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Wikimedia Commons

The Spanish Village “Kill Jews” Has Decided to Change its Name

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Nestled in the arid plains of northwestern Spain lies a little village that for a few hundred years has gone by the name Castrillo Matajudíos—in English, Castrillo Kill Jews (or Jew-Killer).

How did it get such a name? There are a few different stories. It may be named for a medieval massacre in which citizens of the nearby town of Castrojeriz killed 60 men in the prosperous Jewish community there and drove the rest out of town, to Castrillo. Another account says that the area they fled to was at first called Motajudíos, or “hill of the Jews” and an error by a scribe in the 17th century resulted in the switch from “mota” to “mata.” Yet another version suggests that after the Spanish Inquisition in 1492, in which Jews were forced to either convert to Catholicism or be expelled (or killed), the converted Jews of Castrillo changed the name of their town to Matajudíos to prove their loyalty to their new religion. 

However the name came to be, it looks pretty unfriendly, to say the least—but for a long time people in the region didn’t seem to notice. The mayor of the town, Lorenzo Rodriguez, said, “Those of us who have lived all our lives in Castrillo Matajudíos don't give it a second thought. But the moment you go elsewhere it sounds bad.” Well, yes.

In a referendum held on Sunday, the town voted 29-19 to change the name. It will now be Castrillo Mota de Judios, or “Hill of the Jews.” Mayor Rodriguez, who had threated to resign if the vote went the other way, was pleased with the outcome, saying, “the phrase ‘Matajudios’ did not correspond to the way this village thinks or acts these days, nor with our village flag, which has the Star of David on it.” He plans to restore the town’s old Jewish quarter.

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holidays
Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album
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iStock

Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.

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Nom & Malc, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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Food
Cheese Wheel Wedding Cakes Are a Funky Twist on an Old Tradition
Nom & Malc, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Nom & Malc, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If there’s ever a time you have permission to be cheesy, it’s on your wedding day. What better way to do so than with a pungent wedding cake made of actual wheels of cheese? According to Elite Daily, cheese wedding cakes are a real option for couples who share an affinity for dairy products.

One of the trailblazers behind the sharp trend is Bath, England-based cheese supplier The Fine Cheese Co. The company offers clients a choice of one of dozens of wedding cake designs. There are bold show-stoppers like the Beatrice cake, which features five tiers of cheese and is priced at $400. For customers looking for something more delicate, there’s the Clara centerpiece, which replaces miniature wedding cakes with mounds of goat cheese. Whether your loved one likes funky Stilton or mellow brie, there’s a cheese cake to satisfy every palate. Flowers are incorporated into each display to make them just as pretty as conventional wedding cakes.

Since The Fine Cheese Co. arranged their first wedding cake in 2002, other cheese suppliers have entered the game. The Cheese Shed in Newton Abbot, England; I.J. Ellis Cheesemongers in Scotland; and Murray’s Cheese in New York will provide cheese wheel towers for weddings or any other special occasion. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from clearing out the local fromagerie and assembling a cheese cake at home.

[h/t Elite Daily]

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