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Arab American Loves Claudia Roden
on November 21, 1998
November 1998 -- I just checked this book out of the library yesterday and stayed up until midnight reading from it to my husband. Now, he's not interested in recipes - it was the stories about Jews in Cairo, Jews in ancient Babylon, Arab and Jewish cooking under the Abbasid Caliphs in Baghdad, Jews in India, and most of all -- ANDALUCIA and the glories of Spain before the "Reconquista" that kept him entertained. Claudia Roden, culinary Scheherezade...
Born in Cairo to a Sephardic family who left Spain in the 15th Century, Roden has a lot of good things to say about Arabs and Jews in the Middle East. She doesn't gloss over the difficulties but she's much more interested in talking about the long, long shared history of the two peoples.
And she's interested in great food. You should check out the recipes from the various Indian Jewish peoples. I am planning to cook at least twelve of her recipes in the next month.
Roden's writing style is direct, simple and wonderful. I am such a fan!!!
As a Lebanese American Gentile married to a Jew (of Ashkenazi descent), I feel so grateful to have this book. It confirms my passion for all things Sephardic/Levantine, and gives me a culinary bridge to my extended, multicultural family.
Thank you, Claudia! You're a beacon of peace, besides being a culinary star!