Jewish traditional foods often have symbolic meanings. A Passover matzo is a taste of Egyptian slavery. The Hanukkah latke reminds us of the little jug of oil that burned, miraculously, for eight nights. Noshing hamentaschen at Purim, we remember the villain Haman, and his thwarted plan to destroy the Jews. Even more than in the synagogue, Jewish life takes place around the dining table. Jewish sages compare the dining table to an altar, and that isn’t an exaggeration. Jewish meals are ceremonies and celebrations that forge a pathway between body and soul. In this unique cookbook, Carol Ungar links the cultural and religious symbolism of Jewish foods to more than one hundred recipes drawn from international Jewish cultures and traditions. She offers easy-to-follow recipes for Shabbat meals and all the Jewish holidays, from Rosh Hashana to the nine days before Tisha b’Av, along with fascinating briefs on how many Jewish foods—challah, kreplach, farfel, and more—express core Jewish beliefs. With ingredients that can be found in any supermarket, and recipes adapted for the time- and health-conscious cook, this volume is for anyone who wishes to flavor Shabbat and holiday meals with Jewish soul.
CAROL UNGAR, a freelance writer who lives in Israel, has written for Tablet, the Jerusalem Post, and other publications. Her website is kosherhomecooking.com.
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