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Jewish Food: The World at Table
Synopses & Reviews
For centuries Jewish communities around the world forged dynamic cuisines from ancient traditions combined with the bounties — and limitations — of their adopted homelands. In this important new collection, Matthew Goodman has assembled more than 170 recipes from twenty-nine countries, handed down through the generations and now preserved in this historic volume.
The heirloom offerings Goodman gathered range from such iconic specialties as bagels, kugel, and chopped liver to such favorites, mostly unknown in the United States, as Turkish borekas, flaky cheese-filled turnovers; chelou, an Iranian rice specialty; and shtritzlach, a sweet blueberry pastry unique to Toronto. Together the recipes celebrate the ingenuity of Jewish cooks around the world, in Mexican Baked Blintzes with Vegetables and Roasted Poblano Peppers, Syrian Bulgur Salad with Pomegranate Molasses, Moroccan Roast Chicken with Dried Fruit and Nuts, Iraqi Sweet-and-Sour Lamb with Eggplant and Peppers, Italian Baked Ricotta Pudding, and many other unexpected delights.
These dishes have been shaped by the histories of the communities from which they come. This book also features dozens of lively, engaging essays that present the history of Jewish food in all its richness and variety. The essays focus on ingredients, prepared dishes, and cultures.
Food is a repository of a community's history, and here, in its broad strokes, is the history of the Jews. The recipes and essays in this book provide a fascinating new perspective on Jewish food. More than a cookbook, Matthew Goodman's Jewish Food: The World at Table is a book to learn from, to cook with, and to pass on through the ages.
"Jewish food is almost too huge a topic to be covered exhaustively, but Goodman, the 'Food Maven' columnist at the Forward, takes a decent stab at it by dividing his book into chapters on appetizers, soups, fish, eggs and dairy, poultry, meat, kugels, breads, and desserts and interspersing them with essays pertaining to peoples, ingredients and dishes. For example, in the chapter on fish, Goodman spotlights a Jewish community in Northern Morocco, where one woman saved the almost lost language Jaquetia (a combination of Spanish, Hebrew, Arabic and Berber). A recipe for Pescado en Colorado (fish in tomato sauce with peppers and paprika), popular in that region, follows. In the poultry chapter, a piece on pomegranates explores the contention that the fruit on the tree of knowledge was not an apple, but a pomegranate; readers then find a recipe for Chicken in Pomegranate Sauce with Walnuts and Figs. In the soup chapter, an essay on chicken soup looks at the dish's legendary healing properties and also at how variations developed in Greece, Turkey, Iraq, Italy and Yemen (instructions for making chicken soups from Eastern Europe, India and Iraq follow). Goodman deftly tackles his vast subject with these enlightening, engaging essays, which, coupled with the volume's 170 recipes, make for a fine tribute to Jewish cuisine. 2-color illus. throughout. Agent, Bill Clegg. (Mar. 1)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The pleasures of the Jewish table come alive in this comprehensive collection of traditional and contemporary recipes from around the world, interwoven with eloquent essays on ingredients, people, and cultures.
About the Author
Matthew Goodman writes the "Food Maven" column for the Forward. His writing, on food and other subjects, has appeared in the American Scholar, the Harvard Review, The Art of Eating, and many other publications. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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