There’s more to Jewish food than the Ashkenazi specialties so prevalent in the West, says Ann Treistman, v-p and editorial director at the Countryman Press. Case in point: in the forthcoming release Modern Jewish Comfort Food, Shannon Sarna draws inspiration from the Jewish cuisines of Africa, the Caucuses, the Middle East, and elsewhere. “Shannon gives her recipes context within the Jewish religion,” Treistman says, “and never loses sight of the joy of cooking.” The book is one of several this season that celebrate the depth and breadth of Jewish foodways.
Cathy Barrow. Chronicle, Mar.
Barrow’s introduction to bagel-making includes recipes for “Bagels My Grandmother Wouldn’t Recognize” (gluten-free, sun-dried tomato and olive), as well as the classics (New York City style, Montreal style), along with a variety of spreads and other deli mainstays, such as home-cured lox and chicken salad. “Barrow’s helpful guidance, flexibility, and humor,” PW’s review said, make for an “entertaining outing.”
Cooking alla Giudia
Benedetta Jasmine Guetta. Artisan, Apr.
In 2009, Guetta, who hails from Milan and lives in Santa Monica, Calif., co-launched (with Manuel Kanah) the food blog Labna, which highlights Jewish and kosher cooking in Italy, the Middle East, and beyond. Her English-language debut illuminates the culinary heritage of Italian Jews, with kosher recipes for pasta, sides, and desserts; tours Italian cities and regions with significant Jewish history, such as Rome and Lombardy; and offers menu suggestions for shabbat dinners and Passover celebrations incorporating Italian-Jewish specialties.
Feeding Women of the Talmud, Feeding Ourselves
Kenden Alfond. Turner, Aug.
This vegan compilation, inspired by stories in the Talmud (the central text of Rabbinic Judaism), features the reflections and recipes of 129 Jewish women from around the world. Each vignette, which includes a verse, a contemporary interpretation, and a prompt, is paired with a plant-based, kosher, pareve recipe inspired by the character’s experience.
Michael W. Twitty. Amistad, Aug.
Twitty (2017’s The Cooking Gene, 56,000 print copies sold, per NPD BookScan) melds history, research, personal narrative, reportage, and recipes in a celebration of the cuisines of the Black-Jewish diaspora. (See “The Kitchen Is a Space to Solve Problems,” for a q&a with Twitty.)
Modern Jewish Comfort Food
Shannon Sarna. Countryman, Sept.
Sarna, author of 2017’s The Modern Jewish Baker and editor of the Jewish food blog The Nosher, provides recipes for traditional favorites, such as Yemeni-style chicken soup and Passover rainbow cookies, and fun riffs, such as mac ’n’ cheese kugel and shakshuka pizza.
Lori Zabar. Schocken, May
This history of the Upper West Side New York City landmark, written by the founder’s granddaughter, traces the family’s flight from Ukraine in the 1920s and the institution’s expansion through the 20th century, and provides a portrait of the store today. Each chapter is accompanied by a recipe, such as Lily Zabar’s latkes and Eli Zabar’s thumbprint cookies. PW’s review said, “The many devoted patrons of this legendary food purveyor will find themselves sated.”