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Jewish Cooking in America: Expanded Edition [Hardcover]

Joan Nathan
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 8 1998 Knopf Cooks American
This rich tapestry of more than three centuries of Jewish cooking in America gathers together some 335 kosher recipes, old and new. They come from both Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews who 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 observant Jews. Food plays a major part in rituals past and present, binding family and community. It is this theme that informs every part 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 white fish 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, and Jell-O changed forever Jewish home cooking.

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 Tuscon.

When Jewish Cooking in America was first published in 1994, it won both the IACP / Julia Child Cookbook Award for Best Cookbook of the Year and the James Beard Award for Best Food of the Americas Cookbook. Now, more than ever, it stands firmly established as an American culinary classic.

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From Amazon

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

You don't have to be Jewish to like the latest entry in the Knopf Cooks American series. You don't even have to like Jewish cooking. A food-lover's guide to Jewish American history and culture, it dishes up not just recipes but appetizing anecdotes, insights about various forms of religious observance and how they have been affected by transplantation to the New World, even a few jokes. Nathan ( Jewish Holiday Kitchen ), a skillful writer and an energetic researcher, evokes the greenhorn's astonishment at the plentitude of oranges; documents the "revolution" in kosher cooking inspired by the introduction of vegetable shortening in the '10s; explains how enterprising Jewish admen convinced various food manufacturers to tailor their products for kosher consumers; calls on Southern families who replace the walnuts and almonds of Eastern European cookery with pecans, and visits Maine cooks who prepare mock lobster salad. Her focus is expansive, covering not just standard Ashkenazic and Sephardic dishes and traditions but foods and customs from Bukhara, Salonika, Israel and Georgia as well as original Jewish American hybrids. The recipes themselves, clearly outlined if not always easy to execute, constitute something of a Jewish culinary hall-of-fame, with faithfully preserved instructions for homemade bagels and pickled herring, Lindy's cheesecake and contributions from chic restaurateurs (Wolfgang Puck, Anne Rosenzweig). Illustrations not seen by PW. BOMC alternate, HomeStyle Book Club alternate.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent cookbook to read and to cook from Sept. 29 2000
By A Customer
What I love most about this cookbook is how international it is. I've never seen another cookbook with so many great recipes from so many different countries. It makes sense really, if you consider that Jews have come to the U.S. not only from Eastern Europe, but also from Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Cuba, Mexico, Morocco, Spain, etc. Consequently, many of the recipes, such as ceviche and chicken adobo, were a welcome surprise in addition to Jewish favorites such as knishes, hamantashen, and matzoh ball soup. Introducing most of the recipes are fascinating personal stories of the people who've brought their wonderful culinary traditions to America. Any food lover/cook will appreciate the heartfelt style of this excellent cookbook.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging blend of food, culture, and history March 26 2000
By A Customer
This book contains user-friendly recipes, and most of the ingredients called for are easily obtainable. The majority of the recipes appear to be for dishes that are actually eaten by Jews rather than for ones that are definitely not part of Jewish cuisine although they have been passed off as such by some authors. Ms. Nathan is passionate about the food she describes and provides a generous amount of information on the history, lore, and cultural and religious traditions of the Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews who settled in America. She also includes menus, a helpful glossary of Jewish terms, and many interesting illustrations.
I would also like to recommend "Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen: A Culinary Journey through Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan," by Sonia Uvezian. This definitive volume offers superb recipes and fascinating text, including information on the region's minorities (particularly Jews and Armenians) that is not found in previous cookbooks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jewish Cooking in America Dec 18 1999
By A Customer
A superlative cook book.Full of history and nostalgia.Fun to read as well as to cook from.It keeps me connected to my past.
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By A Customer
This cookbook is incredible. It not only has recipes I never thought I'd find, it presents a unique history of Jewish food and people in such a way as to bring a warm feeling to anyone of any background reading this book. It is no wonder this cookbook has received cookbook awards. That is its just deserts. In fact, this cookbook transcends its subject area, as well as the category of book. This is a cookbook that deserves a medal for fostering understanding of a people and their heritage. This cookbook was published at a unique time in the history of Jewish Cooking, capturing recipes that otherwise might have been lost to many.
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