The World Of Jewish Desserts: More Than 400 Delectable Recipes from Jewish Communities

Marks, Gil

Published by Simon & Schuster
ISBN 10: 0684870037 / ISBN 13: 9780684870038
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Synopsis: From the rabbi, chef, writer, historian, and author of The World of Jewish Cooking and The World of Jewish Entertaining, comes a delectable book featuring more than 300 desserts gathered from Jewish communities around the world.

As the Talmud says, "honey and sweet foods enlighten the eyes of man". The act of serving and consuming food can be an expression of who we are as well as a genuine spiritual experience. And few foods have the power to please and uplift as desserts do.

The World of Jewish Desserts explores the products of kitchens from the various Jewish communities across the globe, and provides extensive information on history and culture along with irresistible recipes. While the sources of these delectable treats may seem exotic, the ingredients and techniques are not, and the easy-to-follow step-by-step recipes have been tested and retested to make sure they work in any home kitchen. Included are recipes from cakes and cookies to yeasted specialties and pastries, phyllo and strudel desserts, fried pastries and pancakes, and puddings, kugels, and fruit desserts -- as well as a special chapter on Passover sweets. No other book is as rich or comprehensive.

More than just an indispensable cook-book, The World of Jewish Desserts illuminates the connections between food, culture, and history, giving fresh insight into the rich diversity of the Jewish experience.

Review: Comprehensive and engrossing, The World of Jewish Desserts takes you on a trip through the world's Jewish communities, sampling their redolent traditional pastries, cakes, and sweets. Gil Marks, author and rabbi, blends baking and history as he explores the Jewish Diaspora and the resulting dissemination of culinary customs and influence around the world. Most of the recipes are culled from the two largest Jewish cultural groups, the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim.

In the section on yeast cakes and pastries, Marks begins with a recipe for Pandericas/Heifeteig (sweet yeast dough) which is the basis for many of the following recipes. Each recipe is prefaced by a historical and cultural interpretation and baking tips. Every few pages, Marks inserts a few paragraphs about the country a recipe comes from, a chronicle of the use of certain spices, or baking styles. For example, after a recipe for Kahkahaw Babka (Polish chocolate sweet bread), Marks gives a short history of Jews in Poland and the Baltic States which explains how these dishes developed and were sustained. He also gives a scientific explanation on the properties of basic ingredients and how they interact with one another.

With 12 chapters of desserts, including cookies and bars, phyllo and strudel, fried pastries, and Passover desserts, the book is almost mind-bogglingly inclusive. More than a cookbook, it is a culinary history and discourse on a people whose traditions and culture have affected--and been adapted by--many of the world's countries. "The act of serving and consuming food can be an expression of who we are, as well as a genuine spiritual experience," says Marks. "And few foods have the power to please and uplift as well as desserts do." --Dana Van Nest

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Title: The World Of Jewish Desserts: More Than 400 ...
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Very Good

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