms of its extension and location.

Urban Finca: it is a surface with or without a building within the city or on land for urbanization.