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


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780394532585
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/28/1996
Pages: 688
Sales rank: 518,293
Product dimensions: 7.70(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.50(d)

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.


Is there such a thing as Jewish food? After years of researching the subject, I can say that each region or country has its own particular Jewish dishes and these are sometimes quite different from the local cuisine. Jews have adopted the foods of the countries they lived in, but in every country their cooking has had a special touch and taste and characteristic features and some entirely original dishes which have made it distinctive and recognizable.

There was always, even centuries ago, a touch of otherness in Jewish cooking, a cosmopolitanism which broke even through ghetto walls... Before the days of mass communication, Jews had their own network of communication. The vehicles of gastronomic knowledge were merchants and peddlers, traveling rabis, preachers and teachers, students and cantors, professional letter carriers, beggars (who were legion), and pilgrims on their way to and from the Holy Land.

Dishes are important because they are a link with the past, a celebration of roots, a symbol of continuity. They are that part of an immigrant culture which survives the longest, kept up even when clothing, music, language,a nd religious observance have been abandoned. Although cooking is fragile because it lives in human activity, it isn't easily destroyed. It is transmitted in every family like genes, and it has the capacity for change and for passing on new experience from one generation to another."

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