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Abstract

Using empirical and numeric data, this study explores the use of food as a proxy to understand the cultural-historical geography of southern Spain. After spending three months in Granada, Spain, I compiled the most commonly used thirty-five ingredients from a selection of Spanish cookbooks and contextualized them within the broader history of Spain. The elements of traditional Andalucían cooking fit into three primary chapters of Iberian history: Roman occupation, the Moorish invasion beginning in the 8th century, and the Columbian exchange, or the exchange of goods that took place between the Americas and Old World following European discovery of the New World. Globalization adds an additional and incredibly complex layer to the Andalucían kitchen, making contemporary food in the region a reflection of many outside influences. The wider implication of this study lies in the fact that it sheds light on the character of Andalucían cuisine and demonstrates that what is often perceived as purely Spanish or Andalucían is actually an amalgamation of internal and external forces that have shaped Spain since the settlement of the Iberian Peninsula.