The World of Jewish Desserts: More Than 300 Delectable Recipes from Jewish Communities from Alsace to India

Gil Marks, Author
Gil Marks, Author Simon & Schuster $30 (432p) ISBN 978-0-684-87003-8
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Marks returns to the territory covered in The World of Jewish Cooking and The World of Jewish Entertaining with this third effort encompassing Jewish food from all corners of the globe. While those first two books distinguished themselves with the great diversity of recipes offered, it seems that Jews the world over tend to eat similar types of desserts. Items such as Hungarian ""Farfel"" Bars, which cleverly call for grating the dough into pellets, and Ashkenazic Honey-Spice Cookies outnumber more exotic desserts such as Calcutta Coconut Bread Pudding and Persian Rice Flour Cookies. Marks again delivers solid, flawless recipes along with great bits of information: among them, the Talmudic mentions of sweets and an overview of the different cheeses used in Jewish cooking. An entire chapter on fried pastries includes Greek Anise Fritters and Italian Anise Fritters, in addition to Algerian Raised Donuts and Dutch Yeast Fritters. German Apple Coffee Cake (made with a yeast dough) has much in common with Ashkenazic Fruit Coffee Cake (which Marks suggests making with apples, pears, plums or peaches). There are plenty of treats appropriate for the holidays, including numerous Hamantaschen variations and a chapter on desserts for Passover that ranges from a simple Passover Sponge Cake to a Sephardic Baked Matza Custard. All and all, his volume makes a zesty compendium of traditional foods. (Oct.)
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