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Breaking Bread in Galilee: A Culinary Journey into the Promised Land Paperback – April 18, 2012
About the Author
Abbie Rosner is a Washington DC native who has lived in the Galilee since the late 1980s. She has published articles on the multi-cultural culinary landscape of the Galilee in Gastronomica, Wine Spectator and Lilith magazines. She also leads Culinary Tours of the Galilee, which she created to offer visitors a unique and memorable experience of this region, through encounters with local foods and the people who prepare them. Abbie also writes a blog, Galilee Seasonality, documenting her local food experiences.
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Shows how people working together can overcome pressures brought upon them by outside sources.
Very readable. Excellent recipes.
1. Sorely missing are photographs. The one on the cover is tantalizing and whets the appetite for more. What does wild asparagus look like anyway? How about the tabun she built? Her friend's famous cookies? The ancient olive and wine presses she describes?
2. Rosner's thesis, which she hammers at unceasingly, that if Jews and Arabs would just sit down and eat together, all difficulties would be resolved is both naive and disingenuous. Her strong tendency to romanticize the agrarian Arabs she meets makes for a happy but sadly misleading story. Several examples, although there are many more:
a) She mentions a memorial in one Arab village to residents killed from the early 20th century through to the Second Intifada, without ever mentioning the thousands of Jewish citizens deliberately targeted by Arab terrorists as part of said intifada. It's akin to bemoaning the post 9/11 difficulty of some Muslims in passing through airport security without ever mentioning why they were having that difficulty.
b) She refers to the scourge of agricultural theft without mentioning that it's a one-way street. Hint: the Jews are not the ones doing the stealing. Since her husband is a police officer in the district, there's no way she doesn't know this.
There are many, many such instances in the book. Toward the end of the book, she throws in two examples of Jews in the Galilee who also have some connection to the land, perhaps because she felt a need to correct the obvious imbalance in her reporting.
Summary: While enjoying the culinary adventure, the reader should be aware that there's an awful lot of ugly stuff that the author has chosen to glide over for the sake of a nice story.