Workshop “Cooking in the Markets of Madrid”
Cooking in the markets of Madrid
A project carried out within the ¡Madrid Activa! Program with the support of the Madrid City Council and Mercados de Madrid.
The evocation of the first flavors, aromas, and tastes is part of our personal, family, and communal biography. In the kitchens and between stoves take place thousands of stories.
The socio-cultural, economic, and affective life of societies cannot be understood if one does not enter the kitchens. The kitchens are the heart of the towns. Therefore, the set of social events that takes place there, are economically, socially, affectively, and symbolically relevant.
Markets are spaces in which the memories of cities can be reconstructed. There, a series of transactions of different types take place between dissimilar people with little stories that reflect the life of the neighborhoods and people.
Through the exploration of the market archives (documents, photographs, newspaper clippings, vendors’ files, minutes, etc.) we carried out an ethnographic investigation whose purpose was to reconstruct the history of the market and the people whose lives take place among fruits, fish, and vegetables.
The workshops in the Argüelles Market took place during the month of October 2016. The sessions were held on Saturday mornings for four hours. In each of the sessions, people bought, cooked, and ate inside the market with the participants and the traders in the area. The presence of the mobile kitchen in the market made possible the meeting with other agents of the neighborhood, making known the history of the market and its inhabitants, facilitating the relationship between the market and the neighborhood that inhabits it and energizing the market. As a summary of the workshops, a publication was made that gathered the essence of the stories and recipes that had emerged throughout the four workshops.
We asked people to bring an ingredient that was linked to their history and we shared those memories. We went to different stalls where seafood, fruit, and vegetable rest, so they told us the stories that bustle in the market and we did the shopping. Next, we put on our aprons and, voila, we started cooking in the wonderful Rusti mobile kitchen. Nobody stood idly because in a kitchen everyone has always something to contribute. Finally, of course, we drank wine, ate together, and celebrated the meeting.
The ingredients that the participants brought have a high symbolic content. They are historical artifacts in the sense that a tomato has an aroma, smell, texture, and taste that evokes memories.
“Zucchini is a very special ingredient,
my mother-in-law loved it”