Menù teatrali nella Spagna dei secoli d’oro – Maria Rosso – Stratagemmi 31
Menus in the Golden Age Spanish Theatre In the plays of the Spanish Golden Age, the gastronomic references reflect a collective imagination marked by deep social contrasts and they have a wide range of functions: on the one hand, they point at customs and traditions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, while on the other they emphasize the social or racial status of the characters involved. The mention of wholesome foods evokes the well-being of the country where people live in harmony with nature and the fruits of labour. Pork meat shows one’s belonging to the Christian community and to a religion not corrupted by the impure blood of Moors and Jews, to whom swine flesh is prohibited. In many short plays, the comic element of food, associated with popular types, is essential; and in the burlesque comedies, carnivalesque entertaiment is a way to subvert official values. Finally, the function of food is very different in didactic and moralizing drama where the sin of gluttony is punished.