The Sephardic Kitchen: The Healthy Food and Rich Culture of the Mediterranean Jews

Robert J. Sternberg, Author
Robert J. Sternberg, Author William Morrow Cookbooks $30 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-017691-4
Reviewed on: 10/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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Sternberg (Yiddish Cuisine) mines the rich vein of Sephardic cooking that is often ignored in the U.S. If the tone is occasionally more akin to a textbook than a cookbook, Sternberg is thorough and informative. In addition to simple, refreshing recipes for such dishes as Turkish-Style Bean Dip, Baked Beet Salad and Baked Fish With Bitter Lettuces, he provides one for the complex and decorative Bread of the Seven Heavens with much of the dough shaped into religious symbols like a fish and a hand. The many versions of hamin--a stew baked overnight similar to the Ashkenazic cholent--are explored in depth, as is the wide variety of Sephardic pies and savory pastries, including Portuguese Impanadas and Pittas, large savory pies from Greece. Sternberg also includes recitation of the rules of kashrut, several food-related folk tales and ideas for holiday meals as specific as a menu for a Salonika-Style Rosh Hashono Dinner and tips on what to serve after a funeral. (Sept.)
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