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Cooking with the Bible: Biblical Food, Feasts, and Lore Hardcover – August 30, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If mealtime has turned into drudgery, here's an answer to your prayers: a unique cookbook that seeks to unearth the culinary secrets of Abraham, Sarah, King David, Ruth, Esther, Jesus of Nazareth and other biblical luminaries….It perfectly blends the historical settings and cultural significance of the biblical feasts and offers easy-to-follow preparation for the menus and recipes. Though based on the Old and New Testaments, the book is instructive, educational and above all, entertaining."

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The Scarsdale Inquirer



"Since biblical times, the Judeo-Christian lifestyle has centered on meals. Extending hospitality to both friends and strangers was a divine command and an invitation to dine was sacred. The Judeo-Christian bible is peppered with stories of meals. These range from simple meals put together quickly in order to feed a few unexpected guests, to elaborate feasts carefully prepared to please dozens of partygoers for many days. Cooking with the Bible explores 18 of these meals found in Scripture, providing full menus and recipes for re-creating some of the dishes enjoyed by the peoples of biblical times. Each chapter begins with the menu for a biblical feast. A brief essay describes the theological, historical, and cultural significance of the feast. Recipes for a wide variety of breads, stews, rice and lentil dishes, lamb, goat, fish and venison meals, vegetable salads and cakes are detailed, all of them carefully tested."

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The Asheville Citizen-Times (North Carolina)



"Potluck dinners are a part of congregational life, so why not delve a little deeper to the biblical origins of food? In Cooking with the Bible: Biblical Food, Feasts and Lore, authors Anthony F. Chiffolo and Rayner W. Hesse Jr. explore 18 meals found in the Scriptures, spicing the accounts with tidbits of background information."

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Topeka Capital-Journal (Kansas)



"Five Stars The book is full of interesting facts….[i]t does stay true to its title by providing a host of recipes for dishes that are sure to wow your guests (or at least stimulate conversation). Can you say theme party?"

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families.com



"Highly original and comprehensive….Scintilating conversation is essential to enjoyable dining and Cooking with the Bible nicely lays the groundwork for this….[s]et time aside to work with this book, and make cooking with the Bible a special occasion."

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Social Justice and Faith Magazine/TheSocialEdge.com



"In Cooking with the Bible, Hesse and Chiffolo have taken 18 Bible stories in which food is an important element and created recipes and, in some cases, entire menus to pair with them. To create the recipes, they extensively researched ancient and contemporary Mideast cooking, filling in textual gaps with their imagination. A hefty section in the back examines the lore of biblical ingredients, cooking methods and ancient weights and measures. The authors have included some humorous additions (Angel Food Cake) to keep the book from taking itself too seriously."

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The Bismark Tribune



"Cooking with the Bible presents 18 meals found in the Scriptures, along with complete menus and recipes for re-creating some of the foods enjoyed by people in biblical times. Sixteen of these menus are for dinner, one for a noontime meal (from the story of Ruth) and one breakfast (Jesus cooking for the disciples on the shore of Lake Genessaret). These meals include Entertaining Angels Unawares, A Birthright Worth Beans, All for a Father's Blessing, King David's Nuptials, A Meal in the Wilderness and the Prodigal Son Returns….[e]xtremely well-researched and informational. Chiffolo and Hesse spent three years researching and testing recipes. The reader will learn not only biblical history and cooking methods of the past, but will feel part of the history as well when they read the story behind each meal."

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mywesttexas.com



"This biblically themed cookbook contains 18 meals found in the scriptures along with other recipies to make complete menus. Modern recipes are added to go with the theme of each chapter, which begins with a biblical text and its history. In the second section of the volume, ingredients and their historical background are described. The book includes maps and a table of biblical weights and measures. Both subject and recipe indexes are provided."

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Reference & Research Book News



"In an effort to describe thousands of years of food preparation as related in the Bible, religion writers Anthony F. Chiffolo and Rayner W. Hesse Jr. (also an accomplished chef) have created the massive Cooking With the Bible, Biblical Food, Feasts and Lore. This comprehensive encyclopedia explores not only the biblical stories revolving around 18 meals found in the scriptures, but examines the role of food and fellowship during that time. The book provides full menus and recipes and includes the lore behind ingredients such as St. Peter's Fish and various herbs."

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The Times of Acadiana



"No. The Bible is not a cookbook. However, its history is a great source for culinary research. Performing this research was Anthony F. Chiffolo, Editorial Director of Praeger Publishers and prolific author and Rayner W. Hesse, Jr., an Episcopal priest. They titled their interesting compilation, Cooking with the Bible. Mediterranean cooking is exciting due a bold use of fruits, nuts and wheats with vegetables and some meat. The areas recommended wines are paired with each meal.This is healthy eating!"

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foodsiteoftheday.com



"Here's a fresh approach to the Bible, serving up a new understanding of the call to hospitality. With the holiday seasons approaching and hostesses' thoughts turning to welcoming guests, the new book Cooking with the Bible-Biblical Food, Feasts, and Lore has much to offer."

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Pittsburgh Catholic



"Cooking with the Bible is a must read for any kitchen. Authors Anthony F. Chiffolo and Rayner W. Hesse Jr. put not only a great deal of imagination into this book, they energize the need to get in touch with the spirituality found in the Bible through food and feasts. Not only are there culinary challenges found in their writing, but each chapter is food for thought. It's a whole new way to look at the Bible."

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The Catholic Register



"This one's for the food scholars….The history and notes explaining biblical passages are the best parts of this book. The discussion of the Prodigal Son, for example, explains the impropriety of asking for an early inheritance. In Middle Eastern culture, the authors write, this is nothing short of rude and ungrateful; it was as if to say, 'Father, I wish you were dead, but since you are not, I want what you have now, instead of having to wait until you die in order to get it.'The accompanying recipes, modern-day interpretations of ancient dishes, are great for dinner parties. But whether you cook or not, it's still a good read."

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The Fresno Bee



"Judeo-Christian cooking has long centered on meals as a form of not only sustenance, but hospitality. Most cookbooks covering such cuisine focuses on the recipes; but Cooking with the Bible: Biblical Food, Feasts, and Lore is different: recipes here are plentiful but secondary to the historical review of meal contents, rituals, and underlying cultural meaning. Bible stories of meals form the foundation of recipes which begin with a menu for a biblical feast, an essay surveying its historical and cultural significance, and explanations of traditional versus modern cooking methods. Any cook who also harbors affection for the Bible will find Cooking with the Bible an intriguing, different guide."

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MBR: California Bookwatch



"Essays explore the religious and cultural significance of 18 passages that revolve around meals, such as King David's wedding or the feast to celebrate the return of the prodigal son. Hesse and Chiffolo then present an imagined menu for each occasion. The recipes use modern kitchen equipment — no need to fry the fish on hot stones — but draw heavily on ingredients mentioned in the Bible or known to have been available in the ancient Middle East."

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Los Angeles Times/Jackson Hole Star Tribune/The Seattle Times/Ashland



"Illustrated with mouth-watering photos of the recipes and containing detailed maps of the lands of the Bible as well as extensive commentary, Cooking With the Bible is a feast for the eyes, the palate and the soul."

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Faith & Friends



"Finally an answer to the question. What would Jesus eat? In Cooking with the Bible, Anthony Chiffolo and Rayner Hesse, Jr., detail 18 meals—16 dinners, a lunch and a breakfast—found in the Scriptures….While the authors aimed for authenticity and spent three-plus years on research, the improvised some to settle on just the right ingredients. What they concocted is almost equal parts spiritual, historical and gastronomical--and truly food for thought."

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Reader's Digest



"BUY Cooking with the Bible for your beloved, and perhaps he or she will produce Solomons love feast for you on St Valentines Day. This blend of biblical stories, culinary notes, and recipes has seduced me."

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Church Times



"This meticulously arranged cookbook is the brainchild of Chiffolo, editorial director of Praeger Publishers, and Hesse, a chef and ordained Episcopal priest….A chronology and maps precede 18 biblically inspired menus, which make up Part 1. The passages from which the menus are derived were taken from six different translations of the Bible (whichever one presented the most information about the meal). Notes are given where appropriate. Many wonderful, easy-to-follow recipes illustrate the care that was taken to explore the tastes and traditions of the Middle East, including Egyptian Caraway Seed Bread (eesh baladi ), Roast Quail with Apricots and Pecans, and Ground Lamb with Potatoes and Tomatoes (Kufta ). Part 2, The Lore of the Ingredients, is a culinary dictionary, religious reference, and historical analysis in one. The book finishes with an appendix for biblical weights and measures and separate recipe and subject indexes….Recommended for most public libraries and academic libraries with strong religious or culinary studies programs."

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Library Journal



"In Cooking with the Bible there are no impossibly pretty pictures of food that would excite Martha Stewart or otherwise make everyday cooks like us feel inadequate. What it has is a richness of stories, imagination, and yes, recipes that bring us back to the real meaning of food and feast. It reminds us that in biblical times, the lives of Christians and Jews alike centered on the breaking of bread."

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Anglican Journal



"If food connects us to each other, to our families, and to our history, then Cooking With the Bible, helps to connect us to biblical stories and peoples. Selecting passages from The book of Genesis through the Gospels, authors Chiffolo and Hesse first offer an accessible, easily understood commentary on the context of each story and then, using mostly ingredients available in common grocery stores, create menus with recipes to invoke the meal highlighted in the selected passage. While cooks of all abilities would enjoy trying their hand at the recipes listed, it is a great book for small and large bible study and fellowship groups who want to engage bible stories with all their senses, not just their intellect….[C]ooking With The Bible would certainly make a strong and frequently used addition to the church library shelf."

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Food and Faith/Presbyterians Today

Book Description

Cooking with the Bible is a feast for the body, mind, and spirit, providing contemporary cooks with recipes for eighteen meals described in the Judeo-Christian bible.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwood (August 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313334102
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313334108
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,164,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Life takes strange twists and turns. My childhood was spent in the rural community of East Schodack, NY, across the Hudson River from Albany. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, I served on active duty in naval aviation for 7 years (then served additional years in the Naval Reserve). Afterward, I began my publishing career, first with the Naval Institute Press, then Liguori Publications, Fordham University Press, Praeger Publishers, and now ABC-CLIO. I published my first book in 1997, and I continue to have a great interest in the mystical lives of the saints; but I have a deepening interest in the sacredness of nature and the spirituality (hospitality) of food.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Emily Jamison on May 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This cookbook contains 18 biblical meals, 6 relating to the Gospels, each preceded by the biblical text, relevant history and notes on the biblical passage. There are ~9-12 recipes per meal, nicely presented but with small, black-and-white photos, followed by a meal-specific bibliography. It also contains a dated chronology of the events, maps, weights and measures, and 150 pages of food lore.

The meals included are: Abraham serving the angels, Esau's birthright meal, Esau's blessing meal, Joseph eating at the Egyptian palace, with his long-lost brothers, Passover, a combination of food eaten when they wandered in the desert for forty years and what they whined about missing from Egypt, a combination of Ruth's meal with Boaz and those eaten during the festival of Shavuot, Abigail's meal for David and his men, David's wedding feast, the potential wedding feast for the love-sick couple in the Song of Solomon, Elisha's meal at Gilgal, what Nehemiah ate with his workers, the traditional foods celebrating Purim, when Esther saved her people from annihilation, food John the Baptist may have encountered by the Jordan River, the feast celebrating the return of the prodigal son, Jesus' dinner with a Pharisee, the wedding feast at Cana, and the breakfast Jesus cooked for the disciples on the shores of the Galilee, after his resurrection.

The authors are rather creative in their take on what might have been eaten. I'm guessing John the Baptist didn't really eat honey-carob brownies, or honey-roasted lamb with cous-cous. That said, they do point out their liberal take on things, and they also encompass a very large topic in their recipes - e.g.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Rena on January 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
When one buys a book titled Cooking with the BIBLE: Biblical Food, Feasts, and Lore, he has a right to expect biblical food. Why would educated authors design menus to include ingredients that had yet to cross the Atlantic and had certainly never crossed the lips of Joseph, David, Esther or even the Prodigal Son? Was Biblical fare so limited that we have to pretend that Sarah served squash and tomatoes, that Jacob used chocolate and green beans, that Bathsheba ate crispy baked potatoes and that Elisha nibbled corn from the cob? Other geographically or chronologically impossible foods include peppers, vanilla, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, pineapple, pecans, ketchup, lima beans, cranberry juice, coffee, turkey, cashews, vermouth and gin. The authors aren't ignorant (in the back of the book they discuss food origins), they just employed a misleading title. If you want an accurate portrayal of food in the Bible, skip this book; buy it only if you want a very expensive Mediterranean style cookbook.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Marty Martindale on November 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
No. The Bible is not a cookbook, however, its history is a great source for culinary research. Performing this research was Anthony F. Chiffolo, Editorial Director of Praeger Publishers and prolific author and Rayner W. Hesse, Jr., an Episcopal priest. They titled their interesting compilation, Cooking with the Bible. Mediterranean cooking is exciting due a bold use of fruits, nuts and wheats with vegetables and some meat. The area's recommended wines are paired with each meal.This is healthy eating!

The feasts, or "The Meals" presented number 18, some of which are:

Joseph Dines with His Brothers

The Reapers' Meal

Kind David's Nuptials

Elisha Cooks Masterfully at Gilgal

The Prodigal Son Returns

The Wedding Feast at Cana

The general formatting for each menu is thus:

* Maps

* Chronology

* Biblical text lining out the feast

* Historic explanation

* The menu

* Preparation in Biblical times

* Recipes for preparation in today's kitchens

* Finally a lengthy "Lore of the Ingredients" section

One of the meals, The prodigal Son Returns, as others, has interesting names, as well as familiar, for each recipe. This particular feast:

Poor Lad's Loaf

Veal Kebabs

Honey-Baked Goat with Mint Sauce

Heifer Fondue

Fresh Mallow with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Fresh Kefir Yogurt with Concord Grapes

Figs in Chamomile Tea and Cream

Carob Cake for Two Sons

Some interesting recipe food combinations:

* Rice of Beersheba: Combines broth, basmati rice, dill and capers.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Judeo-Christian cooking has long centered on meals as a form of not only sustenance, but hospitality. Most cookbooks covering such cuisine focuses on the recipes; but COOKIGN WITH THE BIBLE: BIBLICAL FOOD, FEASTS AND LORE is different: recipes here are plentiful but secondary to the historical review of meal contents, rituals, and underlying cultural meaning. Bible stories of meals form the foundation of recipes which begin with a menu for a biblical feast, an essay surveying its historical and cultural significance, and explanations of traditional versus modern cooking methods. Any cook who also harbors affection for the Bible will find COOKING WITH THE BIBLE an intriguing, different guide.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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