2019, Interlink Books, 978-1-62371-999-9, $35 hb.
In a bid to canvas some 800 years of the cultural and culinary history of Muslim Spain (al-Andalus), Dunlop sets out in search of “dishes that were . . . infused with the aromatic flavors of the Middle East and North Africa.” From Almería in the east, through the famed cities of Granada and Córdoba, to Seville and Cadiz in the west, she encountered food ways “deeply entrenched” in nearly every town and village. Spices introduced by Arabs, “kings of the spice trade,” enhance cod, potato and garlic soup from the Almería coast, redolent with “punchy paprika, cumin, and saffron.” Rice, the “millennial old grain from China,” arrived in al-Andalus in the 10th century via Iraq and is the centerpiece of many dishes, from paella to sweet, cinnamon-rich pudding, studded with almonds, another Arab import. Extensive historical sections add depth to this broad survey of Andalusian cuisine.