Claudia Roden, author of The Book of Jewish Food
, has done more than simply compile a cookbook of Jewish recipes--she has produced a history of the Diaspora, told through its cuisine. The book's 800 recipes reflect many cultures and regions of the world, from the Jewish quarter of Cairo where Roden spent her childhood to the kitchens of Europe, Asia and the Americas. Both Ashkenazi and Sepharidic cooking are well represented here: hallah bread, bagels, blintzes and kugels give way to tabbouleh, falafel and succulent lamb with prunes, which are, in turn, succeeded by such fare as Ftut (Yemeni wedding soup) and Kahk (savoury bracelets).
Interwoven throughout the text are Roden's charming asides--the history of certain foods, definitions (Kaimak, for instance, is the cream that rises to the top when buffalo milk is simmered) and ways of preparing everything from an eggplant to a quince. In addition, Roden tells you everything you've ever wanted to know about Jewish dietary laws, what the ancient Hebrews ate and the various holidays and festivals on the Jewish calendar. Detailed sections on Jewish history are beautifully illustrated with archival photographs of families, towns and, of course, food. The Book of Jewish Food is one that any serious cook--Jewish and non-Jewish alike--would gladly have (and use often) in the kitchen. --Kyle Dean
About the Author
Claudia Roden's previous books include MEDITERRANEAN COOKERY, based on her popular BBC series and also includes A NEW BOOK OF MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD, THE BEST FROM THE MIDDLE EAST and her Penguin 60's title FULMEDAMES & OTHER VEGETARIAN DISHES. She haswon six Glenfiddich prizes inc. the 1992 Food Writer of the Year and the Glenfiddich Trophy. She lives in London, NW11.