Mazamorra Cordobesa - A Cold Soup of Old
Summer in Córdoba means cooling off with the region’s cold soup – Mazamorra Cordobesa ! Long before gazpacho, Andalusians were making this soup with garlic, almonds and bread…
We all know the cold soup gazpacho from Spain, but it’s actually a 16th century spinoff of a much older recipe – like the mazamorra cordobesa! Before the introduction of tomatoes in Spanish cooking, the Andalusians were making satiating soups of garlic, almonds and bread.
Summer in Córdoba, Andalusia means one thing – heat, and how to cool off in it! Enter the cold soup of the region, a cool and creamy antidote that has been around since at least the 8th century - and some believe it dates back to the Roman era. The name mazamorra takes from the greek mâza, to mash, and the recipe involves mashing or grinding breadcrumbs, blanched almonds and garlic, with extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar and a pinch of salt. Mazamorra is to its equally pale cousin, ajoblanco soup, what salmorejo is to gazpacho.
This resulting smooth, thick soup is meant to be filling, as it comes from a bygone era when food was necessary to provide proper sustenance. It is served chilled, typically topped with black olives and crumbled boiled egg or halved grapes. The flavor of mazamorra cordobesa is savory, only lightly garlicky and with ever-so-slightly sweet undertones coming from the almonds. Seeing as this soup hits both sweet and salty notes, modern variations can go either way. You’ll find it with toppings such as chopped apple and raisins, while fans of fish can try mazamorra with anchovies, or even with marinated sardines – as seen in Kiki Garcia’s Michelin starred kitchen at Restaurante Choco, Córdoba.
Mazamorra is a must-try at such fine dining restaurants in Andalusia, but don’t worry if you can’t get there – the recipe is so simple, you can try it at home. It’s becoming a trendy appetizer – served in shot glasses – so you can both impress and refresh guests at your next dinner party.