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The Book of Jewish Food [Hardcover]

C. Roden
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Book Description

24 Feb 2007
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.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 668 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf; 1 edition (24 Feb 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394532589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394532585
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 19.8 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 872,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I can only agree with the previous reviewers - as a cookbook this is excellent, crammed full of a tremendous number and variety of great recipes, sensibly organised. As a historical book of a people told through their food it's even better.
It is nothing less than a social history of both Ashkenazi and Sephardi Judiasm told through the medium of food. The recipes have been collected and cherished by Roden, often from friends and relatives, on her travels. Most recipes are accompanied by the historical origins of the dish and thereby reveal something about Jews and Jewish life. The more celebrated and famous dishes, such as chopped liver and cholent, have whole pages of fascinating context, history and photographs devoted to them.
The result is that, as well as eating a fantastic meal (the meatballs and apricots in tomato sauce served with spinach risotto rice and followed by apfel kugel mit eppel is my favourite) you have a real sense of occasion and connection when you eat...even if, like me, you're a Gentile; you know the importance and provenance of your food and can almost see the ragged bagel seller, smell the lid being taken off the sabbath stock pot in the shtetl when you eat.
It's certainly the best and most readable cookbook I own, and in fact one of the most enjoyable books I own.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A history of the Jews through their stomachs! 8 Mar 2004
A wonderful book that most of my family and friends own, my non-Jewish flatmate read through like a novel, and I always have difficulty putting down. Since Ashkenazi cooking can be found in countless other Jewish cookery books, I appreciated the main focus on Sephardic cooking. I am vegan and even so found hundreds of recipes. The cultural background information is fascinating, and the religious information enables you to produce something a bit different at the festivals - we had the most fabulous (Iranian, I think) stew last Rosh Hashanah, together with home-made challah, and were quite spoilt for choice when it came to making haroset. The only problem is that I get so seduced by reading the recipes that I end up making too much food! However, my friends have certainly been enjoying the pastries I take to meetings. I have had no problems following the delicious recipes and Roden is usefully realistic about substitutes for ingredients unobtainable in Britain, warnings for extra-hot dishes and so on. She also gives basic recipes followed by several variations for many dishes, especially the popular ones; this can be useful if you want a different slant on a traditional dish, for example a borsht which isn't too violently beetrooty. The personal touch - anecdotes about where she met the recipe donor, or traditional dishes in her family - is delightful.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book,much more than just a cookbook. 25 Dec 2001
Ihave read most of Ms Rodens books and this is the best yet.Her style of writing is so interesting,no glitz,just an extremely informative guide not only to Jewish cooking but also the history and reasons why the dietary laws were laid down.It is also a very good read.I now cook from it all the time.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on food I have ever read 3 Sep 2001
By Mr. Paul S. Bird VINE VOICE
Quite simply, this deserves a place in everyone's kitchen. Not also that, but also in everyone's bookshelf, as this is a book as good to read as it is to cook from. There are quite literally hundreds of recipes here, all easy to use, and all provide superb results. The amount of research and effort that Roden has put into her book is astonishing. You could quite easily live for the rest of your life eating only meals you cook from this book and never become bored. Maybe you'd put on a few pounds here and there, but everything good has a price. This is a bargin at the price - some may be put off by the lack of a glitzy Naked-Chef style colour photo section, but you don't need it at all - Roden has chosen her recipes carefully and very few are tricky. This is not to say the results are simplistic - far from it, you'll find some of the most delicious meals you've ever made pouring forth from your kitchen. I urge you to buy this book now, and pray for more like it. Every culture deserves a book like this.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have Book For The Adventurous Eater & Cook 8 April 2001
By A Customer
Claudia Roden, probably and deservedly the best known of all Middle Eastern cookery writers writing today, has created an absolute treasure in this book. It is simply a must-have for anyone serious about Jewish cooking.
The book is divided into two sections, the first much shorter than the endlessly more fascinating second. Roughly the first third of the book is dedicated to the more traditional style of Jewish cooking, the Eastern European-influenced Ashkenazi cooking. It's in the second two-thirds of this cookbook, however, that Roden's extensive knowledge of her genre really shines through: Sephardi cooking. Such a fascinating mix of spices, flavours and ingredients! Everything I've made from this book has been nothing short of a show-stopper. Highly recommended are the Lamb with Prunes, the Lentil Soup, the Risotto with Artichokes, the Potatoes with Black Olives, the Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts and the Tishpishti (a walnut/almond dessert for Passover).
Finally, if you're not a truly serious foodie, you should consider buying this book for its fantastically interesting background reading. Roden is a Jewish woman who grew up in Cairo, though her family hailed from Turkey. She sheds light on not only her own background but, indeed, on the history of Jewish culture and cuisine in such places as India, China, the Balkans, Morocco, etc.
A GREAT cookbook and deserving of the extensive awards it has garnered.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is the masterpiece.
This book is the masterpiece. I learned from it more than from any other book in my extended culinary library. Read more
Published 15 days ago by olga
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT
i wanted this book years ago, but I was given Evelyn Rose instead. I am not Jewish but I love the total cosmopolitanism of the food. Read more
Published 25 days ago by barbara coplans
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a good book.
This is a good book. my second jewish food book, which might one too meny for a non jew. But this got a nice history feel put into the recipies, which gives you the energy too cook... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Marc Ingvorsen
2.0 out of 5 stars The Book of Jewish Food
The book is greatly over-priced. I am one of those people who like reading cookery books and try different cuisines but I was not impressed with this one.
Published 2 months ago by P. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
This book is not just a cook book but full of stories and history that make you want to try everything. Read more
Published 2 months ago by aw
5.0 out of 5 stars book of jewish food
Beautiful book, good price, fast and safe delivery.
I would recomment to those who has time for reading and watching the pictures, and of course has time for cooking!
Published 7 months ago by Zsuzsanna Kosa
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful modern classic.
After several months, I've finally finished it. However, this is not the last of my dealings with this book, not by a long stretch - I've far too many recipes in mind still. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Booksie
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent cook book and good service
I was really pleased that for a second hand book it was in such good quality - clearly an unwanted Xmas present! The book arrived promptly and was well packed
Published 14 months ago by phoenix44
4.0 out of 5 stars book of Jewish food
This book was interesting in that there was a lot of historical and cultural information covering a wide geographical area. Europe and the middle east. Read more
Published 15 months ago by ink
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
I love Claudia Rodens books they don't just set you on the path to good food, but the stories are great. I love the stories as much as the recipes. .
Published 15 months ago by Pendragon
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