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Schwartz (Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food) breathes life into Yiddish cooking traditions now missing from most cities' main streets as well as many Jewish tables. His colorful stories are so distinctive and charming that even someone who has never heard Schwartz's radio show or seen him on TV will feel his warm personality and love for food radiating from the page. Oddly, even the shorter anecdotes often run longer than the actual recipes; anyone intending to cook from the book should have some kitchen experience or risk frustration at the often brief instructions. Dishes run the gamut from beloved appetizers like gefilte fish to classic meat and dairy main items (cholent, blintzes), plus less familiar items like onion cookies and Hungarian shlishkas (light potato dumplings). Schwartz intersperses engaging commentary on everything from farfel and matzo to Romanian steakhouses and why Jews like Chinese food. Those with Westernized palates may recoil at the thought of gelled calf's feet, but Schwartz shows how stereotypically heavy Ashkenazi food can be improved and made at least somewhat lighter when prepared properly. Cooks and readers from Schwartz's generation and earlier, who know firsthand what he's talking about, will appreciate this delightful new book for the world it evokes as much as for the recipes. (Apr.)
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Although the first Jewish immigrants to New York were Sephardic Jews from Spain, they were doomed to be overwhelmed by waves of Ashkenazi Jews fleeing Eastern European pogroms. So many Jews took refuge in New York City that the metropolitan area became the world’s center of Jewish cooking, at least till the founding of Israel. Schwartz covers the basics of this influential cuisine, from schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) and dill pickles through brisket and cholent (Sabbath stew). The remarkable intersection in America of Jewish and Chinese cultures finds celebration in a recipe for chow mein. Passover dishes, which must follow strict injunctions, earn their own chapter. Photographs, not just of food but also of New York’s people and restaurants, and diverting sidebars contribute further vibrancy to the text. A glossary of Yiddish food words enhances the book’s reference value. Schwartz’s well-earned reputation as a Jewish cookery maven will increase demand for this title. --Mark KnoblauchSee all Editorial Reviews
Excellent book, excellent value, brings back great culinary memories.Published 2 months ago by Interested consumer
Wonderful recipes. I love the stories behind the origins of the recipes and the humour in them. I can't wait to systematically eat my way through it.Published 4 months ago by Angela Ingram
Perfectly lovely business dealing. Can't wait to try this wonderful looking, interesting book.Published 5 months ago by Lala Lady
Wonderful , every thing that I expected and more from Arthur SchwartzPublished 5 months ago by R. Kitchen
Terrific cookbook, with all the history explained as well. Love it, love the pictures; highly recommended.Published 7 months ago by Andrea
Love this book. Had taken it out from library several times and decided it was time to own it. Recipes are wonderful. Wonderful photos and narratives.Published 7 months ago by Joan Maslin
The stories behind the food, both historical and personal, are the best part of the book. Centered around the immigrant communities of New York, the writing brings forth life in... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Johanna Haas
Love the recipes and the stories. This one was a gift as I already own the bookPublished 9 months ago by susan harper