Sufganiyot (Jelly Donuts), The Jewish Cookbook by Leah Koenig, Photography by Evan Sung
Jewish cuisine exists all over the world. Shaped by the diaspora, Jewish food has inherently adapted and evolved to reflect the changing geographies and ingredients of its cooks, while also maintaining and honouring important customs and narratives.
Featuring over 400 dishes from Jewish communities around the world, The Jewish Cookbook is the most comprehensive collection of contemporary and traditional recipes for home cooks. Presenting food for everyday meals, celebrations, and special holidays, the book includes 11 chapters organized by occasion and dish.
Chicken Soup, Kosher Style by Amy Rosen, Photography by Ryan Szulc
In the Jewish culture, as in many others, bubbes, saftas and nanas are the matriarchs of the kitchen and thus the rulers of the roost. They are culinary giants in quilted polyester muumuus and silk slippers who know how to make the Semitic linchpins cherished from childhood—the kugel, the gefilte fish, the matzah ball soup and the crispy-skinned roasted chicken. They all have their specialties but, of course, they won’t be around to feed us forever, and that will be a loss indeed. But it will be an even bigger loss if the recipes we grew up on pass away with them, along with those special connections to our past.
Tablet Magazine’s list of the 100 most Jewish foods is not about the most popular Jewish foods, or the tastiest, or even the most enduring. It’s a list of the most significant foods culturally and historically to the Jewish people, explored deeply with essays, recipes, stories, and context. Some of the dishes are no longer cooked at home, and some are not even dishes in the traditional sense (store-bought cereal and Stella D’oro cookies, for example).
The entire list is up for debate, which is what makes this book so much fun. Many of the foods are delicious (such as babka and shakshuka). Others make us wonder how they’ve survived as long as they have (such as unhatched chicken eggs and jellied calves’ feet). (more…)
Many Jewish families continue the tradition of gathering to share a meal on Friday nights and holidays, but a new generation is changing the approach to traditional food. At the same time, the rest of the world is discovering the joys of Jewish cooking.
In Feasting, Amanda Ruben brings together her fresh takes on classic recipes, along with popular favourites from her contemporary café and deli, and her own busy family home.
I must begin with a confession. I adored/obsessed over this cookbook so much that I hesitated to write about it. You know that feeling when you encounter something or someone so great that you are left to fall silent? I felt a bit unworthy. Thankfully, I moved past my insecurities and decided that it was more important to introduce my readers to the brilliance of this book.
Equal parts revelatory memoir, insightful travel guide, expedient cookbook, and sumptuous coffee table book, Israel Eats is an eye-opening experience of Israel’s food culture today.
I’ve come to realize that many of us have been bequeathed a cherished family recipe. Be it simple or elaborate to prepare, it’s a dish so fiendishly delicious that it is the unmistakable star of the family meal, whether celebrating triumphs, comforting woes, or keeping family traditions alive. Withholding such heirloom recipes from the world seems almost cruel. Hence, I am championing the family recipe. I will entice the people in my universe to share favourite, nostalgia-infused family recipes, and I will give one of them centre stage in this very space on a monthly basis. In the end, we are all family, and these recipes represent the legacies of our shared passions. This month’s post is written by my good friend Lee Zimmerman. Enjoy!
By Lee Zimmerman
How to make latkes like my Grandma Mollie? Well, you need some skin in the game, for starters.
Mollie didn’t know from food processors. “You wanna make latkes, then all you need is a grater.” That was her first rule. Her second rule? “It’s not real latkes if a bit of your knuckle skin doesn’t end up in the potato mix, from all the grating.” (Miss you, Grandma. They don’t make ’em like you anymore.) (more…)