The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York

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9780394532585: The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York

A monumental work--the story of the Jewish people told through the story of Jewish cooking--The Book of Jewish Food traces the development of both Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jewish communities and their cuisine over the centuries. The 800 magnificent recipes, many never before documented, represent treasures garnered bu Roden through nearly 15 years of traveling around the world. 50 photos & illustrations.

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Review:

Claudia Roden, author of The Book of Jewish Food, has done more than simply compile a cookbook of Jewish recipes--she has produced a history of the Jewish diaspora, told through its cuisine. The book's 800 recipes reflect many cultures and regions of the world, from the Jewish quarter of Cairo where Roden spent her childhood to the kitchens of Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Both Ashkenazi and Sepharidic cooking are well represented here: hallah bread, bagels, blintzes, and kugels give way to tabbouleh, falafel, and succulent lamb with prunes, which are, in turn, succeeded by such fare as Ftut (Yemeni wedding soup) and Kahk (savory bracelets).

Interwoven throughout the text are Roden's charming asides--the history of certain foods, definitions (Kaimak, for instance, is the cream that rises to the top when buffalo milk is simmered), and ways of preparing everything from an eggplant to a quince. In addition, Roden tells you everything you've ever wanted to know about Jewish dietary laws, what the ancient Hebrews ate, and the various holidays and festivals on the Jewish calendar. Detailed sections on Jewish history are beautifully illustrated with archival photographs of families, towns, and, of course, food. The Book of Jewish Food is one that any serious cook--Jewish and non-Jewish alike--would gladly have (and use often) in the kitchen.

About the Author:

Claudia Roden was born and raised in Cairo. She completed her formal education in Paris and then moved to London to study art. She travels extensively as a food writer. Her previous books include Mediterranean Cookery, which was published in conjunction with her BBC television series; her seminal A Book of Middle Eastern Food; Everything Tastes Better Outdoors; The Good Food of Italy—Region by Region; and Coffee: A Connoisseur’s Companion. She has won five Glenfiddich prizes, including 1992 Food Writer of the Year and the Glenfiddich Trophy. In 1989 she received the two most prestigious food prizes of Italy—the Premio Orio Vergani and the Premio Maria Luigia, Duchessa di Parma—for her London Sunday Times Magazine series “The Taste of Italy.” She lives in London.

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