That is the question that has haunted Joan Nathan over the years and driven her to unearth the secrets of this hidden cuisine. Now she gives us the fruits of her quest in this extraordinary book, a treasure trove of delectable kosher recipes and the often moving stories behind them, interlaced with the tumultuous two-thousand-year history oWhat is Jewish cooking in France?
That is the question that has haunted Joan Nathan over the years and driven her to unearth the secrets of this hidden cuisine. Now she gives us the fruits of her quest in this extraordinary book, a treasure trove of delectable kosher recipes and the often moving stories behind them, interlaced with the tumultuous two-thousand-year history of the Jewish presence in France.
In her search, Nathan takes us into kitchens in Paris, Alsace, and the Loire Valley; she visits the bustling Belleville market in Little Tunis in Paris; she breaks bread around the observation of the Sabbath and the celebration of special holidays. All across France she finds that Jewish cooking is more alive than ever. Traditional dishes are honored, yet many have acquired a French finesse and reflect regional differences. The influx of Jewish immigrants from North Africa following Algerian independence has brought exciting new flavors and techniques that have infiltrated contemporary French cooking, and the Sephardic influence is more pronounced throughout France today.
Now, with Joan Nathan guiding us, carefully translating her discoveries to our own home kitchens, we can enjoy:
• appetizers such as the rich subtle delight of a Terrine de Poireaux from Alsace or a brik, that flaky little pastry from North Africa, folded over a filling of tuna and cilantro; • soups such as cold sorrel or Moroccan Provençal Fish Soup with garlicky Rouille; • salads include a Mediterranean Artichoke and Orange Salad with Saffron Mint and a Tunisian Winter Squash Salad with Coriander and Harissa; • a variety of breads, quiches, and kugels—try a Brioche for Rosh Hashanah, a baconless quiche Lorraine, or a Sabbath kugel based on a centuries-old recipe; • main courses of Choucroute de Poisson; a tagine with chicken and quince; Brisket with Ginger, Orange Peel, and Tomato; Southwestern Cassoulet with Duck and Lamb; Tongue with Capers and Cornichons; and Almondeguilles (Algerian meatballs); • an inviting array of grains, pulses, couscous, rice, and unusual vegetable dishes, from an eggplant gratin to a mélange of Chestnuts, Onions, and Prunes; • for a grand finale, there are Parisian flans and tarts, a Frozen Soufflé Rothschild, and a Hanukkah Apple Cake, as well as many other irresistible pastries and cookies.
These are but some of the treasures that Joan Nathan gives us in this unique collection of recipes and their stories. In weaving them together, she has created a book that is a testament to the Jewish people, who, despite waves of persecution, are an integral part of France today, contributing to the glory of its cuisine....more
Hardcover, 400 pages
October 26th 2010
(first published January 1st 2010)
This is one of the only Joan Nathan books that has disappointed me. I hate to be so superficial but I think a large part of the reason is that the presentation was sub-par. The layout was very pedetstrian and the photos were downright unappetizing; and the recipes themselves (and the stories that accompanied them) weren't sufficiently enticing to draw me in.
Recommended to Ellen by:
Jewish food lovers, cookbook lovers, Joan Nathan fans
This is another fabulous, well-researched cookbook by Joan Nathan, who is I think my favorite cookbook writer of all time. It's full of really great recipes that aren't too difficult to cook. Nathan has taken us on a tour of the Jewish cooking of France and collected both recipes and photographs of the people currently cooking this food today. She's also included some background on the history of the Jews in France from the medieval times to the present day. I'd buy this book in a heartbeat!
I have never listed a cook book on Good Reads before. But this book contains as much history as it does receipes so it deserves a place. Nathan's subject in Jewish cooking in France, and she has done a wonderful job with primary source research. She provides us with resources, photographs, anecdotal stories about France and Jewish history. And the book is beautifully designed. I may buy it!
For once, a cookbook that doesn't rehash traditional recipes (do you really need another challa or chicken soup recipe), but a book that goes into the details of another culture's kosher cuisine. I've already started cooking from this book, and, ahem, made sure to receive it as a birthday present. Great job, Joan!
This cookbook is very informative for its recipes, but also for its history of France and its Jewish people. I learned a lot about Jewish customs and faith while getting some really good recipes. I would highly recommend it to people who like to cook and learn something at the same time.
I didn't actually get through the whole thing. Some of the recipes sounded quite good. But I loved the history! I was actually surprised, because I wasn't expecting quite so much of it, but I think the history and personal stories really add to the appeal of such a cookbook.
This is much more than a cookbook, though the recipes are fabulous. It is a history of Jews in Europe, France in particular, told through food. I loved it and after borrowing it from the library i went out and bought my own copy to enjoy, frequently, at my leisure.
Nathan is a well known cookbook author of jewish recipes and history--this book is a nice addition to her collection, looking at the cuisine of French Jews--who took a little from home and a little locall to make their own food.
I found some sections in the history interesting, but I was really wanting recipes. There weren't any that really compelled me to cook or bake right away. I may need to give this another chance at a later time. (2.5 stars)