Synopses & Reviews
For over 5,000 years, Jewish families have lived in Italy. The cuisine that developed in their households is a remarkable melange of kosher traditions and the distinctive flavors of Italy, the Middle East, and Spain. For the first time, this wonderfully rich, little-known culinary heritage is given the attention it has long deserved. With Cucina Ebraica, celebrated chef Joyce Goldstein offers a substantive collection of superb (and completely kosher) Italian Jewish dishes, as well as a compelling and important culinary history. Exploring the ancient intertwining of two venerable food traditions, we discover that many Italian dishes have Jewish roots. Familiar and yet entirely new, this is a robust and delicious new side of a beloved region's cuisine. Filled with painterly photographs that evoke the richness of the Italian Jewish heritage, Cucina Ebraica is a mouthwatering collection of distinguished recipes, a reference on an extraordinary tradition, and an invitation to unexpected joys and secrets about both Italian and Jewish cookery.
For many Jewish families, the menu for Rosh ha-Shannah dinner, from the chicken soup to the honey cake, is set in stone, and has been for generations.
Nonetheless, you can count on new cookbooks to appear just before Rosh ha-Shannah, the Jewish New Year celebration, which begins this year at sundown on Sunday. The older generation probably needs no help preparing the chopped liver or the chicken soup, but publishers are hoping a younger generation now taking to the stove will want a recipe for hallah or some new menu ideas or, for that matter, the precise requisites for Rosh ha-Shanah or other holidays.
This year, "Cucina Ebraica," by Joyce Goldstein Might inspire a dinner that strays from the tried and true, with its recipes for Italian Jewish dishes. Will there be howls of protest if kreplach, the meat-filled pasta similar to wontons, are replaced with stroncatelli, a kind of handmade pasta, as Ms. Goldstein, a chef and former restaraunteur in San Francisco, suggests? Perhaps. But expect compliments for the chicken roasted with orange, lemon and ginger; the gratin of potatoes and tomatoes with garlic and parsley (better done on top of the stove than in the oven), or the quinces in spiced sugar syrup.
Could there be any small corner of Italian cooking still left to be explored? You don't think so? Guess again. How about the cooking of Italy's Jewish community? It's a distinctive cuisine that mixes Sephardic, Middle Eastern and Spanish cooking traditions with Italian ingredients and methods. The Washington Post
For more than 5000 years Jewish families hav e lived in Italy. Cucina Ebraica is a mouthwatering collecti on of recipes that reflect the Jewish roots of many of Italy s favourite dishes. '
Now available in paperback, Joyce Goldstein's beloved cookbook offers a fascinating perspective on the Italian food we all know and love. Tracing the long-forgotten Jewish influences and focusing new light on the intertwining of two time-honored cooking traditions, the recipes in Cucina Ebraica are familiar and yet entirely fresh, a robust and delicious taste of Italys regional cuisine. From the enticingly crunchy fried vegetables of fritto misto to the savory meat-filled buricche pastries to tonno fresco con piselli (Fresh Tuna with Peas), each dish is an invitation to the unexpected delights in both Italian and Jewish cuisine.
About the Author
Joyce Goldstein is a nationally known chef, author, teacher, and Mediterranean cooking expert. Her numerous cookbooks include, most recently, Italian Slow and Savory (0-8118-4238-X), Solo Suppers (0-8118-3620-7), and Enoteca (0-8118-4737-3). She lives in San Francisco.
Ellen Silverman is a New York based still-life photographer who specializes in food. Her work has appeared in several cookbooks and is regularly featured in many home and food magazines.