Sephardic culture is enjoying a revival in Spain, though largely without Jews. Many cities and regions have renovated their ancient Jewish quarters, organize educational programs about Spain's Jewish heritage, and are finding innovative ways to connect to their Sephardic past.
In Segovia's old Jewish quarter we discovered a restaurant, El Fogon Sefaradi (The Sephardic Cookpot). The ebullient chef cooks up a tagine of codfish, spices and eggplant, drawing upon traditional Sephardic recipes, while giving a history lesson about Sephardic food.
Not far away in Valladolid lives Paco Diez, the Spanish musician who has popularized ancient Iberian music in Spain. In his repertoire are many traditional Jewish songs from the 11th-13th centuries, the height of Sephardic presence in Iberia. One is about eggplant. Together, the chef and the singer extol the virtues of the ubiquitous garden vegetable in Sephardic cuisine.
The video is an excerpt from a documentary in production, Rediscovering Sepharad, A Journey Through Spain's Jewish Past. Director and on- camera presentation by Michael Greenspan. Additional soundtrack from David Broza's Spanish album, Parking Completo.
Video via Jewish Discoveries