Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking Italian
Cucina Ebraica: Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen
Goldstein, Joyce Esersky
Published: September 1, 1998
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Jews have lived in Italy since Roman times, always part of the cultural landscape, always living in isolation of one kind or another. The word we know as ghetto comes to us from 16th-century Venice. Within the world of Jews in Italy, there
are several smaller worlds: those of the native Italian Jews, of the Sephardim driven out of Spain, and of the Ashkenazim moving down from Germany and Eastern Europe. Take all those food traditions and dietary laws, squeeze them in one overarching food
sensibility, and you have a very unusual way to view culture and history. Joyce Goldstein, in Cucina Ebraica, demonstrates that culture and history are edible, if not downright delicious.
Take Livornese Couscous with Meatballs, White Beans, and
Greens. Couscous came to Livorno with North African Jews in the 1270s. It was a Friday-night meal, and the leftovers were served cold the next day on the Sabbath. Goldstein gives the first honest recipe for Carciofi alla Giudia (crispy fried artichokes
in the Roman Jewish style) yet printed. Not all artichokes are alike, she demonstrates, and then shows you a way around the problems no one else ever manages to address to successfully cook this classic.
As she has proved in The Mediterranean
Kitchen and Kitchen Conversations, Joyce Goldstein knows how to bring great food to the home kitchen. Her research is impeccable, her technique straightforward. Cucina Ebraica, this wonderful way of looking at an Italian cuisine that must answer to so
many other influences, is an obvious project of love and devotion. Not to be missed. --Schuyler Ingle
New York Times
"For many Jewish families, the menu for rosh ha-Shanah dinner, from the chicken soup to the honey cake, is set in stone, and
has been for generations...This year, 'Cuciana Ebraica,' by Joyce Goldstein, might inspire a dinner that strays form the tried and true, with its recipes for Italian Jewish dishes."
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