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Anafre history: a tradition that remained in Mexico

24 mayo, 2021

We all know the anaphre, and on some occasions we have had to try some food prepared in this one. Today you have to know its history and how it became one of the most popular kitchen utensils in Mexico. Keep reading!

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What is anaphre?

It is an oven that can be made of clay or metal and can be of different sizes. Of course, not very large so that it is portable or can move without difficulty

It has an opening in the lower part to place charcoal and wood and the upper part is formed with channels and holes through which the air passes that stokes the fire.

As for the origin of its name, it may come from Hispanic Arabic annáfih, or from Latin anaphus.

History of anafre

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Although its origin is Hispanic, there are historical and archaeological records that a similar utensil was used in Mesoamerica.

However, the anaphre that we know today was brought by the Spanish during the conquest and is of Sephardic heritage; In other words, it was used by the Judeo-Spanish communities for gastronomic, ritual and home purposes.

With the anafre, Adagina was cooked, a chickpea stew with lamb meat that the Jews prepared on Friday night and that was eaten on Shabbat.

This portable stove was accompanied by a clay pot called a pot, where the Adafina was cooked over low heat.

In addition, it was used to cook those dishes that were to be served hot, especially meats and vegetables, for which wrought iron bars were placed on top (as is, as in a grill or grill).

And although its main objective was culinary, using a stove also served as a brazier to heat the rooms of the homes.

There were cooktops made of different materials: ceramic ones were thick-walled and used for cooking, and iron and bronze cookers as braziers.

Nowadays, we can see anafres everywhere in Mexico: heating pots of tamales, atole or esquites on street corners, in a barbecue grill roasting meat, and there are even very small anafres to burn aromatic substances such as copal.

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Be very careful with the anaphre

Currently, the anafre is still widely used in different communities in Mexico, either for cooking or as a heating method.

However, organizations such as the Red Cross have alerted the population about its use because it can cause deadly carbon monoxide poisoning inside homes if there is not adequate ventilation, as well as fires and different types of burns.

Therefore, it is recommended to use an oven as long as it is for cooking and in an outdoor area to avoid these dangers.

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