El Tostado in Avila: Where food and history collide

“El Tostado!” Enrique said excitedly as we toured the Cathedral of Ávila in Spain. With that simple exclamation, our cultural and language differences crystallized.

The image that immediately popped into my head was of a tostada, a fried tortilla slathered with refried beans then topped with lettuce, tomato and salsa that is listed on a menu in a Mexican restaurant in the United States.

Of course, that was not what Enrique had in mind. Instead, he was referring to a renowned scholar, writer and bishop of Ávila in the 15th century. He had spotted the tomb for El Tostado behind the high altar of the Gothic church and was excited that we had discovered it.

El Tostado’s real name was Alonso Fernández de Madrigal and he was considered the most learned theologian of his time. In Spanish, to say saber más que el Tostado is to say that someone knows more than Tostado.  (Read more.)

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