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on January 1, 2006
The book is not only a culinary delight... it is a historical reference to the traditions of Jewish food in all of the diaspora, from the Sephardic communities with their rich cultures now long gone, as well as the Eastern European soul food we have all come to know and love. Variations on the themes, classical presentations and a very entertaining and personal style that also reveals the authors joy of food and cooking. It is THE book I turn to every holiday and so many days in between. Exceptional, useful, worth every penny you will spend.
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on October 2, 2005
This cookbook is full of recipes for both simple and extravagant Jewish food adaptations from around the world. I've cooked many of them, and I haven't found one that wasn't delicious and well-received by all. (meatballs with spinach from Salonika are great!) I like that the recipes are actually very easy and aren't made more intricate than they need to be. The best thing, though, is that after you've slaved in the kitchen like a crazy person before a holiday and didn't manage to get out to the library/store for a good book, you can curl up on Yom Tov with this cookbook and READ all the lovely culinary history. The fact that classic recipes are included along with exotic ones makes it a useful reference even if you don't exactly follow every ingredient.
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on March 7, 2003
The greatness of this Jewish cookbook lies not only in its stellar recipes but in its viewpoint. Claudia Roden grew up in Cairo, and her definition of Jewish home cooking is definitely of the Middle Eastern variety than the usual European. She does not ignore European Jewish cooking; she devotes some 100 pages to it. But the bulk of the book is Middle Eastern and Northern African Jewish food. While the recipes are / taste somewhat exotic, I have found them very easy to adapt to whatever I am cooking at the moment. I often fuse recipes from this book with recipes from other cookbooks-always with great success.
This is not only a great book of recipes, but it is an inspiration as well. Happy Cooking!
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on August 12, 1997
This astonishing book brings together the images and traditions, as well as the recipes, of Jewish communities all over the world. It would be worth owning if there were no recipes, just for the little-known traditions of Jews in dozens of locations.

But the recipes are wonderful. I've tried several, and they are well-written and easy to follow. Unlike most Mediterranean or Middle Eastern cookbooks, you don't have to figure out substitutions to ensure that dishes are kosher.

In short, if you want to know about Jews around the world -- BUY THIS BOOK! If you want to cook and eat wonderful kosher food -- BUY THIS BOOK!
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on April 4, 2015
One of my all time favorite books! Delicious recipes, plenty for my vegetarian lifestyle. The stories and Jewish history make the recipes so much more interesting than if they had been just a series of recipes. I especially love that the recipes are not rigid. I play with them and most always have very good results. Roden's warmth shines through this lovely book.
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on June 24, 2004
I find myself reading this cookbook even when I am not looking for recipes. It describes the ways in which Jewish culture and cuisine borrowed from and contributed to the culture and cuisine of the many places they've lived. Roden is a wonderful writer who can evoke the sights, sounds and tastes of Jewish history. Most of the recipes I've tried are great too.
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on April 17, 2013
Most recipes are good.

What I missed was a better layout.Most recipes were not accompanied by photographs.Those that were came in black and white.
Also,the main focus was on food of the Sephardic Jews with very little attention dedicated to the food Ashkenazi Jews prepare.
There's much moreof a wealth of Ashkenazi Jewish food than was presented by the Author.
So therefore the title "Jewish food" might be a bit misleading.

Not a disappointment,though.
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on March 2, 2001
This ambitious book combines superb, easy to prepare Jewish recipes with fascinating historical and cultural blurbs on everything from NYC deli's to the history of Moroccan Jews. Amazingly, the book succeeds on both these levels.
The sepia-toned photographs and drawings that decorate the book magnificently illustrate the historical and cultural asides. However, if you're expecting photographs of the food itself, you're in for disappointment. The individual recipes don't come with photographs showing the final dish.
A great gift idea for yourself or any other cooks you might know.
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on October 22, 2005
A number of reviewers have commented, or complained, that The Book of Jewish Food concentrates on Sephardi/Mizrachi recipes. I think it's worth noting that the Ashkenazi recipes also work. Roden suggests putting sour cream, as well as the usual cream cheese, in rugelach dough--and it's terrific. I like her borscht recipe too.
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on October 28, 2011
This book is unusual in several ways. First, it has recipes from both the Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions, including even a chapter on the Jews of India. Second, it's full of stories about the background of Jewish cooking and Jewish communities. The recipes are great too.
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