Jewish Food

I rarely read non-fiction, but when westbankpapa came home with The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden, I picked it up to leaf through it.

I ended up reading the whole thing. Ms. Roden gives a thorough overview of all types of Jewish cooking, both Ashkenazi and Sepharadi, with historical background for each separate culture and wonderful recipes, of course.

I learned some interesting facts too. I never knew that the Jews in northern countries were known to breed geese, and this is where the Ashkenazim developed their love of chopped liver. They needed the geese for the rendered fat – as lard is not kosher and they did not have the oil crops plentiful in southern and warmer climates.

Another, more sobering fact, was that many crypto-Jews (those who converted to Christianity but would practice Jewish law in secret) were caught because of their cooking habits. Although many of these Jews would hang a ham outside of their door to try and fool the Inquisition, they were caught because they would not cook on the Sabbath. Those houses without smoke coming out of the chimney on Saturday would be raided.

Even if you are not a “foodie” – this book is highly recommended.

Speaking of Jewish food – go on over to the Kosher Cooking Carnival at Beneath the Wings.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Batya from Shiloh
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 09:37:01

    You’re in the me-ander: The Pre-Holiday Kosher Cooking Carnival. Visit and spread the word! Chodesh Tov. If you’d like to host one, please let me know. Thanks

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