Afro Pacific Foodways Part 4
Romans controlled the Iberian Peninsula sometime between 201-400 A. D. The Moors ruled Spain and Portugal for some 800 years starting in 711. Thus before 1492, Roman and Arab cuisine had the greatest influence on Iberian kitchens and thereafter on colonial Colombia. The Romans left their mark on Spain with the infusion of olive oil, garlic, and herbs such as oregano, and basil. The Moors introduced spices like basil, saffron, cilantro, cumin, fennel, ginger, mustard, oregano, parsley, and rosemary.
In his travel account of colonial Columbia, George Juan and Antonio De Ulloa found a herb similar to sweet basil which group about a foot above ground. Cooks prized if for how it improved the taste of savory dishes such as Chef Rey Guerrero's Cazuela de Mariscos which he made last night for the even at Northwestern University on Afro Pacific foodways. Chef Rey Guerrero's use of spices in the two seafood dishes he made have their origins in Native American, European/Iberian and African/Moorish cuisine.
(George Juan and Antonio De Ulloa, “A Voyage to South America,” in Pinkerton, A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages, volume 14 (1813) )