cover image 52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen

52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen

Faith Kramer. Collective Book Studio, $32.50 (256p) ISBN 978-1-951412-18-0

Kramer, food columnist for J. The Jewish News of Northern California, illuminates the diverse traditions and ingredients of worldwide Jewish communitiesin her satisfying debut, a collection of Shabbat recipes. She offers a snappy explainer on Shabbat—“At sunset on Friday night, Jews, their families, and their friends come together to celebrate with food, wine, bread, community, and ruach (spirit)”—followed by a rundown of communities that observe it, from Eastern Europe’s Ashkenazis and the Middle East’s Mizrahis to the Maghrebi Jews in North Africa. From here, Kramer takes readers on a delectable trip through the seasons and around the world, offering fresh spins on regional Jewish dishes. Kicking off fall with Rosh Hashanah (“the start of the ritual New Year”), she doles out comfort recipes including a Moroccan-inspired spice-rubbed chicken, followed by a Middle Eastern twist on Thanksgiving leftovers with a turkey and tahini recipe. Winter sees such international fare as Friday Night Tamales and an Ethiopian pot roast, while spring and summer offer modern fusions like falafel pizza and Middle Eastern grilled corn. Even richer are the morsels of cultural knowledge Kramer folds in throughout (eggplant, she writes, “was once known as ‘Jew’s food’ in Italy and ‘Jew’s apple’ in England”). Packed with flavor and history, this is sure to give home cooks of all persuasions a reason to celebrate. (Dec.)