Classic Italian Jewish Cooking: Traditional Recipes and Menus

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9780060758028: Classic Italian Jewish Cooking: Traditional Recipes and Menus

Classic Italian Jewish Cooking starts with the ancient Italian adage Vesti da turco e mangia da ebreo ("Dress like a Turk and eat like a Jew"). In this definitive volume of Italian Jewish recipes, Edda Servi Machlin, a native of Pitigliano, Italy, a Tuscan village that was once home to a vibrant Jewish community, reveals the secrets of this delicate and unique culinary tradition that has flourished for more than two thousand years.

Originally introduced into the region by Jewish settlers from Judea, other Middle Eastern countries, and North Africa, Italian Jewish cuisine was always more than a mere adaptation of Italian dishes to the Jewish dietary laws; it was a brilliant marriage of ancient Jewish dishes and preparation methods to the local ingredients that relied on the imaginative use of fresh herbs, fruit, and vegetables. Fifteen hundred years later, with the influx of Iberian refugees, it was enriched by some Sephardic (from Spain and Portugal) dishes.

Here you'll find recipes for the quintessential Italian Jewish dishes -- from Goose "Ham," Spicy Chicken Liver Toasts, and Jewish Caponata to Sabbath Saffron Rice, Purim Ravioli, and Tagliatelle Jewish Style (Noodle Kugel); from Creamed Baccalà, Red Snapper Jewish Style, and Artichokes Jewish Style to Creamed Fennel and Fried Squash Flowers; from Couscous Salad and Sourdough Challah Bread to Haman's Ears, Honey Cake, and Passover Almond Biscotti.

Selected from Edda Servi Machlin's three widely admired books on Italian Jewish cuisine and filled with beautifully rendered memories from her birthplace, this rare collection of more than three hundred recipes is a powerful tribute to a rich cultural heritage and a rare gift to food lovers. With a special section on Jewish holiday menus, Classic Italian Jewish Cooking is a volume to treasure for generations.

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About the Author:

Edda Servi Machlin was born in a rural village in Tuscany, Italy, in 1926. She settled in America in 1958 and has taught Italian and Italian Jewish cooking for decades while writing her books, one of which is a memoir of her growing up in Fascist Italy that has been used in history classes at Yale and Yeshiva Universities. Her recipes have appeared in dozens of cookbooks by other authors and in newspapers all over the world. She now lives in New York City, and, although confined to a wheelchair, she is still writing.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. The 2,000-year history of the Jews in Italy has produced a wealth of delicious creations that conform to the Jewish dietary laws of Kashruth, make use of the freshest seasonal ingredients and call for the utmost care and fuss in preparing them. Machlin offers recipes and menus for every holiday and occasion, not only from her native Tuscan Jewish village of Pitigliano, but from her mother's Roman-Jewish tradition, as well as those painstakingly collected from Jewish friends in Venice, Bologna and throughout Italy. Many of the dishes are uniquely Italian Jewish and cannot be found in Italian cookbooks. As the majority of Italian Jews are of Sephardic origin, their dishes also differ from the familiar Ashkenazic food of Central and Eastern Europe and will provide a host of new ideas for Jewish cooks. Instead of Hamantashen (traditional triangular hat-shaped pastries filled with jam or poppy seeds) for Purim, they can try Orecchi di Aman or Haman's Ears (fried pastry curls) or Muggine in Bianco (Jellied Striped Bass) instead of gefilte fish. In certain cases, Sephardic kosher laws vary from the Ashkenazic and Machlin clearly states and explains those variations. Antipasti, soups and pastas, meat, vegetables and salads, breads and desserts are all covered in one volume compiled from Machlin's three highly acclaimed but hard-to-find earlier books so that American cooks can share the rich history and legacy of Pitigliano, Italy's "Little Jerusalem." (Apr.)
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