Jewish Cooking In America (Knopf Cooks American)

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9780394584058: Jewish Cooking In America (Knopf Cooks American)

Here is a rich tapestry of more than three centuries of Jewish cooking in America. In this book Joan Nathan gathers together more than 300 kosher recipes, old and new. They come from both Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews who came and settled all over America, bringing with them a wide variety of regional flavors, changing and adapting their traditional dishes according to what was available in the new country.

What makes Jewish cooking unique is the ancient dietary laws that govern the selection, preparation, and consumption of food by observant Jews. Food plays a major part in rituals, past and present, binding family and community. It is this theme that informs every page of Joan Nathan's warm and lively text.

Every dish has a story--from the cholents (the long-cooked rich meat stews) and kugels (vegetable and noodle puddings) prepared in advance for the Sabbath to the potato latkes (served with maple syrup in Vermont and goat cheese in California) and gefilte fish (made with whitefish in the Midwest, salmon in the Northwest, haddock in New England, and shad in Maryland). Joan Nathan tells us how lox and bagels and Lindy's cheesecake became household words and how American products like Crisco, cream cheese, junket, and Jell-O changed forever the way Jewish women cook.

The recipes and stories come from every part of the U.S.A. They are seasoned with Syrian, Moroccan, Greek, German, Polish, Georgian, and Alsatian flavors, and they represent traditional foods tailored for today's tastes as well as some of the nouvelle creations of Jewish chefs from New York to Tuscany.

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Review:

Joan Nathan, an American, author of The Children's Jewish Holiday Kitchen, lived in Jerusalem for three years. Her review of Jewish-American cuisine contains more than 300 kosher recipes, with added information on Jewish dietary laws and Jewish culture, drawing from both Sephardic and Ashkenazic traditions. She gives Old World cooking extensive coverage, including foods from Bukhara, Salonika, Israel and Georgia, and writes knowledgeably of New World adaptations. The recipes cover Jewish standards, like homemade bagels and pickled herring and more American-influenced dishes like Cajun matzoh balls with green onions, or American haroset. The book won the 1995 Julia Child Cookbook Award in the American Category.

About the Author:

Joan Nathan was born in Providence, Rhode Island. She graduated from the University of Michigan, where she received a master's degree in French literature. She later earned a master's in public administration from Harvard University. For three years she lived in Israel, where she worked for Mayor Teddy Kollek of Jerusalem. In New York, she founded the Ninth Avenue Food Festival. Ms. Nathan wrote for The Washington Post for eight years and currently contributes articles on international ethnic food and special holiday features to The New York Times, Food Arts, Gourmet, and the B'nai B'rith International Jewish Monthly. She is the author of The Jewish Holiday Kitchen, The Children's Jewish Holiday Kitchen, Jewish Cooking In America, and An American Folklife Cookbook, and coauthor of The Flavor of Jerusalem. Ms. Nathan lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and their three children.

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