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

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

by Claudia Roden
 
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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
This James Beard award-winning cookbook offers a far-reaching history of the Jewish people as told through their foods. Filled with original recipes from Jewish communities from every corner of the world, A Book of Jewish Food is essential to an understanding of Jewish cooking and rituals of eating. Another necessary element of any cookbook library.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As the biblical echo of the title indicates, this collection is as instructive and comprehensive as a textbook. Roden (Mediterranean Cookery, etc.) divides the territory in two parts: "The Ashkenazi World" and "The Sephardi World." She chronicles the lives of Jews all over the world in short segments on unusual Jewish communities past and present, such as those of Salonika, Greece, and China. These sections, and the many other notes on subjects ranging from the New York Deli to salt herring are gems. Recipes are numerous and diverse: Yellow Split Pea Soup with Frankfurters, Pumpkin Tzimmes, Small Red Kidney Beans with Sour Plum Sauce, Cold Stuffed Vine Leaves, and Fish Balls in Tomato Sauce. Some highlights include the chapter on Sephardic breads (Algerian Anise Bread, North African Sweet Breads with Nuts and Raisins) and the one on Ashkenazic desserts (Mandelbrot, Hanukah Jam Doughnuts). All of this can be a little overwhelming at times (and, as Roden acknowledges in the introduction, many Jewish foods simply reflected the cuisines of the places where Jews were living rather than their own specific culture). Yet with few omissions (e.g., the instructions for making pasta specify rolling out the dough "as thin as possible" but don't explain how), Roden proves a practiced, reliable guide. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Roden (Good Food of Italy, LJ 10/15/90) is an authority on Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. Her exhaustively researched and impressive new book is obviously a labor of love. Born in Egypt, she offers a wide-ranging exploration of Jewish culture and food, with more than 800 recipes from Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews all over the world. She begins with an extensive introductory section on Jewish identity, kosher laws, biblical history, and holy and holidays, then deals separately with Ashkenazim and Sephardim. Faced with dozens of versions of both traditional and unusual dishes from different communities, she sought to present the best, whether from a scholar in the Middle East or from a housewife in London; for some dishes, however, she gives more than one recipe, along with variations. The text is packed with sidebars and boxes on cultural history, culinary anthropology, and other relevant topics. Other good books on Jewish cooking that appeared recently include Gil Mark's The World of Jewish Cooking (LJ 9/96) and Robert Sternberg's The Sephardic Kitchen (LJ 9/96), but Roden's is a far more ambitious work, invaluable as both a cookbook and a reference. Essential.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780394532585
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/28/1996
Pages:
688
Sales rank:
437,059
Product dimensions:
7.70(w) x 9.56(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet 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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