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Eating and Drinking at the Royal Hospital of Mozambique Island: Medicine and Diet Change between the end of the 18th and the early 19th century1

Manger et boire à l’Hôpital royal de l’Île de Mozambique: médecine et changements alimentaires entre la fin du xviiie siècle et le début du xixe siècle
Eugénia Rodrigues

Résumés

Cet article analyse la construction sociale des pratiques alimentaires à l’hôpital de l’île de Mozambique. Il met en lumière le rôle du discours médical européen, élargi à l’Afrique Orientale coloniale, dans le changement de ces pratiques à la fin de l’Ancien Régime. L’Île de Mozambique, ancienne capitale de la colonie portugaise d’Afrique Orientale, est un lieu de rencontre entre des personnes originaires de différents continents dont les traditions gastronomiques tantôt coexistent, tantôt se mélangent. Ces pratiques alimentaires sont transposées au Royal Hôpital où l’on consomme des plats d’origine indienne, portugaise et africaine. À la fin du xviiie et au début du xixe siècle, l’action des chefs-médecins européens va alors tendre à définir des régimes alimentaires en accord avec le discours médical européen et exclure certains aliments de tradition locale.

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Introduction

  • 1  This article is an outcome of the project Medical Treatise on the Climate and Infirmities of Mozam (...)
  • 2  J.-L. Flandrin, M. Montanari, 2001; S.W. Mintz, C.M.D. Bois, 2002; M. Montanari, 2012.
  • 3  J. Goody, 1982.
  • 4  M.P. Meneses, 2009, p. 2.

1Food and associated cooking techniques are one of the most distinctive traits of family, social, religious, and national identity,2 likewise contributing towards structuring social hierarchies.3 As an important commercial port in the Indian Ocean and the political capital of the Portuguese colony in East Africa, Mozambique Island was a crossroads for Africans, Indians, and Europeans, who took their cultures there with them, including their culinary traditions. Diverse food practices, reconfigured after contact with other cuisines and the incorporation of new products, gave rise to a cuisine which is nowadays recognised as “a hybrid of African, Asian and European influences”,4 although few studies have been carried out in this regard.

  • 5  J.W. Estes, 2000.

2In most cultures, food (including beverages) and medicine were closely associated. This was partly diluted by the emergence of bio-medicine during the second half of the 19th century, although this association is being revived today.5 In the case of Mozambique Island, everything indicates that for a long time the food practices implemented at the Royal Hospital were influenced by the representations of links between diet and health present in the traditions of European, Ayurvedic, and Muslim medicine which circulated on the island. Food choices for patients at the hospital were not very different from the diet of sick and healthy individuals, considering that these medical traditions simultaneously attributed preventive and therapeutic properties to foods. In this context, analysing the diet of patients is also a way of understanding the food practices prevalent on the island, even if with regard to just a few social groups. From the final decades of the 18th century, the Portuguese administration in Mozambique tended to progressively regulate the food served to patients in accordance with the evolution of medical perspectives in Europe, establishing new diet charts.

3This article explores the food practices of the Royal Hospital on Mozambique Island in the context of the culinary traditions of this territory and the changes introduced by new theories of European medicine, which were implemented in Mozambique between the late 18th and early 19th century.

4This text is based on printed sources and manuscripts scattered over various archives, such as medical texts, menus prescribed for patients, descriptions of provisions acquired for the hospital, ledgers recording diets on a daily basis, and official correspondence. This documentation is preserved in various archives related to Portuguese colonial history: the Overseas Historical Archive (AHU, Lisbon), the Torre do Tombo National Archive (ANTT, Lisbon), the Historical Archive of Mozambique (AHM, Maputo), the Rio de Janeiro National Library (BNRJ, Rio de Janeiro), and the National Historical Archive from Brazil (AHN, Rio de Janeiro). It is important to note that sources for information vary with regard to the various periods of Mozambique’s history and its diverse regions. Although Mozambique Island was the capital of the Portuguese colony until the late 19th century and its history is amply documented by colonial sources, eyewitness accounts of the food products consumed there and methods of preparing food until the beginning of that century are few and far between, leaving many doubts and unanswered questions. A noteworthy aspect is that, while undoubtedly present, little information was recorded about African culinary traditions, resulting in an impression of homogeneity.

5The first section of this text introduces Mozambique Island and its hospital, highlighting its strategic position at the crossroads of diverse human fluxes and multiple trade routes, which included food supplies. The second section provides an overview of food practices on Mozambique Island, underscoring the diversity of their cultural origins and their relationship with social hierarchies. The third section analyses the food served at the hospital and ties with the dishes consumed on the island. The fourth section shows how hospital reforms sought to change the diet of patients and the limits of this transformation. Finally, this study contemplates the use of beverages at the hospital, which, rather than being changed by European physicians, was transformed more by market dynamics.

The Royal Hospital on Mozambique Island: a crossroads of global routes

  • 6  For Swahili in Mozambique, see for example L.J.K. Bonate, 2007.
  • 7  M. Newitt, 2008.

6A site where multiple routes intersected, Mozambique Island, just like other port cities in the Indian Ocean, became a space where diverse peoples mingled together, leaving an indelible historical impact on the island’s social and cultural configuration. Initially a Swahili sheikhdom,6 the island was occupied by the Portuguese in the early 16th century owing to its excellent port and its strategic location, ideally suited as a stopover for ships plying the maritime route between Portugal and India. In a relatively short span of time this narrow and arid space, subject to the Portuguese Estado da Índia (State of India), became the political and mercantile capital of Portuguese Southeast Africa. Its key political and economic prominence promoted the urban development of the island and the complementary coastal space on the nearby mainland, where settlers established some settlements and cultivated machambas (fields) and palm groves.7

Map: Mozambique Island in East Africa

Map: Mozambique Island in East Africa

E. Rodrigues, F. Melka.

  • 8  Merchants coming from Gujarat; see infra for more information.
  • 9  B. Mártires, 1823, f. 23-24.
  • 10  S. Gruzinski, 1999, p. 45.
  • 11  E. Rodrigues, 2010; E. Rodrigues, 2010a.

7Due to the routes from various points of the globe which intersected at the island, the population was quite heterogeneous, including Makuas and Swahilis from the neighbouring continent, Arabs, Europeans, Indians, and, from the late 18th century onwards, individuals from Brazil. The essentially masculine nature of migration to the island and the objective of building commercial networks induced a large part of the foreigners who came there to establish kinship ties with local societies, marrying or cohabiting with African women. An intense miscegenation was noted in the early decades of the 19th century. In 1823, Friar Bartolomeu dos Mártires, while trying to categorise the diverse elements of the island’s population, noted the existence of “white Portuguese, or reputed to be so”, “mulattoes, or mestizos”, “natives of Goa”, “heathen Baniyas”,8 “Arabs, and Moors”, “freed kafirs”, and “captives”. However, he concluded that the constant interaction between Europeans, Asians, and Africans had produced “such a confusion of colours and mixture of blood that it was hard to find a family of purely Portuguese blood”.9 This necessity of identifying a series of groups in colonial society was analogous to categorisations that emerged in imperial societies in America, as Gruzinski has highlighted.10 Accompanying this biological miscegenation, foreigners coming to the island noted an intense cultural interaction in all social segments, with a greater influence of European and Goan cultural models at the level of the elite, particularly amongst the men, since the women continued to be influenced by African cultural mores. From the point of view of food practices, for example, European visitors observed that women preferred eating in the company of their female slaves and even sharing their own food.11

  • 12  A. Isaacman, B. Isaacman, 1975; J. Capela, 1995; M. Newitt, 1995, p. 127-146, p. 217-242; E. Rodri (...)
  • 13  For Luanda, see C. Madeira Santos, 2007; C. Madeira Santos, 2009; R. Ferreira, 2012. For Benguela, (...)

8A similar interaction was also visible in Zambezi valley towns, inhabited by Portuguese, Goan, and African people. The main social categories in this region were muzungos (lords) and donas (ladies), the possessors of large lands, both including the mestizo filhos da terra (sons of the land), and free and slave Africans. However, here the African influence seems to have been greater since the colonial elite dispersed to their lands and distant fairs, living with Africans and moving to the towns during periods of trade flows and important religious ceremonies.12 Mozambique Island society was also comparable to those of lords and slaves built in port cities of Angola. At Luanda and Benguela the slave trade to America gave arise to mestizo societies in which, however, the interaction was between Africans and Portuguese from Europe and Brazil. The dynamics of these societies, whose influence penetrated inland by commercial routes, also created new social categories—like the filhos da terra or angolenses, and the donas13—such as on Mozambique Island and in the Zambezi valley.

  • 14 A.A. Banha de Andrade, 1956; A.A. Banha de Andrade, 1958.

9Given the importance of Mozambique Island as a stopover on the route linking Lisbon to India—and, progressively, its role in inter-colonial trade in the context of the Indian Ocean—a hospital was established there as early as the 16th century to serve residents in the territory and travellers who, after a long journey, could find assistance for their ailments. This hospital was sustained by the Portuguese crown and was managed by diverse entities until, in 1681, its administration was entrusted to the clergymen of the Order of St. John of God.14

10In the context of the enlightened despotism which prevailed in Portugal, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, Marquis of Pombal and prime-minister during the reign of King José I (1750–1777), implemented a wide range of reforms for the colonies, which continued during the subsequent period. As Madeira Santos has demonstrated, in the case of Angola these reforms were anchored in the concept of police formulated by Nicolas Delamare:

  • 15  C. Madeira Santos, 2010, p. 540-541.

Policing was formally defined as a function of sovereign authority whose objective was to guarantee the common good, public authority and the happiness of the people […] The growth of the general power of the state had to contribute to the construction of the common good.15

  • 16  G. Rosen, 1980; M. Lindemann, 2010, p. 173-174; R. Porter, 1995, p. 465-466.
  • 17  L. Abreu, 2013.
  • 18  For further information regarding such views in Europe, see M. Lindemann, 2010, p. 160.
  • 19  During this period three doctors from the Italian Peninsula acted as chief-physicians in Mozambiqu (...)
  • 20  G. Rosen, 1980, p. 182-184.

11The set of policies implemented within the scope of enlightened despotism included medical policing, whose proponents in Europe argued that the state should establish measures to preserve the health of subjects and increase its own power. These views, which had the greatest impact in Germany and in Austria,16 also influenced health policies in Portugal17 and the measures implemented in Mozambique. Thus, in the context of an intense criticism of the actions of missionaries, derived from the enlightened perspective regarding hospitals and health,18 the Royal Hospital was reorganised. In 1763, the hospital’s administration was transferred to the Royal Treasury and a slow process of reforms was begun, which became most evident during the 1780s. It is important to note that from this decade onwards, doctors from the Italian Peninsula also played an important role in transposing the ideas of medical policeto Mozambique.19 The adoption of health policies had a long tradition in the Italian Peninsula, and the concept of medical police also had a great influence in this region.20

  • 21  R. Porter, 1995, p. 468-472; M. Lindemann, 2010, p. 161.
  • 22  Letter from Friar Vicente da Encarnação to the king, 23/12/1758, AHU, Moç., box 15, doc. 39; Plan (...)
  • 23  E. Rodrigues, 2012.

12Thus, in Mozambique too reformers tried to establish a medical police. With regard to the Royal Hospital, these reforms translated into a progressive medicalisation and an accentuated regulation of the diverse aspects of the hospital’s functioning. As in Europe,21 the medicalisation of the hospital involved the diversification and specialisation of the personnel involved in assisting patients. Until then, apart from the nurses, who were clergymen themselves, the hospital was assisted only by a bleeder and a chief-surgeon.22 During the 1780s, the hospital staff now included also a chief-physician. However, these posts, mainly the chief-surgeon, were sometimes filled by individuals who had no formal education, recruited from amongst “climate practitioners”, that is, individuals who had acquired some first-hand hospital experience in treating patients.23

  • 24  Letter from the governor-general Pedro Saldanha de Albuquerque to the state secretary, 01/08/1783, (...)
  • 25  Order issued by governor-general Pedro de Saldanha de Albuquerque, 02/04/1783, AHU, box 41, doc. 5 (...)
  • 26  Regulations for the Royal Hospital in Mozambique, 30/12/1788, AHU, Moç., box 56, doc. 72

13Against this backdrop of reforms, two regulations were drawn up for the hospital during the 1780s. These regulations were in response to the fact that the hospital was often described as “a cemetery”,24 where patients continued to die owing to hunger and a lack of remedies. In effect, in much the same manner as in Europe, the reformers in Mozambique believed that the institution was completely unsuitable for medical care and even contributed towards patients dying. Thus, in 1783 the governor convened an advisory councilconsisting of the superintendent of the Treasury Council, the store-keeper, a nurse, the chief-physician, and the surgeon to prepare a set of regulations, which established norms for all activities and subjected them to monitoring by an administrator and an inspector.25 These regulations were substituted in 1788 by another, far more detailed, set of regulations, which sought to establish an “internal police” for the hospital. The chief-physician, João Domingues Toscano from Piedmont, and the Treasury Council were consulted during the process of drawing up the regulations, which again incorporated the views of health specialists and administrators. Continuing the reforms set in motion by the previous norms, the new regulations included measures concerning cleaning the building, washing clothes and bed linen, disposing of contaminated materials, purifying the air, the administration of medicines, and meal plans for patients.26 The composition, preparation, and serving of patients’ food thus became subject to the medical police.

  • 27 Concerning the Misericórdias in the Portuguese empire, see I. Guimarães Sá, 1997; on Goan Misericór (...)
  • 28  Contract signed between the Royal Treasury and the Misericórdia Brotherhood, 12/03/1789, AHU, Moç. (...)

14Parallel to these reforms and in the same spirit, the small hospital at the charitable institution known as the Santa Casa da Misericórdia (Holy House of Mercy) was closed in the name of more effective treatment. Indeed, from the early 16th century, the Portuguese Misericórdias were transferred to the empire. Among several charitable activities, such as caring for the poor, supporting orphans, and assisting prisoners in jail, these brotherhoods had as their mission to treat the sick. Besides managing royal hospitals at various times, in several towns of Estado da Índia, Misericórdias installed their own hospitals for poor Europeans and Christian natives. Nevertheless, the Mozambique Island hospital was founded only in the 1770, with 12 beds. It received poor patients, as well as merchants and crews of private vessels as a means of generating revenue for its charitable activities. Over a decade later, the brotherhood and the governor considered that the medical treatment provided was very inadequate.27 Thus, by means of the agreement established with the Treasury Council, in May 1789 the brothers of the Santa Casa acknowledged the shortage of doctors and nurses in their institution, and the patients in their care were transferred to the Royal Hospital in exchange for the payment of daily expenses.28

  • 29  Letter from governor-general José Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti de Albuquerque to the state secret (...)
  • 30 Regulations for Royal Military Hospitals, 27/03/1805, in A. Moutinho Borges, 2009, p. 177-200.
  • 31  Order of the governor-general José Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti de Albuquerque, 04/03/11817, AHU, (...)

15The norms defined during the 1780s regulated the hospital’s activities until 1817, when the governor-general decided to implement the regulations framed in 1805 for royal military hospitals in Portugal also in the Mozambique hospital.29 To all appearances, this vast set of norms, aimed at ensuring “good administration and policing”30 at the hospitals, resulted in limited changes in terms of the Mozambique hospital’s functioning, but probably gave rise to new measures at the level of patients’ diets. Indeed, the governor approved a new diet plan, arguing that it considered the local market and was in accord “with what was practiced at hospitals of the polite nations”.31 It is precisely the period between the initial regulations and the introduction of new diets after this latter measure came into effect which will be analysed below.

  • 32  In 1838, it became necessary to increase the number of female slaves working in the hospital, sinc (...)
  • 33  In India, sepoys were indigenous soldiers trained and dressed similarly to European troops. About (...)
  • 34  “Mapa das pessoas que entraram, saíram, faleceram e existem no Hospital Real, do primeiro de Janei (...)
  • 35  “Mappa dos enfermos tratados no Hospital da Cidade de Moçambique, desde o mez de Outubro de 1819 a (...)
  • 36  With regard to hospitals in India, see D. Arnold, 1993.

16But what patients had access to the hospital? First of all, it is necessary to emphasise that at this time the hospital admitted only men. Women began to be admitted only during the 1830s.32 This appears to have been related to the hospital being viewed essentially as an institution to care for soldiers, whether those who were serving in the colony’s regiments or those who passed through while sailing aboard the ships that called in at this port. In effect, descriptions of the patients at the Royal Hospital suggest that the majority, about 80 per cent, were soldiers. The infantry regiment and the artillery company comprised individuals with Portuguese and Goan roots and local mestizos. The company of sepoys,33 stationed on the neighbouring mainland coast, comprised Africans—Makuas and Swahilis—usually with European officers or officers recruited from amongst the island’s elite. Other patients included the Portuguese king’s African slaves, who were occupied in various services and also worked in the hospital; poor patients supported by the Misericórdia, which included island residents as well as individuals from commercial vessels moored there; and private patients, who, once again, could be travellers or island residents, although the latter preferred to be treated at home. For example, the roll of patients admitted between January 1793 and July 1794 recorded a total of 1,397 individuals, organised into categories. These included soldiers from the infantry regiment (61.1 per cent), the artillery company (16.8 per cent), and the sepoy company (4.6 per cent); crews from vessels plying short haul routes, which linked the island to diverse ports, and from the annual ships from Goa, most of whom were Muslim sailors (6.0 per cent); poor patients whose expenses were borne by the Misericórdia (5.9 per cent); the king’s slaves and slaves from the galleys (3.7 per cent); prisoners (1.5 per cent); and, finally, private patients (0.4 per cent).34 Later, the rolls of patients treated between 1819 and 1821 recorded a total of 1,455 patients, of whom 82.1 per cent were soldiers, 11.1 per cent slaves, 4.9 per cent poor patients paid for by the Misericórdia, and 1.9 per cent private patients.35 In short, the hospital tended to admit individuals from various social categories and different ethnic origins. Although European and Goan patients appear to have predominated, the hospital was not entirely an enclave for individuals from Europe, as was the case of hospitals in the British empire in India.36

  • 37  Letter from Friar Vicente da Encarnação to the king, 23/12/1758, AHU, Moç., box 15, doc. 39.
  • 38  Contract signed between the Royal Treasury and the Misericórdia Brotherhood, 12/03/1789, AHU, Moç. (...)

17The number of patients varied considerably over the course of the hospital’s existence, and seasonal fluctuations were also clearly evident. For a long time the hospital hosted innumerable soldiers and crews of the carracks sailing between Lisbon and Goa. Often, the one hundred beds with which the hospital was equipped were not sufficient to accommodate them all, as was the case even in the mid-18th century.37 As India gradually became less important in the context of the Portuguese empire, the number of patients diminished, also because, from the final decades of the 18th century onwards, ships did not always stop over at the island. In any case, the data indicate that at the end of that century and during the early 19th century, the total number of patients varied between twenty and over fifty. This number fluctuated over the course of the year according to the arrival of ships, especially from Lisbon, and the seasonal incidence of certain diseases.38 In truth, even though the majority of patients were soldiers, war wounds were rare, it being more common to treat ailments grouped under the classification of “fevers”, including malaria, dysentery and diarrhoea, and sexually transmitted diseases.

  • 39  N. Hafkin, 1973; E.A. Alpers, 1975; J. Mbwiliza, 1991; M. Newitt, 2008; E.A. Alpers, 2009, p. 23-3 (...)

18The patients’ diet was greatly influenced by the supplies available in the market. A small and arid space, Mozambique Island depended on external supplies for food for its inhabitants. The machambas and palm groves which island residents owned on the neighbouring mainland coast provided some of the fresh provisions, which were also purchased from Makua and Swahili communities. Innumerable boats plied the waters between the island and the mainland every day to procure food and water. However, the island depended on long haul maritime routes and the monsoon winds, which regulated navigation in the Indian Ocean, for most of its supplies of provisions. Some provisions arrived from other parts of the Portuguese colony: the Zambezi valley, through the port of Quelimane, the region of Sofala, and the Cape Delgado islands. Swahili merchants from the islands off the African coast and the Comoro Islands were assiduous suppliers. Mozambican merchants also imported cereals and livestock from Madagascar. Finally, some of the provisions were obtained through exchanges with ports in India.39 Against this backdrop of food supplies, events such as military conflicts in the neighbouring areas of the mainland, which resulted in the destruction of crops and disruptions in trade, or shipwrecks and delays in ship arrivals, could cause considerable turmoil in terms of provisions.

  • 40 L.A.C. Pereira Martins, P.J. Carvalho da Silva, S.R. Kuka Mutarelli, 2008; M. Lindemann, 2010, p. 1 (...)

19However, the patients’ diet was not affected only by the vagaries of market supplies. The local population’s views on the relationship between food and health greatly influenced food habits. It is important to note that the medical traditions of those who played a prominent role in the hospital’s operations, Portuguese and Goans alike, as well as Muslim medical traditions, had much in common. European medicine stemming from the Hippocratic–Galenic tradition explained the body’s functioning in light of four humours or fluids —blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm—which were equated with the four Aristotelian elements—air, fire, earth, and water—and associated with degrees of heat and humidity. The mixtures of these humours were viewed as giving rise to four basic temperaments, classified as being sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, and melancholic, according to the humour considered to be predominant in an individual. These temperaments were related to certain physical and moral qualities and varied according to age and gender. Humour-based physiology believed ailments occurred when there was too much or too little of a fluid. An individual’s constitution, derived from the person’s physical characteristics, lifestyle, and temperament, could also predispose individuals to certain ailments. Lifestyle choices, which included dietary rules, were deemed to be very important to maintain a balance of humours and, hence, an individual’s health. Just like the humours, each food was attributed a degree of heat or humidity, which would make it suitable for a given temperament. During the 17th and 18th centuries, physiology and pathology began to interpret ailments also considering a body’s solid parts, fibres, and nerves, but the Hippocratic tradition endured for quite some time. Indeed, the concept of temperament was still widely used in the 19th century, although reconfigured as a result of new medical theories. For example, a choleric temperament, previously explained by a predominance of black bile, could, in the context of new medical theories, be attributed to a movement of energy in fibres.40

  • 41  D. Arnold, 2013, p. 82. See also D. Arnold, 1993, p. 125-126; M. Harrison, 2001; K. Faridabad, 200 (...)
  • 42  T. Walker, 2002.

20Ayurvedic medicine was also based on humours, conferring an even greater importance to dietary rules aimed at preserving health and preventing ailments. According to Ayurveda, all ingested food is transformed into five fundamental elements (known as mahabhutas) from which a body is composed and thus affect an individual’s general equilibrium. As Arnold argues, the “study of dietetics and the taxonomy of foods were central elements in Ayurveda diagnosis and preventive medicine”.41 Even though the Portuguese had established European hospitals in India, they were not immune to the influence of Ayurvedic medicine, which permeated medical practices in these establishments.42

  • 43  D. Arnold, 2013, p. 84; for Muslim medicine, see also I. Abdalla, 1992.
  • 44 Concerning the healing practices in Swahili coast, see R.L. Pouwels, 1987, p. 88-93, 121; D. Owusu- (...)

21Hippocratic–Galenic medicine was appropriated by Muslim doctors, who had an identical preoccupation with diet and the properties of foodstuffs. Islamic medicine, unani tib, developed in India from the 13th century onwards and acquired specific characteristics owing to interaction with Ayurveda.43 However, even though Islamic influences in medical practices in Mozambique have not been studied in depth, they seem to be mainly derived from Swahili culture rather than from the Muslims of India.44 In short, all these medical traditions believed that food played a fundamental role in preventing and curing diseases, which were deemed to influence the body’s equilibrium. Each food was attributed certain characteristics, including a degree of heat or dryness, which were to be articulated with the individual’s constitution, temperament, and health state.

22The patterns of food supplies and the discourse about the relationship between foods and health were further linked with other cultural aspects, such as religion. All these elements played a part in shaping food habits on Mozambique Island, which, in their turn, influenced the food habits which prevailed at the hospital.

Food practices on Mozambique Island

  • 45  C. Counihan, 2000.

23Food practices on Mozambique Island were the result of multiple cultural influences, which sometimes mingled together and sometimes coexisted side by side. As in other societies,45 these habits also reflected social and religious differentiation.

  • 46  E. Rodrigues, 2008.
  • 47  F. Silva Gracias, 2005.
  • 48  H. Salt, 1816, p. 31
  • 49  H. Salt, 1816, p. 31-32.
  • 50  Rice remained for a long time a luxury item in Portuguese cuisine. M. Barboff, 2010.
  • 51 With regard to food habits in Goa, see M.J. Mártires Lopes, 1996, p. 318; F. Silva Gracias, 2005.
  • 52  L.V. Simoni,1821, f. 114v.
  • 53 Authorless, “Memorias da costa d’Africa oriental e algumas reflexões úteis para estabelecer melhor, (...)
  • 54  As in Goa, in Mozambique sura was the juice extracted from the spathe of diverse palm, mainly the (...)
  • 55  E. Rodrigues, 2008.

24The cuisine of the elite groups was strongly influenced by Portuguese and Goan food traditions,46 the latter itself being renowned for its Portuguese links.47 An English officer, Henry Salt, who sojourned on the island in 1809, participated in a banquet at the governor’s residence and described the dishes served as being “dressed partly in the Indian and partly in the European fashion”.48 He noted the profusion of meats served and the excellence of the rice from Sofala and of the bread available.49 Rice and wheat bread were basic staples for the elite groups. Although rice had been absorbed into Portuguese cuisine,50 the intense consumption of this cereal on Mozambique Island was no doubt due to the influence of food habits from Goa, where it was a basic dietary staple and was served with vegetables, meat, or fish according to the different social groups.51 Rice from Sofala was the most esteemed and also the most expensive. Despite its grains being very small, it was valued for its flavour and for the steadfastness it retained after cooking.52 Indeed, this rice was considered the best of all and was preferred to that imported from other ports. Its reputation was so widespread that small quantities were sent to India as a gift.53 Wheat bread undoubtedly reflected a Portuguese dietary influence, even though in Mozambique it was leavened with sura (coconut palm juice),54 as in Goa.55

  • 56 See M.E. Madeira Santos, M.M. Ferraz Torrão, 1998; J.L. Silva, 1998.
  • 57 According to M. Simões Alberto, it is Sorghum Vulgare, Pers.. M. Simões Alberto, 1965, p. 224.
  • 58 According to M. Simões Alberto, it is Pennisetum Typhoideum, Rich.. M. Simões Alberto, 1965, p. 203
  • 59 Letter from Friar Vicente da Encarnação to the king, 23/12/1758, AHU, Moç., box 15, doc. 39. The sa (...)
  • 60  A.J. Grieco, 1991; A.J. Grieco, 1993; A.J. Grieco, 2001.
  • 61  J. Goody, 1982, p. 113.

25Market fluctuations in supplies of these cereals, which depended on maritime links, involved veritable subsistence crises, causing wheat and rice to often be substituted by various cereals cultivated in Mozambique which the Portuguese called milho, a word that presently means maize but was used to denote diverse grains. The identification of these cereals in Portuguese sources related to Mozambique, as for other regions in Africa, raises some difficulties, as pointed out in diverse literature.56 Indeed, Portuguese applied milho or local names to the cereals most consumed in Mozambique: sorghum (Sorghum sp.), called mapira or milho-fino;57 bulrush millet (Pennisetum sp.), known as meixoeira;58 and finger millet (Eleusine coracana, Gaert), known as nachenim. Europeans were reluctant to consume these cereals, which they were forced to eat when there were shortages of imported foodstuffs: “we have survived on a kafir diet, which consists primarily of a cereal called milho, suited for those who cultivate it, and hence it is harmful for us Europeans”.59 This opinion echoed the ancient dichotomy between light food for elites and heavy food for workers. Indeed, in accordance with the world view inherited from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, there was an analogy between the natural world and the society of men, both created by God. The social and the natural worlds were structured under a hierarchical and vertical principle designated as the Great Chain of Being, linking all beings from lower inanimate things to the higher mythological beings. Plants themselves had an internal hierarchy and therefore a unique place in this chain, that is, each plant was considered more or less noble than all the others. This order of foods was also embedded in medical theories, which were supported by the idea that the consumption of coarse nourishment could lead higher social groups to disease.60 Clearly, for Europeans, African grains had a less noble place on this plant hierarchy than rice and wheat, which the colonial elite ate in Mozambique. This judgement likewise reflected a social differentiation between the diets of the island’s elite and the Africans. In truth, these distinct food practices were rooted not just in different cultural traditions but were also due to a clear social demarcation between, on the one hand, Africans and, on the other hand, Europeans and Asians, who looked down on consuming sorghum, bulrush millet, and finger millet, which they used only when there were shortages of other cereals. As Goody affirmed, “the hierarchy between ranks and classes takes a culinary form”.61

  • 62  H. Salt, 1816, p. 45-46.
  • 63  H. Salt, 1816, p. 74; B. Mártires, 1823, f. 27, 60-61. See also E.A. Alpers, 2009, p. 23-38.
  • 64  F.J. Lacerda e Almeida, 1797.
  • 65  B. Mártires, 1823, f. 5.

26These basic foodstuffs were complemented with the consumption of fish and, above all, of meat. Indeed, eating meat was a strong indicator of belonging to the island elite. On another occasion, while visiting a house on the mainland (Terra Firme), the same Henry Salt noticed the quantity of meat being served. Large chunks of boiled beef and pork were served on plates together with vegetables.62 Meats available on Mozambique Island included chicken and pork, which were the most abundant meats, and kid, lamb, and beef. The latter three were available in smaller quantities and were very expensive. Above all, beef was very rare, and hence fresh and dried beef was imported from other ports, especially from Madagascar.63 Francisco José de Lacerda e Almeida, who stayed on the island for some time in 1797, when he went to rule the Zambezi valley, also testified that chicken was consumed daily, while beef was served only on feast days.64 In effect, the island’s aridity meant that there was little livestock. In 1823, Friar Mártires reported the existence of two dozen cows, which supplied milk to Baniyas (an important community of Hindu merchants from Gujarat), some goats and rams and half a dozen donkeys that were often seen in the city foraging for food.65

  • 66  M.J. Mártires Lopes, 1996, p. 318-319.
  • 67  B. Mártires, 1823, f. 29.
  • 68  B. Mártires, 1823, f. 29-31.
  • 69 Sambo, or ntsamabu in ShiNgazija and Kiswahili, is a variety of sago, obtained from the seeds of th (...)
  • 70  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 115v. Apas is a word transported to Mozambique from Goa, where it designates (...)

27Apart from the aspect of social differentiation, food was an important element of social identity, including religious identity. Goans, for example, were known for eating rice and curry on a daily basis. This was the most common dish in Goan cuisine and was prepared with several spices and grated coconut, served with fried fish, vegetables or fish preserves, fruits, and legumes.66 In Mozambique, this dish was made in a similar manner, according to the description penned by Friar Mártires: “boiled rice with fish, coconut sura and a lot of different qualities of pepper”.67 Wealthier Goans would eat rice with various preserves imported from Goa, mainly meat, fish, fruits, and root vegetables such as carrots, radish, and ginger. The Baniya diet did not include meat and consisted only of rice, grain, vegetables, fruit preserves, and spices, always prepared by their own cooks.68 Sambo,69 a starch sold in small balls, flat on one side and rounded on the other, was highly esteemed by the Baniya and Swahili communities and was used to make unleavened bread known as apas.70 In effect, when the Portuguese and Indians brought their cuisines to Mozambique, they perforce had to adapt to products available in East Africa. However, they also imported some foodstuffs which were linked to expressing a cultural identity.

  • 71 For the Zambezi valley see, for example, diverse historical descriptions in A.A. Banha de Andrade, (...)
  • 72  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 45v, 55-55v.

28The diet of the majority of the inhabitants was quite different, irrespective of whether they were Africans, Europeans, or Indians. The descriptions of food eaten by Africans which can be found in Portuguese sources were usually very generic, referring to essential foodstuffs but omitting cooking techniques and seasoning used, thus transmitting a homogeneous impression. Available sources state that Africans ate various kinds of cereals, which, as stated before, the Portuguese calledgenerally milho. It should also be noted that some sources suggest that the predominant cereal could differ according to the region, but there are some areas better documented than others, as is the case of the Zambezi valley.71 According to some sources, in the area of Mozambique Island the most consumed cereal was sorghum (mapira), but bulrush millet (meixoeira) and finger millet (nachenim) were also relevant grains. In other parts, as in Inhambane in the South, it seems that bulrush millet was the main cereal.72

  • 73  Owing to the importance of bread in the feeding and religion of Europe, Europeans tended to see as (...)
  • 74  One Portuguese ounce was equivalent to 28,6848 g.
  • 75  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 45v, 113v; B. Mártires, 1823, f. 34.
  • 76  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 55v. About the diffusion of maize in Africa, see J. McCann, 2005.
  • 77  E. Rodrigues, 1998.
  • 78  H. Salt, 1816, p. 32-33, p. 45.
  • 79  B. Mártires, 1823, f. 48-49. See also F.J.L. Almeida, 1797.
  • 80  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 113v-114.
  • 81 João Baptista Montaury, “Moçambique, ilhas Querimbas, Rios de Sena, villa de Tete, Villa de Zumbo, (...)
  • 82  J.J. Sequeira Magalhães e Lanções, 1779.
  • 83  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 159.

29In the area of Mozambique Island, these cereals were ground in a pestle and were eaten as a pap or made into “bread”,73 baked over a fire or in the oven. Such “breads” generally weighed two ounces74 and were known as mucates75 (from the Makua word mukathe, derived from the Kiswahili mkate). Maize, introduced by the Portuguese, was eaten whole on the cob, boiled or roasted.76 Cassava, which first began to be cultivated in the early 1760s on the coast facing the island, was likewise an important foodstuff, especially for slaves. It was eaten as flour or in flakes known as macaca, which were dried in the sun. However, cassava was not used only by slaves; it was also provided to soldiers of the Portuguese regiment,77 and the elite occasionally used it, flour being employed to thicken soups while roasted roots were used to prepare refreshments.78 Africans also ate some rice, yam, beans, and peanuts.79 These basic foodstuffs were complemented by small quantities of meat and fish. Eyewitness descriptions dating from the early decades of the 19th century state that some lords fed their slaves fish and imported dried meat.80 However, these foodstuffs were not available on the market in large quantities. Fish, for example, were caught by slaves of the residents for consumption at the household.81 Between December and March some fishermen from Comoros, mainly from Mwali, went to Mozambique Island and then it was possible to find fish in the market.82 Fish were often caught in small nets while fishermen waded neck deep into the ocean.83 Henry Salt described the spectacle of men, women, and children, mostly slaves, scouring the beaches off the island at low tide using baskets to catch seafood, molluscs, and small fish:

  • 84  H. Salt, 1816, p. 51.

The appearance of these figures at night, moving along the beach by torch light, formed occasionally a very interesting scene, and, when the moon was seen obscurely through the trees, and the torches, waved to and fro, were reflected by the waters, an unusual and almost magical illusion was produced.84

  • 85  B. Mártires, 1823, f. 34.

30Those Africans who lived on the mainland could also hunt game.85 Even though Portuguese sources do not refer to this aspect, it is nonetheless important to keep in mind that the important Swahili community living in the region would undoubtedly not have eaten pork.

  • 86  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 52, 113v; E. Rodrigues, 1998.

31The diet of poorer Europeans and Indians did not differ greatly from that of the Africans. Soldiers received rice, sorghum, bulrush millet, finger millet, or cassava flour from the Royal Treasury. They purchased the cheapest small fish with their salaries.86 In effect, if the elites were known for their consumption of meat, fish was the most common accompaniment for lower social groups.

32It is thus possible to conclude that diets and cuisines in the area of Mozambique Island were quite diverse, associated with different cultural traditions and the social status of the island’s inhabitants. However, there does not appear to have been a strict ethnic boundary delimiting these food habits. Foodstuffs eaten on the island and cooking techniques influenced the food prepared at the hospital. Nevertheless, this appears to have been influenced more by the culinary traditions of the Portuguese and Goans, who, apart from representing the majority of the hospital’s patients, also managed the hospital’s administration.

Food at the Royal Hospital during the late 18th century

  • 87  Letter from governor-general Pedro Saldanha de Albuquerque to the secretary of state, 01/08/1783, (...)

33When reforms were mooted for the Royal Hospital, the food served there was subject to intense scrutiny. The individuals in charge of administering healthcare in Mozambique harshly criticised the quantity and quality of the food, as well as the fact that it was unsuitable for patients. According to the governor-general, in 1783 almost all the patients ended up by dying “owing to the poor quality of the food and the poorly regulated distribution of diets”.87 Critics also pointed out that these insalubrious conditions were in stark contrast to the large sums of money allocated by the Royal Treasury for feeding patients. Hence, this was one of the areas subject to intervention. Both the regulations issued in 1783 as well as in 1788 stipulated the type and quantity of food to be provided to patients, along with norms for its preparation and the way it should be served. The administration now monitored the hospital and its patients more closely and this tended to promote a greater standardisation of the food which was served.

  • 88  Regulations for the Royal Hospital, 30/12/1788, AHU, Moç., box 56, doc. 72.

34The two regulations stipulated that patients were to receive three meals a day, to be served at certain times. The 1788 regulations even provided a schedule for meals: breakfast at 9 a.m., lunch at noon, and finally dinner at 6 p.m. Both regulations prescribed a list of diets to guide hospital staff and sought to “facilitate the sick having access to nourishing food, difficult in this capital, which receives few fresh provisions and has scant local produce”. The regulations justified the programme of prescribed diets “established by professors, since they are suitable for a variety of ailments”,88 but doctors and surgeons were allowed some latitude to prescribe different diets in accordance with a patient’s needs. Thus, this list sought to adapt to the market conditions of supplies to the island while simultaneously trying to consider the situation of the patients.

35Although the menus prescribed in 1783 have been lost, the meal plans prepared in 1788 organised quantities on the basis of rations, classifying them as quarter, half, and full rations, which in truth corresponded to different dishes, undoubtedly in accordance with the state of the patients.

  • 89  Regulations for the Royal Hospital, 30/12/1788, AHU, Moç., box 56, doc. 72.

Meal Plans (1788)89

Quantity

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Quarter ration

Rice soup

Breadcrumbs in chicken soup

Bread soup

Half ration

Bread soup

Atola, fish and half a bun

Atola

Full ration

Bread mash

Rice and curry, half a chicken and a bread

Atola, fish and half a bread

  • 90  S.R. Dalgado indicates that this was “a kind of jiggery dish cooked with some vegetables”. S.R. Da (...)

(Atola: a dish made from rice and vegetables, lightly seasoned)90

  • 91 Rice soup was also commonly eaten for breakfast. S.R. Dalgado, 1919–1921, v. 1, p. 206; M.J. Mártir (...)

36Lighter dishes were prescribed for breakfast, corresponding to the above quantities, such as rice soup (canja), bread soup, and bread mash. Rice soup was made by cooking rice in water and was widely used to treat patients in Goa.91 The Portuguese added pieces of chicken to the soup, but at this time the rice soup served in the hospital still used the Indian recipe. The other two dishes prescribed for breakfast were derived from European cuisine: sugared bread soup and bread mash (açorda), the latter being thicker since it used a larger quantity of bread.

  • 92  Nowadays, there are several ways to cook curry, including the use of coconut milk in the north and (...)
  • 93  S.R. Dalgado, 1919–1921, v. 2, p. 124.
  • 94  Letter from Friar Vicente da Encarnação to the king, 23/12/1758, AHU, Moç., box 15, doc. 39; Repor (...)

37Quarter rations of soups were served to weaker patients for lunch and dinner, while rice and curry, atola and bread, complemented with chicken or fish comprised the hospital’s basic dishes, served as half or full rations. The ubiquitous Goan dish of rice and curry was thus incorporated into the diet of patients at the hospital. Such information testifies to the prominence that curry had already in the cuisine of Mozambique Island, later becoming a national dish.92 Atola was a dish which was likewise a typical element of the Goan diet.93 Finally, wheat bread was brought to the island by Europeans and was eaten whole as well as being used to make bread mash or soups. European doctors always recommended white bread. However, even though the diet plan prescribed the use of bread made from wheat, the availability of this cereal depended greatly on imports from more distant ports, and hence wheat bread was often substituted by mucates, the African “bread” made from different grains. This substitution is mentioned in various documents and can also be corroborated by the hospital’s expenditure ledgers.94

  • 95 In Portugal, chicken was given to weaker patients while other patients were fed lamb and beef. See (...)
  • 96  This is a kind of anchovy (Stolephorus indicus), which is still eaten today. I am very grateful to (...)
  • 97  Letter to the king, after 1774, AHU, Índia, box 84.
  • 98  For further information about the consumption of fish during the Ancien Régime, see M. Ferrières, (...)
  • 99  “Relação dos efeitos que restão em meu poder da compra, que fizerão para o ministerio do Real Hosp (...)
  • 100 I. Guimarães Sá, 1997, p. 190-191; C. Bastos, 2010, p. 63.

38These primary provisions were accompanied by chicken and fish. Chicken was the preferred meat for patients in Mozambique. In practice, lamb and beef, which, like chicken, were common elements of patients’ diets in Europe and in Portugal,95 were difficult to obtain on Mozambique Island, as has been mentioned. Raising chickens involved servants occupied solely with this task on the neighbouring mainland. The shortage of chicken relative to the demand at the hospital meant that it was often substituted by fish. The most common fish on the island were sololos, a diminutive fish described as being even smaller than a sardine,96 eaten by poorer social groups as well as by patients. Catching this fish was part of the fishermen spectacle described by Henry Salt. However, its inclusion in the hospital’s diet was generally frowned upon.97 In effect, humour-based medicine viewed fish as a humid, corruptible, and corrupting food.98 Since the island’s market was unable to supply sufficient fresh fish, dried fish was often imported. For example, 1,200 dried sharks were purchased in Goa in 1779 for the hospital.99 Although little is known about the food given to patients at the hospitals of Goa, everything indicates that they were served a similar diet of chicken, rice, bread, and broths.100 The hospital’s food practices on Mozambique Island, based on Portuguese and Goan traditions and influenced by their medicinal norms, were thus reconfigured according to market supplies and hence also incorporated African food habits.

  • 101  Report on meals served to patients at the Royal Hospital, 01/01/1783, AHU, Moç., box 41, doc. 1.

39The menu established by the 1788 regulations did not result in a noticeable change in the dietary practices which had been followed until then at the hospital. A report pertaining to the food served on 24 October 1765 suggests that the same kind of food was served prior to these regulations, albeit with a greater diversity in cooking techniques. The dishes might even have been spicier, since there are explicit references to seasoned chicken, seasoned fish or fried fish, apart from curry-rice and atola. Roast chicken was also mentioned in another report dating from 1783, prior to the first regulations.101

  • 102  Report on the hospital’s meal plans, 24/10/1765, AHU, Moç., box 25, doc. 84.

Foods served at the Royal Hospital (24 October 1765)102

Lunch

Rations

Dinner

Rations

Chicken and bread

10

Chicken and bread

06

Chicken and rice

08

Chicken atola

01

Seasoned chicken

07

Seasoned chicken and bread

01

Seasoned fish and bread

04

Seasoned fish and bread

12

Atola

02

Bread mash

05

Fried fish and bread

02

Toast soaked in wine and sugar

06

Fried fish and bread

02

Total

33

Total

33

  • 103  Ordinance issued by the governor-general, 24/03/1794, AHU, codex 1360, f. 110.
  • 104  Requisition by António Lima Leitão to the governor-general, 25/10/1819, AHU, Moç., box 165, doc. 4 (...)
  • 105  Letter from the governor-general João Manuel da Silva to the secretary of state, 27/11/1821, AHU, (...)
  • 106  Inventory of the Royal Hospital, 1789, AHU, codex 1565, f. 2-2v.
  • 107  “Livro da matrícula da mestrança, marinheiros e escravos ao serviço de S. Alteza Real na ribeira, (...)
  • 108 See, for example, Authorless, “Memorias da costa d’Africa oriental e algumas reflexões úteis para e (...)

40Both the diets prescribed in the 1788 regulations and the dishes which were in fact served on 24 October 1765 indicate that the cuisine at the hospital was not very different from general food habits on Mozambique Island. This appears to have been due to the infrequent presence of European doctors at the hospital, which was administered by staff recruited locally, who tended to introduce the cuisine practised on the island into the hospital. These included the storekeepers and other staff responsible for procuring supplies for the hospital. Even less is known about the cooks who prepared the meals. As per the 1788 regulations, two cooks worked in the hospital kitchen, assisted by three slaves. But who were these cooks? In 1794, for example, since the post of cook was vacant, a soldier was appointed to the position.103 To all appearances slaves also worked as cooks. This was the case with Joaquim, a slave whom the chief-physician António Lima Leitão removed from the hospital around 1818 and took into his personal service, substituting him with a less experienced slave.104 In 1821, the two cooks were both slaves.105 Indeed, everything would appear to indicate that the kitchen was staffed by African slaves, mainly from the region of Inhambane. An inventory of the hospital’s assets prepared in 1789 recorded two slaves from this town, allocated to working in the kitchen.106 The 29 slaves occupied in the hospital between 1817 and 1826 were all from this region, except for one from Rio de Janeiro.107 In fact, slaves from Inhambane were reputed to be the best of all.108 It is possible that these slaves also shaped the way of cooking at the hospital, but information concerning African meals in the Inhambane area is scarce.

  • 109  Inventory of the Royal Hospital, AHU, codex 1565, f. 3v-4. One arrátel (16 ounces) was equivalent (...)

41The food directives were not limited just to providing culinary guidelines but also stipulated the quantity of food to be used for each dish. Thus, a pound of rice was to be used to prepare six portions of soup, while a five-ounce bread was used to make a bread mash, mixed with an ounce of butter, or a soup, in which case it was reduced to crumbs and mixed with an ounce of sugar. Each atola was prepared with six ounces of rice and an ounce of butter, while rice eaten with curry totalled eight ounces. Probably, in order to verify these quantities, kitchen equipment would have included a weighing scales and measures and weights ranging from two ounces to four arrateis (Iberian pounds).109

  • 110  Letter from Friar Vicente da Encarnação to the king, 23/12/1758, AHU, Moç., box 15, doc. 39.
  • 111  M. Morineau, 2001, p. 180.

42A ration of fish would have consisted of twelve sololos. The diet list did not indicate the quantity of chicken, but the practice at the hospital was to serve half a bird.110 These quantities were apparently larger than those consumed locally by the majority of the population, including the soldiers, who comprised the majority of patients, since available descriptions suggest a limited diet. In this manner, as in Europe,111 medical views regarding food as a means of hastening cures were reflected on Mozambique Island in the care taken with the quantities of foodstuffs to be served to patients. This explains the explicit concern evidenced in the regulations to ensure that patients received the specified portions of food. In truth, the care taken with regulating the diet of patients had to do, above all, with the need to oversee the servings provided and their effective supply, as well as the conditions in which the food was prepared.

43In this sense, the regulations stipulated detailed records with the annotation of the provisions purchased and used, as well as the meals which were served daily. These measures sought to ensure that the meals were effectively served and that the royal treasury did not pay for food which never reached patients, while they were also to prevent more expensive provisions from being substituted by cheaper foodstuffs, such as, according to an example cited in the regulations, chicken being substituted by fish.

  • 112  Plan of the hospital’s expenditure, from 1799 to 1808, 24/11/1808, AHU, Moç., box 84, doc. 83.
  • 113  B. Mártires, 1823, f. 12.
  • 114  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 115-117.

44But how was this diet actually implemented in reality? Available documentation in this regard pertains, above all, to hospital purchases, providing little information about the daily implementation of these meal plans.112 Apart from the provisions which were purchased, it is also important to keep in mind that the hospital had its own estate, which included a palm grove and a kitchen garden where plants were cultivated for the hospital’s own use.113 It is known that chickens were raised there, since cereal was purchased to feed them. Nevertheless, and considering that one chicken was used for two rations, it can be concluded that, in most years, fish was the main accompaniment of the patients’ diet. The records of the hospital’s purchases suggest likewise the construction of food practices which were not reflected in the list. These notes indicate, for example, that apart from the prescribed diets, dishes such as bran porridge, sago, and olanga were served for breakfast. The bran porridge was made from wheat bran and flour, as was customary in Mozambique. Sago, a starch extracted from the pith of palm stems (Metroxylon), a staple food throughout the Orient, was sold on the island in the form of small, dark-green grains. Cooked in water with sugar, it formed a light and viscous pap. However, the most common flour was olanga, or cassava starch, which was used to thicken soups, as an alternative to rice.114 Even though these flours were not included in the meal planning list they slowly entered the hospital diet, as is evident in the small quantities consumed. In the early decades of the 19th century they were widely served to patients in general. Vegetables were another notable element amongst the provisions purchased for the hospital, which could have been incorporated into dishes such as curries and atola or eaten separately. Finally, the limited purchases of sweets (often fed to patients in Europe) and fruits appear to indicate some social differentiation in the food served to patients, in keeping with a practice which would be formalised later.

Changes in food practices in the 19th century

45Even though European doctors working at the Royal Hospital regulated diets since the 1780s, in a certain way they also conformed to the food habits already being practised at the Royal Hospital. During the 19th century, chief-physicians trained in European universities began to play a more active role in patient diets, which they sought to configure in accordance with the changes taking place in the European medical discourse.

  • 115  R. Porter, 1995, p. 418; J.W. Estes, 2000, p. 1538-1544; J.-L. Flandrin, 2001b, p. 270-271.
  • 116  M. Ferrières, 2002, p. 365.

46Developments in physiology and chemistry contributed towards changing concepts regarding digestion and nutrition. Digestion was increasingly viewed as a chemical process which represented foods dissolving in gastric acids. Quite gradually, foods began to be understood as nutrients, although the characteristics attributed to them by humour-based medicine still persisted. Indeed, these two visions coexisted through the 19th century and even thereafter. Simultaneously, debates developed about the morbific and therapeutic qualities of foods and seasoning. Some doctors questioned the use of certain condiments which attacked tissues and weakened the body, while likewise criticising the consumption of large quantities of food as being ruinous for the solid parts of the body. As an alternative, they recommended the use of simple diets.115 As Ferrières argued, after 1800 nutrition began to be a sphere shared by doctors, cookers, and chemists alike.116

  • 117  M. Foucault, 1980.
  • 118  C. Bastos, 2011, p. 27-28.
  • 119  E. Rodrigues, 2006, p. 621-624.

47The intervention of doctors in hospital diets in Mozambique was derived from the European medical discourse regarding nutrition, but it unfolded in a context of the process of the medicalisation of hospitals and the growing power of doctors over patients.117 António José Lima Leitão and Luís Vicente de Simoni stood out from amongst these doctors. António Lima Leitão (1787–1856) was born in Lagos in southern Portugal, where he trained as a surgeon. He was integrated into the Napoleonic army when it invaded Portugal in 1808 and subsequently went to France, graduating in medicine from the University of Paris. He was appointed as chief-physician of Mozambique in 1816 and continued in that office until 1818.118 After an interregnum where he was substituted by an interim chief-physician, he was succeeded by Luís Vicente de Simoni (1792–1881), a native of Novi in the Republic of Genoa. Born into a family of pharmacists, he graduated in medicine in 1815 from the University of Genoa. In 1817, he arrived in Rio de Janeiro, where he worked in the hospital run by the Santa Casa, and between 1819 and 1821 he served in the post of chief-physician of Mozambique.119 Thus, both doctors were trained in European universities, unlike most of the chief-physicians who immediately preceded them, who were “climate practitioners” or surgeons.

  • 120  L.V. Simoni, 1821.
  • 121  Simoni was influenced by the concept of temperament framed by humoral medicine, but he also incorp (...)
  • 122  E. Rodrigues, 2006.

48Available information about these doctors’ views on food and health is quite disparate. The meal plan introduced by António Lima Leitão indicates a profound discordance with the practices in effect in the hospital, but there are no other texts which could shed light on his thoughts. Based on his experiences in Mozambique, Luís Vicente de Simoni wrote a medical treatise titled Medical Treatise on the Climate and Infirmities of Mozambique.120 In this work he assessed the foods eaten in Mozambique, suggesting those which were most suitable in accordance with environmental conditions, the temperament of residents as per categories he himself organised,121 and the state of health of the respective individuals. In his discourse he also touched upon concepts from humour-based medicine, but his views on foods already considered the presence of certain elements identified by chemistry. Framed within the Hippocratic–Galenic tradition, he believed that nutrition was essential to prevent and cure diseases. Given the constant heat in Mozambique, he affirmed that the worst infirmity which could befall individuals was indigestion. Hence, he recommended light diets, which had implications for the choice of food products as well as the way in which they were prepared.122 Both Leitão and Simoni introduced new meal plans, which sought to make profound changes in the hospital’s food practices. This thus set in motion a process which increasingly differentiated between patients and their diets, and the rest of society.

49The first change was introduced by António Lima Leitão, in March 1817, shortly after he arrived in Mozambique. He organised the meal plan into ten rations, which could be complemented with extraordinary foods.

  • 123  AHM, Fundo do Século XIX, codex 11.4780 Gd6, f. 48-49.

Daily meal plan at the Royal Hospital (1 March 1817)123

Ration

1

L: Chicken soup (four ounces)

D: The same

2

L: Soup, bread (two ounces), and rice (one ounce)

D: Soup and rice (two ounces)

3

L: A quarter chicken, rice (one ounce), and bread (four ounces)

D: A quarter chicken, rice (one ounce), and bread (two ounces)

Lunch and dinner

4

L: Half a chicken, rice (two ounces), and bread (four ounces)

D: A quarter chicken, rice (one ounce), and bread (two ounces)

5

L: Vegetable dish, butter (half ounce), vinegar (half ounce), and bread (four ounces)

D: Vegetable dish, butter (half ounce), vinegar (half ounce), and bread (two ounces)

6

L: Fish (eight ounces), olive oil (half ounce), vinegar (half ounce), and bread (four ounces)

D: The same

7

Sago (one and a half ounces), sugar (one ounce)

Breakfast

8

Bran porridge (one and a half ounces), sugar (one ounce)

9

Rice (one ounce) and butter (one ounce)

10

Tea (two-eighths) with sugar (two ounces), toasted bread (two ounces), and butter (half ounce)

  • 124  AHM, Fundo do Século XIX, codex 11 4780 Gd6, f. 50-53.

50This meal plan limited diversity in terms of cooking techniques and thus homogenised the patients’ diets. In effect, the basic foods stayed the same but were prepared in a simpler manner, based on boiling, in keeping with European diets. Certainly, boiling was also a way of cooking in Africa, but its supremacy in the hospital’s cuisine was clearly a transposition of the meal plans in force in European hospitals. Thus, spicy foods and cooking techniques which were characteristic of the island’s cuisine, like roasts and stews, were excluded from the hospital’s fare and no longer served to patients as in the past. This uniformity was also evident in the fact that the plans were the same for lunch and dinner, with variations only in terms of the quantities, smaller portions being served at dinner. Using the month of March (in which the plan was started) as an example, meals based on chicken (3 and 4) totalled 70 per cent of lunches and dinners. Vegetables accounted for just 2.4 per cent of meals, while fish, representing 0.2 per cent of meals, was served in negligible quantities. The breakfast meal plan, which was not served to all patients, maintained the boiled rice (6.6 per cent) and introduced sago pap (70.7 per cent) and bran porridge (19 per cent), which, even though they did not figure in the previous list, had already become ingrained in the hospital’s food habits.124

51The new configuration of the meal plans also established a differentiation between army officers and other patients. Breakfast comprising tea with sugar and buttered toast was served only to them. In the first four meal plans, officers were likewise entitled to an additional quarter chicken. Finally, they received two pieces of fruit with their dinner. Although the limited number of pieces of fruit served in the hospital in the past appears to indicate some distinction already, Lima Leitão’s meal plan formalised a clear social differentiation in terms of food, both in terms of quality as well as quantity. This inequality was accentuated by the fact that the quantities prescribed for meals were reduced.

52Shortly thereafter, in January 1820, the new chief-physician Luís Vicente de Simoni revised these meal plans. As a whole, the new plan continued to structure homogenised meals, which excluded spicy dishes. It is important to note that the quantities of food supplied to the patients increased, as did the number of rations. This high number was due, firstly, to the fact that the doctor, unlike his predecessor, prescribed different dishes for lunch and dinner and introduced a greater diversity in terms of the combinations of foods, although this was not accentuated. Secondly, he introduced some new foods or foods which had only rarely been supplied in the past, such as beef and lamb, which were frequently eaten by patients in Europe. Thirdly, he began to include foods which had once been classified as extraordinary treats as part of ordinary rations. Notwithstanding this fact, vinegar, wine, sweets, sugar, rice, and chicken continued to be doled out as extraordinary portions, as were a considerable number of fish and vegetable rations. This suggests that even though the doctor had increased the portions served to the patients, he considered the prescribed diets to be insufficient or provided supplementary nutrition according to the patient’s state or temperament.

  • 125  AHM, Fundo do Século XIX, codex 11 4780 Gd6, f. 203-203v.

Daily meal plan at the Royal Hospital (1 January 1820)125

  • 126  It was not possible to know if this “bread biscuit” referred to bread cooked twice or to breadcrum (...)

Ration

Ration

1

Chicken soup, with half an ounce of bacon (six ounces)

13

Tea (made with mid-eighth of tea, six ounces of water, and one ounce of sugar) and bread (four ounces)

2

Rice water, using three ounces of rice for a pound of water (six ounces)

14

Coffee, made with one ounce of coffee, six ounces of water, and one and a half ounces of sugar

3

Chicken soup with rice, using two ounces of rice for six ounces of soup (six ounces)

15

Bread (four ounces)

4

Bread mash (three ounces of bread and half an ounce of butter)

16

Milk (four ounces)

5

Rice soup (three ounces of rice with six ounces of water), a quarter chicken, and two ounces of bread

17

Sugar (one ounce)

6

Rice soup (six ounces), two quarters of chicken, and four ounces of bread

The chicken can be substituted by eight ounces of boneless beef or lamb

18

Butter from Portugal (one ounce)

7

Rice with seasoning (six ounces), two quarters of a chicken, and six ounces of bread

The chicken can be substituted by twelve ounces of boneless beef or lamb

19

Cinnamon (mid-eighth) and round pepper (12 peppercorns).

8

Plain rice (six ounces), gizzard stew (four ounces), and bread biscuits126 (four ounces)

20

Wine

9

Plain rice (six ounces), fish, if boiled, seasoned with olive oil (half an ounce) and vinegar.

21

Beer

10

Plain rice (six ounces), plain boiled vegetables (six ounces), bread (four ounces), butter (half an ounce), and vinegar (half an ounce) for seasoning.

22

Fruit

11

Sago pap (six ounces), made with an ounce and a half of sago to one ounce of sugar

23

Chocolate, made with one ounce of chocolate powder, one egg, six ounces of water, and half an ounce of sugar

12

Bran porridge, made with one and a half ounces of bran to one ounce of sugar

24

Quince paste (two ounces)

  • 127  AHM, Fundo do Século XIX, codex 11 4780 Gd6, f. 216v-219v.
  • 128  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 112v-113.

53The hospital’s records provide some clues about the impact of this plan on the patients’ diet. Once again, using the month of March as a reference,127 it can be seen that, in 1820, chicken continued to be the main dish served to patients (62.1 per cent, pertaining to rations 5, 6, 7 and 8), which was reinforced with 30 additional extraordinary units. Fish constituted only 1 per cent of the ordinary rations, corresponding to 30 portions, but an additional 253 meals were served in that month, classified as extraordinary meals. The large quantities of fish prescribed during Simoni’s tenure reflected his medical views with regard to this ingredient. The chief-physician approved of the combination of rice and fish, considering rice to be light and hence suitable for debilitated bodies. However, rice lacked certain nutrients, such as nitrogen, which could be provided by fish, as had been demonstrated by chemistry experiments.128 In this manner, medical discourse ratified the use of fish as a food which was good for patients, although market fluctuations would continue to influence its presence in the hospital’s meal plans. The other meats, namely beef and lamb, were not served during this month. In the subsequent period, beef continued to be extremely rare and lamb was never supplied, due to the high prices and scarcity of such produce in the island’s market.

  • 129  There was not a consensus, but several doctors argued with the benefits of consuming vegetables an (...)
  • 130  L. Gianetti, 2010.
  • 131 Gonçalim is the fruit of Luffa acutangula Roxb., used as a vegetable. S.R. Dalgado, 1919–1921, v. 1 (...)
  • 132  B. Mártires, 1823, f. 24-25.
  • 133  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 121-124.

54The widespread use of vegetables during Simoni’s tenure at the hospital reflects the medical rehabilitation of this category of food throughout Europe,129 which was already evident in the hospital. In effect, in humour-based medicine, salads, greens, and fruit were viewed as being dangerous since they were believed to create putrefaction in the body.130 Apart from this negative representation, the “greens” available on the island - lettuce, cabbage, peas, pumpkins, gonçalim (ribbed luffa),131 and okra – were generally difficult to obtain, since the owners who grew them along the coast kept them for their own consumption.132 However, Simoni extolled the benefits of vegetables, as long as they were cooked, even the salad greens. For example, with regard to lettuce, he believed it to be very healthy and nutritive, due to the presence of nitrogen. He viewed all vegetables as a powerful tool to prevent various infirmities, especially those resulting from the modification of animal substances in the digestive organs and changes in the body’s humours, such as fevers and scurvy. Similarly to the way he treated other foods, he regulated the need to consume vegetables according to the rest of the diet and temperaments.133

  • 134  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 122v.
  • 135  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 117-118v.

55Despite the efforts of the European doctors, they did not manage to completely change the food practices in effect at the hospital. In the first place, this was due to resistance by patients, which implied that these changes were accompanied by negotiation. Simoni’s treatise indicates popular conceptions about the consumption of certain foods and the difficulties doctors faced in convincing patients about the advantages or disadvantages of eating specific produce. For example, the island’s inhabitants believed vegetables had little nutrition and caused gastric disturbances, a concept which was quite different from the benefits that Simoni pointed out to them.134 Simoni was also unable to convince the Mozambicans to make bread without bran and to leaven it with yeast instead of sura, since they continued to insist that their method of making bread was best suited to the country’s heat.135

  • 136  See, for example, order issued by interim government, 31/03/1819, AHU, codex 1382, f. 24v.
  • 137  See the hospital’s monthly expenditure reports, AHM, codex 11 4780 Gd6, passim.
  • 138  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 115.

56Secondly, market conditions in terms of food supplies continued to influence changes, such as the laxity of the officials responsible for making the purchases for the kitchen, especially when there was no European physician present in the hospital.136 Apart from obliging chicken to be substituted by fish, even when not prescribed by doctors, supplies often caused, for example, wheat bread to be substituted by mucates.137 However, the medical discourse viewed this food as being very hard and indigestible, attributing relapses by discharged patients to its consumption.138

  • 139  Hospital’s monthly expenditure reports, AHM, codex 11 4780 Gd6, passim.
  • 140  AHM, Fundo do Século XIX, codex 11 4780 Gd6, f. 54-56.

57The hospital’s monthly expenditure ledgers also indicate that the new meal plans did not manage to totally do away with old food habits. For example, lists of purchases continued to include onions, garlic, saffron, and pepper,139 ingredients suggesting that the spiced dishes traditionally served at the hospital were still being prepared. Despite having excluded roast chicken and chicken stew from the meal plan, the chief-physician, Lima Leitão, continued to serve these dishes occasionally.140 In this manner the food overhaul suggested by the meal plans set out by the chief-physicians had to be negotiated with local society, including the patients as well as the staff providing supplies and preparing the food. Even the staff working in the hospital’s kitchen, where slaves ensured the continuity of service, must have resisted shifting to preparing food in an exclusively European manner. In other words, the patients’ food was not entirely disconnected from food practices on the island, even though the two doctors had set the process in motion to implement such a separation.

Beverages for patients

  • 141  “Rellação dos effeitos que restão em meu poder da compra, que fizerão para o ministerio do Real Ho (...)

58Alongside food, drinks represented an important part of patients’ diets and cures. Beverages consumed at the hospital included wines, spirit (aguardente), tea, chocolate, and milk.141 In this area, apparently the chief-physicians’ actions did not result in noteworthy changes in hospital practices. While both doctors served beverages to patients, it is important to note that Luís Vicente de Simoni emphasised that, as in the case of solids, they needed to be ingested in moderate quantities.

  • 142  P. Norrie, 2003.
  • 143  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 196-199.
  • 144  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 125v-126, 198-198v. See also E. Medeiros, 1988, p. 52-60.
  • 145  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 45v. On the consumption of these beverages in Angola, see J. Curto, 2004, es (...)
  • 146  J.-L. Flandrin, 2001a, p. 207.
  • 147  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 196-201v.

59Wine was believed to have therapeutic virtues and was used in medicine, both in Europe and in Asia.142 Thus, it is not surprising that it was consumed daily in the hospital, but it is not known which patients were prescribed wine and for which conditions. However, it is important to note that various types of wine were provided. Grape wine was imported from Portugal and was the favourite variety. According to Simoni, who set an example by drinking two glasses a day, red wine helped prevent fevers and subsequent diseases by making the digestion more active and stimulating fibres.143 Probably owing to the properties he attributed to this drink, numerous portions of wine were served during his tenure. In the absence of grape wine, cashew wine was also drunk, which Simoni sharply criticised. This drink, also called cashew sura, similar to the alcohol which was obtained from coconut palm toddy, arrived in Mozambique by means of Indian influences and became extremely popular amongst Africans and soldiers owing to its affordable price.144 Other alcoholic beverages such as aguardente (spirit distilled from grape), brought from Portugal, and cachaça (spirit distilled from sugarcane), transported by ships engaged in the slave trade with Brazil, were also used on the island145 as well as in the hospital. Given the difficulties in obtaining potable water, it was often mixed with these alcohols, which were used as disinfectants. The consumption of aguardente was encouraged in some medical circles, since it was believed to protect against diseases as well as being a disinfectant and helping healing.146 In Mozambique too, Simoni affirmed the medicinal advantages of a moderate consumption of aguardente, apart from hygiene concerns.147

  • 148  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 204-205v.

60Cow’s milk was already being purchased in small quantities as part of the hospital’s supplies in the early 19th century. Its limited consumption can be explained not only by the fact that was it difficult to find in the market but also because popular opinion in Mozambique deemed it to be an indigestible food.148 Although milk was included in the 1820 meal plan, it continued to be supplied only rarely.

  • 149  A. Huetz de Lemps, 2001, p. 215-217; I. Fattacciu, 2012.
  • 150 L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 204. The preparation of chocolate with eggs was probably due to the influence (...)

61Chocolate would have reached Mozambique Island through the Portuguese. It was considered to be a medicinal drink when it first began to be consumed in Europe and by the 17th century was well known throughout the continent.149 Chocolate was consumed in small quantities in the hospital, at least from the early 19th century onwards. Instead of being added to milk, in Mozambique cocoa was prepared with eggs, which made it a laxative.150 Simoni conformed with this habit, and in the meal plan he prepared he indicated that the beverage should include one ounce of chocolate power, one egg, six ounces of water, and half an ounce of sugar.

  • 151  A. Huetz de Lemps, 2001, p. 220-222.
  • 152  B. Mártires, 1823, f. 28-29. Also see L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 199v-202.

62Tea was also viewed as a drink with various medicinal properties, such as being able to prevent indigestion.151 In Mozambique, it was drunk several times a day by individuals from leading social circles. Friar Bartolomeu dos Mártires observed that, upon reaching a house, slaves would immediately appear with trays of tea, and he emphasised that Goans drank tea constantly.152 The extraordinary dissemination of tea in Mozambique was due to the Indian influences and, in general terms, to commercial contacts with the Far East. As was the case in Europe, in Mozambique tea was served sweetened and accompanied by toast or biscuits. Given the medicinal properties attributed to tea, it is no surprise that it was used at the hospital or that its consumption increased regularly, which indicates that it was not served only to officers, as Lima Leitão had recommended.

  • 153  A. Huetz de Lemps, 2001, p. 217-220.
  • 154  See, for example, the letter from the state secretary D. Rodrigo de Sousa Coutinho to the governor (...)

63Although it was included in the meal plan prepared by Simoni, coffee was rarely served at the hospital or, in fact, even on the island, although the plant grew wild on the facing mainland. The introduction of this beverage, likewise associated with medicinal properties, appears to have been related to the fact that it was already quite widespread in Europe, especially in Italy and France.153 Coffee was known in Portugal too, and the Portuguese regent, the future king D. João VI, was particularly fond of the Mozambique coffee, of which 10 arrobas were shipped every year for the royal palace.154 However, it is likely that the interaction with the French merchants of Mascarene Islands, where coffee had been grown since the 18th century, contributed to introducing this drink on Mozambique Island. In short, in the area of beverages, the actions of the chief-physicians do not appear to have resulted in noticeable changes in the hospital’s food habits.

Concluding remarks

  • 155  M.P. Meneses, 2009, p. 2.

64Food practices on Mozambique Island and on the mainland emerged from multiple culinary traditions transported by groups which settled in the region: Africans, Europeans, and Indians. Over the course of time each of these cuisines was reconfigured according to available products and the influence of other gastronomic traditions present on the island. It is important to note that some dishes associated with specific cultures ended up by being appropriated by local society as a whole. This was the case with curry, which was originally from India but was already one of the foods served at the hospital on Mozambique Island during the 18th century. At present, curry is “one of the national dishes”,155 although cooked in different ways in diverse regions in Mozambique.

65The food habits of the island’s inhabitants undoubtedly reflected underlying health concerns, keeping in the mind that the diverse medicine systems which circulated there—of European, Hindu, and Muslim origin—were all based on humours and, to different degrees, attributed importance to food as a means of preventing illnesses and preserving the health of individuals. These food practices were also evident in the hospital diet during the 18th century: firstly, in terms of the type of foods most commonly consumed, availability depending on production, and distribution structures; and secondly, with regard to the way these foods were prepared. Hospital menus from the second half of the century, containing various dishes served during the same meal, reflect the diversity of everyday food habits on the island. In truth, these menus are also a means of understanding cooking techniques which were documented by other sources only much later.

66The reforms implemented at the hospital gradually focused on medical aspects, resulting in a standardisation and, progressively, different food being served to patients compared with the cuisine habitually eaten on the island. In an initial phase, during the final decades of the 18th century, local dishes such as curry were still prescribed for patients. However, diets were gradually defined by European standards, standards influenced by new medical perspectives and supported by the Portuguese authorities in Mozambique, interested in ‘civilising’ the colony. This resulted in a growing uniformity of food and the exclusion of certain spicier dishes, frowned upon by new medical views regarding diets. In this sense, the imposition of these diets was also an attempt to transform local medical practices. However, this was not a linear process insofar as local dynamics hindered a strict implementation of these dietary dictates. In effect, the local markets continued to condition available provisions, often thwarting medical prescriptions. Simultaneously, in the absence of European physicians promoting these changes, local social interlocutors relaxed the rules being imposed.

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Bibliographie

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Notes

1  This article is an outcome of the project Medical Treatise on the Climate and Infirmities of Mozambique (FCT HC/0121/2009), founded by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal. I am very grateful to the editors and the reviewers of this journal for their comments and suggestions on an earlier version of this article.

2  J.-L. Flandrin, M. Montanari, 2001; S.W. Mintz, C.M.D. Bois, 2002; M. Montanari, 2012.

3  J. Goody, 1982.

4  M.P. Meneses, 2009, p. 2.

5  J.W. Estes, 2000.

6  For Swahili in Mozambique, see for example L.J.K. Bonate, 2007.

7  M. Newitt, 2008.

8  Merchants coming from Gujarat; see infra for more information.

9  B. Mártires, 1823, f. 23-24.

10  S. Gruzinski, 1999, p. 45.

11  E. Rodrigues, 2010; E. Rodrigues, 2010a.

12  A. Isaacman, B. Isaacman, 1975; J. Capela, 1995; M. Newitt, 1995, p. 127-146, p. 217-242; E. Rodrigues, 2010; E. Rodrigues, 2013, p. 735-780.

13  For Luanda, see C. Madeira Santos, 2007; C. Madeira Santos, 2009; R. Ferreira, 2012. For Benguela, see M.P. Candido, 2013.

14 A.A. Banha de Andrade, 1956; A.A. Banha de Andrade, 1958.

15  C. Madeira Santos, 2010, p. 540-541.

16  G. Rosen, 1980; M. Lindemann, 2010, p. 173-174; R. Porter, 1995, p. 465-466.

17  L. Abreu, 2013.

18  For further information regarding such views in Europe, see M. Lindemann, 2010, p. 160.

19  During this period three doctors from the Italian Peninsula acted as chief-physicians in Mozambique colony: João Domingos Tosco or Toscano (1788–1793) and Carlos José Guezzi (1793–1803), both from Piedmont, and Luís Vicente de Simoni (1819–1821), a native of Genoa. In 1782, another Italian doctor had been appointed to the Mozambique hospital, but he died during the journey. It is important to note that at least one of these doctors, Carlos José Guezzi, was sponsored by a great figure of the Portuguese political Enlightenment, D. Rodrigo de Sousa Coutinho, Portuguese ambassador at Turin (1779–1796) and later state secretary of the Navy and Overseas Affairs (1796–1801). Letter from Carlos José Guezzi to D. Rodrigo de Sousa Coutinho, 10/11/1798, Arquivo Histórico Ultramarino (hereafter, AHU), Moçambique (Mozambique, hereafter, Moç.), box 59, document (hereafter, doc.) 71. However, in the course of his stay in Mozambique Guezzi was very involved in the business of slave trade; apparently he did not pay much attention to the hospital. Regarding Guezzi’s participation in the slave trade, see J. Capela, 2002, p. 147.

20  G. Rosen, 1980, p. 182-184.

21  R. Porter, 1995, p. 468-472; M. Lindemann, 2010, p. 161.

22  Letter from Friar Vicente da Encarnação to the king, 23/12/1758, AHU, Moç., box 15, doc. 39; Plan of the hospital’s expenditure, 24/10/1765, AHU, Moç., box 25, doc. 84.

23  E. Rodrigues, 2012.

24  Letter from the governor-general Pedro Saldanha de Albuquerque to the state secretary, 01/08/1783, AHU, Moç., box 43, doc. 12. Also see the letter from governor-general Baltazar Pereira do Lago to the state secretary, 20/08/1766, AHU, Moç. Box 26, doc. 83.

25  Order issued by governor-general Pedro de Saldanha de Albuquerque, 02/04/1783, AHU, box 41, doc. 53; Regulations for the Royal Hospital in Mozambique, 01/01/1783, AHU, Moç., box 42, doc. 1.

26  Regulations for the Royal Hospital in Mozambique, 30/12/1788, AHU, Moç., box 56, doc. 72

27 Concerning the Misericórdias in the Portuguese empire, see I. Guimarães Sá, 1997; on Goan Misericórdia, see also F. Silva Gracias, 2000; on Mozambique Misericórdias, see E. Rodrigues, 2007.

28  Contract signed between the Royal Treasury and the Misericórdia Brotherhood, 12/03/1789, AHU, Moç., box 57, doc. 22; warrant issued by governor-general António de Melo e Castro, 05/06/1789, AHU, Moç., box 58, doc. 14.

29  Letter from governor-general José Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti de Albuquerque to the state secretary, 11/03/1817, AHU, Moç., box 152, doc. 76.

30 Regulations for Royal Military Hospitals, 27/03/1805, in A. Moutinho Borges, 2009, p. 177-200.

31  Order of the governor-general José Francisco de Paula Cavalcanti de Albuquerque, 04/03/11817, AHU, codex 1382, f. 204.

32  In 1838, it became necessary to increase the number of female slaves working in the hospital, since the total number of women admitted had risen. Letter from the interim government to the hospital’s administrator, Matias Antunes de Sousa, 03/05/1838, Arquivo Histórico de Moçambique (hereafter, AHM), Fundo do Século XIX, codex 11-6 Da6, f. 67.

33  In India, sepoys were indigenous soldiers trained and dressed similarly to European troops. About 1767, a company of sepoys was transported from Goa to the Zambezi valley to strengthen the defence of the Portuguese colony against the Africans. Later, in the 1780s, the Mozambique colonial government established an African company in the mainland of Mozambique Island. Mimetically, these soldiers were called sepoys. E. Rodrigues, 2006a.

34  “Mapa das pessoas que entraram, saíram, faleceram e existem no Hospital Real, do primeiro de Janeiro de 1793 até ao fim de Julho de 1794”, AHU, Moç., box 68, doc. 48.

35  “Mappa dos enfermos tratados no Hospital da Cidade de Moçambique, desde o mez de Outubro de 1819 até o de Julho de 1821”, I L.V. Simoni, 1858, p. 92.

36  With regard to hospitals in India, see D. Arnold, 1993.

37  Letter from Friar Vicente da Encarnação to the king, 23/12/1758, AHU, Moç., box 15, doc. 39.

38  Contract signed between the Royal Treasury and the Misericórdia Brotherhood, 12/03/1789, AHU, Moç., box 57, doc. 22; AHM, Fundo do Século XIX, codex 11 4780 Gd6, passim.

39  N. Hafkin, 1973; E.A. Alpers, 1975; J. Mbwiliza, 1991; M. Newitt, 2008; E.A. Alpers, 2009, p. 23-38.

40 L.A.C. Pereira Martins, P.J. Carvalho da Silva, S.R. Kuka Mutarelli, 2008; M. Lindemann, 2010, p. 11-25. With regard to medical concepts pertaining to various foods in European medicine, see J.W. Estes, 2000; J.-L. Flandrin, 2001; J.-L. Flandrin, 2001b.

41  D. Arnold, 2013, p. 82. See also D. Arnold, 1993, p. 125-126; M. Harrison, 2001; K. Faridabad, 2002.

42  T. Walker, 2002.

43  D. Arnold, 2013, p. 84; for Muslim medicine, see also I. Abdalla, 1992.

44 Concerning the healing practices in Swahili coast, see R.L. Pouwels, 1987, p. 88-93, 121; D. Owusu-Ansah, 2000.

45  C. Counihan, 2000.

46  E. Rodrigues, 2008.

47  F. Silva Gracias, 2005.

48  H. Salt, 1816, p. 31

49  H. Salt, 1816, p. 31-32.

50  Rice remained for a long time a luxury item in Portuguese cuisine. M. Barboff, 2010.

51 With regard to food habits in Goa, see M.J. Mártires Lopes, 1996, p. 318; F. Silva Gracias, 2005.

52  L.V. Simoni,1821, f. 114v.

53 Authorless, “Memorias da costa d’Africa oriental e algumas reflexões úteis para estabelecer melhor, e fazer mais florente o seu comercio”, in A.A. Banha de Andrade, 1955, p. 205; João Baptista Montaury, “Moçambique, ilhas Querimbas, Rios de Sena, villa de Tete, Villa de Zumbo, Manica, villa de Luabo, Inhambane”, c. 1778, in A.A. Banha de Andrade, 1955, p. 370-371.

54  As in Goa, in Mozambique sura was the juice extracted from the spathe of diverse palm, mainly the coconut palm. The word sura could denote the fresh juice, as was the case here, or the fermented beverage, which has different names depending on the degree of fermentation. S.R. Dalgado, 1919-1921, v. II, p. 330-331. On the production and consumption of sura in Mozambique, see E. Medeiros, 1988, p. 47-61.

55  E. Rodrigues, 2008.

56 See M.E. Madeira Santos, M.M. Ferraz Torrão, 1998; J.L. Silva, 1998.

57 According to M. Simões Alberto, it is Sorghum Vulgare, Pers.. M. Simões Alberto, 1965, p. 224.

58 According to M. Simões Alberto, it is Pennisetum Typhoideum, Rich.. M. Simões Alberto, 1965, p. 203.

59 Letter from Friar Vicente da Encarnação to the king, 23/12/1758, AHU, Moç., box 15, doc. 39. The same idea was expressed, for example, in: António Pinto de Miranda, “Memória sobre a Costa de África”, in A.A. Banha de Andrade, 1955, p. 232; letter from governor-general Francisco de Melo de Castro to the engineer António José de Melo, 14/11/1755, AHU, codex 1310, f. 147v-149; letter from governor-general Baltazar Pereira do Lago to the secretary of state, 18/08/1767, AHU, Moç., box 26, doc. 67.

60  A.J. Grieco, 1991; A.J. Grieco, 1993; A.J. Grieco, 2001.

61  J. Goody, 1982, p. 113.

62  H. Salt, 1816, p. 45-46.

63  H. Salt, 1816, p. 74; B. Mártires, 1823, f. 27, 60-61. See also E.A. Alpers, 2009, p. 23-38.

64  F.J. Lacerda e Almeida, 1797.

65  B. Mártires, 1823, f. 5.

66  M.J. Mártires Lopes, 1996, p. 318-319.

67  B. Mártires, 1823, f. 29.

68  B. Mártires, 1823, f. 29-31.

69 Sambo, or ntsamabu in ShiNgazija and Kiswahili, is a variety of sago, obtained from the seeds of the palm-like tree Cycas circinalis L. See E.A. Alpers, 2009, p. 150; 224, n. 7.

70  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 115v. Apas is a word transported to Mozambique from Goa, where it designates the same kind of roasted unleavened bread called chapatti in other regions of India. S.R. Dalgado, 1919-1921, v. 1, p. 47-48.

71 For the Zambezi valley see, for example, diverse historical descriptions in A.A. Banha de Andrade, 1955.

72  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 45v, 55-55v.

73  Owing to the importance of bread in the feeding and religion of Europe, Europeans tended to see as bread different foods they found in other cultures. See M. Chastanet, 2002.

74  One Portuguese ounce was equivalent to 28,6848 g.

75  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 45v, 113v; B. Mártires, 1823, f. 34.

76  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 55v. About the diffusion of maize in Africa, see J. McCann, 2005.

77  E. Rodrigues, 1998.

78  H. Salt, 1816, p. 32-33, p. 45.

79  B. Mártires, 1823, f. 48-49. See also F.J.L. Almeida, 1797.

80  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 113v-114.

81 João Baptista Montaury, “Moçambique, ilhas Querimbas, Rios de Sena, villa de Tete, Villa de Zumbo, Manica, villa de Luabo, Inhambane”, c. 1778, in A.A. Banha de Andrade, 1955, p. 341-342.

82  J.J. Sequeira Magalhães e Lanções, 1779.

83  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 159.

84  H. Salt, 1816, p. 51.

85  B. Mártires, 1823, f. 34.

86  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 52, 113v; E. Rodrigues, 1998.

87  Letter from governor-general Pedro Saldanha de Albuquerque to the secretary of state, 01/08/1783, AHU, Moç., box 43, doc. 12. Also see the order issued by governor-general Pedro de Saldanha de Albuquerque, 16/06/1786, AHU, codex 1360, f. 12-12v.

88  Regulations for the Royal Hospital, 30/12/1788, AHU, Moç., box 56, doc. 72.

89  Regulations for the Royal Hospital, 30/12/1788, AHU, Moç., box 56, doc. 72.

90  S.R. Dalgado indicates that this was “a kind of jiggery dish cooked with some vegetables”. S.R. Dalgado, 1919–1921, v. 2, p. 124. Other dictionaries describe it as being a rice dish cooked with spices. A. Morais Silva, 1948, v. 2, p. 199.

91 Rice soup was also commonly eaten for breakfast. S.R. Dalgado, 1919–1921, v. 1, p. 206; M.J. Mártires Lopes, 1996, p. 319; F. Silva Gracias, 2005, p. 279.

92  Nowadays, there are several ways to cook curry, including the use of coconut milk in the north and the peanut milk in the south. These ‘milks’ are prepared by pouring hot water over the grated coconut and the ground peanuts. After standing for awhile, each of the mixtures has to be sieved. For the place of curry in the process of construction of a Mozambican cuisine, see M.P. Meneses, 2009.

93  S.R. Dalgado, 1919–1921, v. 2, p. 124.

94  Letter from Friar Vicente da Encarnação to the king, 23/12/1758, AHU, Moç., box 15, doc. 39; Report regarding the Royal Hospital’s expenditure from 1799 to 1808, 24/12/1808, AHU, Moç., box 84, doc. 83.

95 In Portugal, chicken was given to weaker patients while other patients were fed lamb and beef. See “Formulas das rações com que devem ser assistidos os enfermos e mais pessoas que servem no Hospital Real Militar desta Corte”, 01/09/1765; “Regulamento dos hospitais militares de campanha”, 07/08/1797, in A. Moutinho Borges, 2009, p. 158-177. For Europe, see J.W. Estes, 2000, p. 1538-1539.

96  This is a kind of anchovy (Stolephorus indicus), which is still eaten today. I am very grateful to Dr. Atanásio Brito, Director of the Instituto Nacional de Investigação Pesqueira, Mozambique, for this information.

97  Letter to the king, after 1774, AHU, Índia, box 84.

98  For further information about the consumption of fish during the Ancien Régime, see M. Ferrières, 2002, p. 214-216; J-L. Flandrin, 2001, p. 109-110.

99  “Relação dos efeitos que restão em meu poder da compra, que fizerão para o ministerio do Real Hospital”, c. 1779, AHU, Moç., box 32, doc. 101.

100 I. Guimarães Sá, 1997, p. 190-191; C. Bastos, 2010, p. 63.

101  Report on meals served to patients at the Royal Hospital, 01/01/1783, AHU, Moç., box 41, doc. 1.

102  Report on the hospital’s meal plans, 24/10/1765, AHU, Moç., box 25, doc. 84.

103  Ordinance issued by the governor-general, 24/03/1794, AHU, codex 1360, f. 110.

104  Requisition by António Lima Leitão to the governor-general, 25/10/1819, AHU, Moç., box 165, doc. 45; letter from the governor-general to the secretary of state, 07/11/1819, AHU, Moç., box 166, doc. 11.

105  Letter from the governor-general João Manuel da Silva to the secretary of state, 27/11/1821, AHU, Moç., box 181, doc. 121.

106  Inventory of the Royal Hospital, 1789, AHU, codex 1565, f. 2-2v.

107  “Livro da matrícula da mestrança, marinheiros e escravos ao serviço de S. Alteza Real na ribeira, hospital e respectiva botica, na praça de S. Sebastião de Moçambique”, AHU, codex 1569, f. 19-23v, 30v-33. The slave from Rio de Janeiro, Gaspar, was an apothecary who was banished to Mozambique. Letter from the secretary of state to the governor-general, 17/06/1812, Requisition by António Pinto Sequeira, AHU, Moç., box 142, doc. 68.

108 See, for example, Authorless, “Memorias da costa d’Africa oriental e algumas reflexões úteis para estabelecer melhor, e fazer mais florente o seu comercio”, in A.A. Banha de Andrade, 1955, p. 212; “Instrucção que o Ill.mo e Ex.mo Sr. Governador e Capitão General Baltazar Manuel Pereira do Lago deo a quem lhe suceder neste governo”, in A.A. Banha de Andrade, 1955, p. 321.

109  Inventory of the Royal Hospital, AHU, codex 1565, f. 3v-4. One arrátel (16 ounces) was equivalent to 0.459 kg.

110  Letter from Friar Vicente da Encarnação to the king, 23/12/1758, AHU, Moç., box 15, doc. 39.

111  M. Morineau, 2001, p. 180.

112  Plan of the hospital’s expenditure, from 1799 to 1808, 24/11/1808, AHU, Moç., box 84, doc. 83.

113  B. Mártires, 1823, f. 12.

114  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 115-117.

115  R. Porter, 1995, p. 418; J.W. Estes, 2000, p. 1538-1544; J.-L. Flandrin, 2001b, p. 270-271.

116  M. Ferrières, 2002, p. 365.

117  M. Foucault, 1980.

118  C. Bastos, 2011, p. 27-28.

119  E. Rodrigues, 2006, p. 621-624.

120  L.V. Simoni, 1821.

121  Simoni was influenced by the concept of temperament framed by humoral medicine, but he also incorporated the new medical theories about fibres and nerves. Throughout his Medical Treatise he hesitated in classifying temperaments, but he represented people in Mozambique as having lymphatic, bilious, sanguine, muscular, and nervous temperaments, with different kinds of physical and moral characteristics, and distinguished inclination to diverse diseases. E. Rodrigues, 2006, p. 632-636.

122  E. Rodrigues, 2006.

123  AHM, Fundo do Século XIX, codex 11.4780 Gd6, f. 48-49.

124  AHM, Fundo do Século XIX, codex 11 4780 Gd6, f. 50-53.

125  AHM, Fundo do Século XIX, codex 11 4780 Gd6, f. 203-203v.

126  It was not possible to know if this “bread biscuit” referred to bread cooked twice or to breadcrumbs.

127  AHM, Fundo do Século XIX, codex 11 4780 Gd6, f. 216v-219v.

128  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 112v-113.

129  There was not a consensus, but several doctors argued with the benefits of consuming vegetables and some even advocated a vegetarian diet. See J.W. Estes, 2000, p. 1543-1545. J.-L. Flandrin argued that the progressive inclusion of the vegetables in the elite diet in Europe was related with a medical transgression, besides a change in its social status. J.-L.Flandrin, 2001b, p. 263-264.

130  L. Gianetti, 2010.

131 Gonçalim is the fruit of Luffa acutangula Roxb., used as a vegetable. S.R. Dalgado, 1919–1921, v. 1, p. 437.

132  B. Mártires, 1823, f. 24-25.

133  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 121-124.

134  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 122v.

135  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 117-118v.

136  See, for example, order issued by interim government, 31/03/1819, AHU, codex 1382, f. 24v.

137  See the hospital’s monthly expenditure reports, AHM, codex 11 4780 Gd6, passim.

138  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 115.

139  Hospital’s monthly expenditure reports, AHM, codex 11 4780 Gd6, passim.

140  AHM, Fundo do Século XIX, codex 11 4780 Gd6, f. 54-56.

141  “Rellação dos effeitos que restão em meu poder da compra, que fizerão para o ministerio do Real Hospital”, c. 1779, AHU, Moç., box 32, doc. 101; Plan of the hospital’s expenditure, from 1799 to 1808, 24/12/1808, AHU, Moç., box 84, doc. 83; AHM, Fundo do Século XIX, codex 11 4780 Gd6, passim.

142  P. Norrie, 2003.

143  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 196-199.

144  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 125v-126, 198-198v. See also E. Medeiros, 1988, p. 52-60.

145  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 45v. On the consumption of these beverages in Angola, see J. Curto, 2004, especially p. 162-184.

146  J.-L. Flandrin, 2001a, p. 207.

147  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 196-201v.

148  L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 204-205v.

149  A. Huetz de Lemps, 2001, p. 215-217; I. Fattacciu, 2012.

150 L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 204. The preparation of chocolate with eggs was probably due to the influence of French traders who frequented Mozambique to negotiate slaves. With regards to the way of preparing chocolate with egg yolks in France, see I. Fattacciu, 2012.

151  A. Huetz de Lemps, 2001, p. 220-222.

152  B. Mártires, 1823, f. 28-29. Also see L.V. Simoni, 1821, f. 199v-202.

153  A. Huetz de Lemps, 2001, p. 217-220.

154  See, for example, the letter from the state secretary D. Rodrigo de Sousa Coutinho to the governor-general Isidro de A. Sousa e Sá, 02/03/1800, AHU, códex 1472, f. 164-164v.

155  M.P. Meneses, 2009, p. 2.

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Eugénia Rodrigues, « Eating and Drinking at the Royal Hospital of Mozambique Island: Medicine and Diet Change between the end of the 18th and the early 19th century », Afriques [En ligne], 05 | 2014, mis en ligne le 23 décembre 2014, consulté le 31 août 2016. URL : http://afriques.revues.org/1553

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Auteur

Eugénia Rodrigues

Senior Researcher, Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical, Lisbon

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