By Janna Gur with Ruth Oliver and Nirit Yadin.
Over thousands of years, Jews all over the world developed cuisines that not only suited their needs (kashrut, holidays, Shabbat) but reflected the influences of their neighbours and carrying memories from their past wanderings. These cuisines may now be on the verge of extinction, however, because practically none of the Jewish communities in which these cuisines developed and thrived exist.
The only place all of these cuisines are functional is Israel, where there are still a few first-generation cooks that know and love these dishes. Israel is, in a sense, a living laboratory of this beloved and endangered Jewish food; the 100 diversely flavoured recipes here – from Jerusalem's surprising, sweet kugel flavored with pepper to Bukharan's hearty Ushapualau, a wondrous stew of beef, chickpeas, and carrots – were not chosen by an editor or a chef so much as by what Janna Gur calls 'natural selection.' These are the dishes that, though rooted in their original provenance, have been embraced by Israelis from throughout the Diaspora and have become part of Israel's culinary landscape.
Aimed at educating and delighting the grandchildren and even great-grandchildren of those who carried their cuisines on journeys far from their original homes, Jewish Soul Food proceeds from the premise that the only way to preserve traditional cuisine is to cook it. This book offers all cooks the 'greatest hits' from a fascinating food culture – a chance to enrich their cooking repertoire and at the same time help to preserve a valuable part of Jewish heritage and its collective 'soul.'