Ziryab: Abu l-Hasan Ali Ibn Nafi

Fashion and Hygiene

Abu l-Hasan Ali Ibn Nafi – who was also known as Ziryab (black singing bird in Arabic) and Pájaro Negro (blackbird) in Spanish- was a polymath, with knowledge in astronomy, geography, meteorology, botanics, cosmetics, culinary art and fashion. He is known for starting a vogue by changing clothes according to the weather and season. He also suggested different clothing for mornings, afternoons and evenings.

He created a deodorant to eliminate bad odors, promoted morning and evening baths, and emphasized  maintaining personal hygiene. Ziryab is believed to have invented an early toothpaste, which he popularized throughout Islamic Iberia – primarily in Spain.

He made fashionable shaving among men and set new haircut trends. Royalty used to wash their hair with rosewater, but Ziryab introduced salt and fragrant oils to improve the hair’s condition.

Cuisine

Ziryab was also an arbiter of culinary fashion and taste, and revolutionized the local cuisine by introducing new fruit and vegetables such as asparagus, and by initiating the three-course meal served on leathern tablecloths. He insisted that meals should be served in three separate courses consisting of soup, the main course, and dessert.

He also introduced the use of crystal as a container for drinks, which was more effective than metal. Prior to his time, food was served plainly on platters on bare tables, as was the case with the Romans.

In general, the Moors introduced many new crops including the orange, lemon, peach, apricot, fig, sugar cane, dates, ginger and pomegranate as well as saffron, cotton, silk and rice,  all of which remain prominent in Spain today.

From the information, I believe Ziryab was apart of the Afro-Asiatic group; meaning he is connected to Middle Eastern culture as well.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/afroasiatic

A little off subject, but this drink looks good lol. 

Pajaro Negro

The namesake gentleman who the restaurant & bar is named after was a North African renaissance guy in the 8th Century who had his hands in everything from music to math and astronomy. The Spanish nicked named him Blackbird or Pajaro Negro ($10, mezcal, Cynar, Galliano Ristretto, orange peel).

The drink has an iced coffee like feel, a little smoky, a little bitter, brightened up nicely with the orange twist. More of a after dinner drink than a starter.

http://www.alcademics.com/2013/09/a-look-at-ziryab-in-san-francisco.html

http://www.islamicspain.tv/Arts-and-Science/flight_of_the_blackbird.htm

http://www.mandatory.com/2012/12/28/10-people-youve-never-heard-of-who-changed-history/8

http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Abul-Hasan+Ali+Ibn+Nafi

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