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Jewish Cooking in America: Expanded Edition (Knopf Cooks American) Hardcover – September 8, 1998

4.7 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Joan Nathan, an American, author of The Children's Jewish Holiday Kitchen, lived in Jerusalem for three years. Her review of Jewish-American cuisine contains more than 300 kosher recipes, with added information on Jewish dietary laws and Jewish culture, drawing from both Sephardic and Ashkenazic traditions. She gives Old World cooking extensive coverage, including foods from Bukhara, Salonika, Israel and Georgia, and writes knowledgeably of New World adaptations. The recipes cover Jewish standards, like homemade bagels and pickled herring and more American-influenced dishes like Cajun matzoh balls with green onions, or American haroset. The book won the 1995 Julia Child Cookbook Award in the American Category. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

You don't have to be Jewish to like the latest entry in the Knopf Cooks American series. You don't even have to like Jewish cooking. A food-lover's guide to Jewish American history and culture, it dishes up not just recipes but appetizing anecdotes, insights about various forms of religious observance and how they have been affected by transplantation to the New World, even a few jokes. Nathan ( Jewish Holiday Kitchen ), a skillful writer and an energetic researcher, evokes the greenhorn's astonishment at the plentitude of oranges; documents the "revolution" in kosher cooking inspired by the introduction of vegetable shortening in the '10s; explains how enterprising Jewish admen convinced various food manufacturers to tailor their products for kosher consumers; calls on Southern families who replace the walnuts and almonds of Eastern European cookery with pecans, and visits Maine cooks who prepare mock lobster salad. Her focus is expansive, covering not just standard Ashkenazic and Sephardic dishes and traditions but foods and customs from Bukhara, Salonika, Israel and Georgia as well as original Jewish American hybrids. The recipes themselves, clearly outlined if not always easy to execute, constitute something of a Jewish culinary hall-of-fame, with faithfully preserved instructions for homemade bagels and pickled herring, Lindy's cheesecake and contributions from chic restaurateurs (Wolfgang Puck, Anne Rosenzweig). Illustrations not seen by PW. BOMC alternate, HomeStyle Book Club alternate.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Knopf Cooks American
  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; Expanded edition (September 8, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375402764
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375402760
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #310,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book contains user-friendly recipes, and most of the ingredients called for are easily obtainable. The majority of the recipes appear to be for dishes that are actually eaten by Jews rather than for ones that are definitely not part of Jewish cuisine although they have been passed off as such by some authors. Ms. Nathan is passionate about the food she describes and provides a generous amount of information on the history, lore, and cultural and religious traditions of the Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews who settled in America. She also includes menus, a helpful glossary of Jewish terms, and many interesting illustrations.
I would also like to recommend "Recipes and Remembrances from an Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen: A Culinary Journey through Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan," by Sonia Uvezian. This definitive volume offers superb recipes and fascinating text, including information on the region's minorities (particularly Jews and Armenians) that is not found in previous cookbooks.
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Format: Hardcover
Many times I've heard someone say, "I enjoy just reading cookbooks," and thought that as silly as buying a CD just to watch it spin. Then I got Joan Nathan's Jewish Cooking in America. Sure its got great recipes--many classics you'll recognize as well multitudinous and scrumptious variations--but it is also a history of Jewish culture told through food. Here you can read about the origins of the Manichewitz brand, the vital social importance of vegetable shortening, how to keep Kosher in rural Vermont, and the first matza bakery. This book really is delightful and fascinating to read. It gave me a much deeper appreciation of Jewish ethnic cooking and greater pride of my American Jewish heritage.
But don't overlook the cooking. Here you will find recipes for the foods you haven't had since you sat on a phonebook at your grandparents' Seder table. Then after you've had the gefilte fish and cholent your Bubbie made, you can try the equally authentic, traditional recipe of another region. (Did you know there's a difference between Yankee and Southern matzah balls? The former are plain and fluffy, the latter dense and spicy). And then sample Jewish versions of traditional American fare, like Texas chili. And don't overlook the Sephardic dishes and the recipes of our Syrian brethren.
All in all, Jewish Cooking in America is a valuable addition to the kitchen and the library.
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Format: Hardcover
This cookbook is incredible. It not only has recipes I never thought I'd find, it presents a unique history of Jewish food and people in such a way as to bring a warm feeling to anyone of any background reading this book. It is no wonder this cookbook has received cookbook awards. That is its just deserts. In fact, this cookbook transcends its subject area, as well as the category of book. This is a cookbook that deserves a medal for fostering understanding of a people and their heritage. This cookbook was published at a unique time in the history of Jewish Cooking, capturing recipes that otherwise might have been lost to many.
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Format: Hardcover
What I love most about this cookbook is how international it is. I've never seen another cookbook with so many great recipes from so many different countries. It makes sense really, if you consider that Jews have come to the U.S. not only from Eastern Europe, but also from Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Cuba, Mexico, Morocco, Spain, etc. Consequently, many of the recipes, such as ceviche and chicken adobo, were a welcome surprise in addition to Jewish favorites such as knishes, hamantashen, and matzoh ball soup. Introducing most of the recipes are fascinating personal stories of the people who've brought their wonderful culinary traditions to America. Any food lover/cook will appreciate the heartfelt style of this excellent cookbook.
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Format: Hardcover
After seeing one episode of the PBS TV show (with three recipes on making mouth-watering beef brisket), I knew I had to have this cookbook. Fortunately I received it for Christmas! What I love most about this cookbook is how international it is. I've never seen another cookbook with so many great recipes from so many different countries. It makes sense really, if you consider that Jews have come to the U.S. not only from Eastern Europe, but also from Egypt, Cuba, Mexico, Morocco, Spain, etc. Consequently, many of the recipes, such as ceviche and chicken adobo, were a welcome surprise in addition to Jewish favorites such as knishes, hamantashen, and matzoh ball soup. Introducing most of the recipes are fascinating food histories and personal stories of the people who've brought their wonderful culinary traditions to America. Any food lover/cook will appreciate the heartfelt style of this excellent cookbook.
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By A Customer on December 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover
A superlative cook book.Full of history and nostalgia.Fun to read as well as to cook from.It keeps me connected to my past.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoy reading and cooking from this book, but the index on the back is so bad. I got so frustrated just trying to find things from reading the index. When I looked up challah, there's is several pages for it, but non of them is the challah recipe. Those pages was for something else not related to challah. The only way that worked for me was to look through the book, page for page to look for recipes to cook. Another con about the book is there is no pictures of the food, just people and places.
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