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Cucina Ebraica: Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1ST edition (August 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811819698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811819695
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 8.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Jews have lived in Italy since Roman times, always part of the cultural landscape, always living in isolation of one kind or another. The word we know as ghetto comes to us from 16th-century Venice. Within the world of Jews in Italy, there are several smaller worlds: those of the native Italian Jews, of the Sephardim driven out of Spain, and of the Ashkenazim moving down from Germany and Eastern Europe. Take all those food traditions and dietary laws, squeeze them in one overarching food sensibility, and you have a very unusual way to view culture and history. Joyce Goldstein, in Cucina Ebraica, demonstrates that culture and history are edible, if not downright delicious.

Take Livornese Couscous with Meatballs, White Beans, and Greens. Couscous came to Livorno with North African Jews in the 1270s. It was a Friday-night meal, and the leftovers were served cold the next day on the Sabbath. Goldstein gives the first honest recipe for Carciofi alla Giudia (crispy fried artichokes in the Roman Jewish style) yet printed. Not all artichokes are alike, she demonstrates, and then shows you a way around the problems no one else ever manages to address to successfully cook this classic.

As she has proved in The Mediterranean Kitchen and Kitchen Conversations, Joyce Goldstein knows how to bring great food to the home kitchen. Her research is impeccable, her technique straightforward. Cucina Ebraica, this wonderful way of looking at an Italian cuisine that must answer to so many other influences, is an obvious project of love and devotion. Not to be missed. --Schuyler Ingle

Review

For many Jewish families, the menu for Rosh ha-Shannah dinner, from the chicken soup to the honey cake, is set in stone, and has been for generations.

Nonetheless, you can count on new cookbooks to appear just before Rosh ha-Shannah, the Jewish New Year celebration, which begins this year at sundown on Sunday. The older generation probably needs no help preparing the chopped liver or the chicken soup, but publishers are hoping a younger generation now taking to the stove will want a recipe for hallah or some new menu ideas or, for that matter, the precise requisites for Rosh ha-Shanah or other holidays.

This year, "Cucina Ebraica," by Joyce Goldstein Might inspire a dinner that strays from the tried and true, with its recipes for Italian Jewish dishes. Will there be howls of protest if kreplach, the meat-filled pasta similar to wontons, are replaced with stroncatelli, a kind of handmade pasta, as Ms. Goldstein, a chef and former restaraunteur in San Francisco, suggests? Perhaps. But expect compliments for the chicken roasted with orange, lemon and ginger; the gratin of potatoes and tomatoes with garlic and parsley (better done on top of the stove than in the oven), or the quinces in spiced sugar syrup.



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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Excellent recipes, easy to use..
J. Strovs
They brought things to the baker to be cooked and picked up later, and some things were cooked a very long time.
Judy Bart Kancigor
I love the background and history associated with the food.
Judith H Casale

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Being a true Italian, I couldn't wait to try some of the recipes in "Cucina Ebraica." To my delight, I really enjoyed the tasty recipes, in fact the recipes I made brought me back to many childhood memories especially the aromas that came from my grandmother's kitchen. "Cucina Ebraica" contains a amazing collection of simple to prepare, mouth-watering gourmet recipes. A must to try the Crostini di Peperoni, (a superb version of Bruschetta), Potato and Tomato gratin, Fresh Tuna with Peas; your family and guests will ask for seconds. Joyce Goldstein's introduction had very informative history of the Italian-Jewish culture. She also gave an educational description of the Jewish holidays and great menu suggestions for the holidays (I can't wait for the holidays to come). This book should delight the palate of every gourmet. I absolutely recommend this book.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Brian Connors VINE VOICE on March 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Short form: vegetables + raisins and pine nuts is a good combination.
There is a certain image of Jewish food and a certain image of Italian food in this country that is widely understood. The food in this book really is neither -- it's a unique cuisine that in some ways is a throwback to Roman food, while still reflecting the Jewish heritage that influenced it. And this is one of the few books readily available that discusses it -- even Claudia Roden's monumental Book of Jewish Food -- IMHO possibly the greatest ethnic cookbook I own -- has very little to say about Italian Jewish food, though its coverage of Sephardic and Mizrachi cooking is otherwise excellent.
The recipes in here are snapshots of foods that aren't necessarily standardized -- the recipe for Riso di Sabato (Sabbath rice), for example, points out that some make it like a risotto, some don't. Three different versions of Passover charoset appear, from different parts of Italy, and even though the world-famous carciofi alla giudea show up there's a riot of other vegetable dishes, including many based on la zucca barucca, a pumpkin-like "blessed squash" that shows up quite frequently in this book.
Italian Jewish food is something very different from what the average cook might expect -- the combination leads to a fairly exotic yet very homey cuisine, and this book is one of the few I've seen that makes it accessible to American cooks. If you like seeking out interesting ethnic cuisines, there's a hole in your library if you don't have this one.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 12, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I was born and raised in rome, I know a little about the Jewish people there. I know their beautiful Synagogue in the Ghetto, and I have eaten "Da Giggetto al Portico D'Ottavia" at least fifty times! It's fabulous, we used to go there for filetti di baccala' and puntarelle (a salad with an anchiov dressing. Ms. Goldstein has captured the "real" recipes. I was most impressed when I read "Carciofi alla Giudia", she is so right in describing what type of artichokes to use, only the Roman artichokes can be used in order to obtain the true recipe, she gives suggestions on how to use american artichokes but is not the same. Everyone should own this book, is informative, the recipes are incredibly great! Try the Roast chicken aith Orange, Lemon and Ginger; your guest will ask for the recipe, it is so fantastic. I recommend this book to all individuals that like good cooking, it is priceless, she did a wonderful job. thank you Ms. Goldstein!!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. A Magill TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Joyce Goldstein's cookbooks are a pleasure to read and to cook from. She has a wonderful sense of the way that culture and food interact and develop. In addition, she writes beautifully about Jews have effected and been effected by the cultures where they reside, adapting local cuisine to the Jewish palette and dietary rules.
The Jewish community in Italy dates back to ancient Rome, at least 2,300 years. Their cuisine is rich, flavorful, and undeniably Italian. Goldstein brings their tradition to life in this great cookbook. Moreover, her introduction and notes that go with the receipts are facinating.
While everything I have tried was wonderful, some things should be pointed out in particular. The pizza (not what you think) is great. Also, Goldstein teaches that the ubiquitous putenesca sauce is, in fact, of Jewish origin. The risotto and stews are also wonderful. As with her other books, Goldstein does not skimp on the desserts!
A testament to what a great book this is the fact I am getting hungry just writing about it!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Being a true Italian, I couldn't wait to try some of the recipes in "Cucina Ebraica." To my delight, I really enjoyed the tasty recipes, in fact the recipes I made brought me back to many childhood memories especially the aromas that came from my grandmother's kitchen. "Cucina Ebraica" contains a amazing collection of simple to prepare, mouth-watering gourmet recipes. A must to try the Crostini di Peperoni, (a superb version of Bruschetta), Potato and Tomato gratin, Fresh Tuna with Peas; your family and guests will ask for seconds. Joyce Goldstein's introduction had very informative history of the Italian-Jewish culture. She also gave an educational description of the Jewish holidays and great menu suggestions for the holidays (I can't wait for the holidays to come). This book should delight the palate of every gourmet. I absolutely recommend this book.
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