From Publishers Weekly Modern Israel is one of the world's great culinary melting pots, and Nathan (author of the highly successful PBS series and cookbook Jewish Cooking in America) does it justice in this exceptional and comprehensive examination of its diverse cultural lineage. Israeli flavors include those of the Middle East like Classic Israeli Eggplant Dip, new inventions such as Israeli Revisionist Haroset and imported traditions like Judith Tihany's Transylvanian Green Bean Soup. Nathan collects recipes from both ordinary Israelis including 97-year-old Shoshana Kleiner, whose instruction for her Fourth Aliyah Vegetable Soup is 'Cook until cooked!' and popular restaurants, such as Jerusalem's Eucalyptus. Nor are local Arabic traditions given short shrift, spotlighting dishes like Zucchini with Yogurt. The book also offers information ranging from the best places to eat falafel and notes on Israeli wine to a good-sized glossary. Nathan, who spent more than two years working for Teddy Kollek when he was mayor of Jerusalem, generously sprinkles the pages with her personal memories as well as descriptions of the pioneering spirit of early Israelis: in the days when a home oven was a luxury, they often made a dessert 'salami' of crushed cookies, wine, cocoa and nuts. Agent, Susan Lescher. (Mar. 15) Forecast: As one of the first books to concentrate on the breadth of Israeli cuisine, rather than Ashkenazic or Sephardic cooking, this is a true original. Moreover, given Nathan's established following and a first print run of 50,000 copies, stores should anticipate energetic sales. Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. Read more From Library Journal Nathan is the author of Jewish Cooking in America and an authority on the subject. In her ambitious new work, she explores the food and culinary traditions of modern Israel, which she describes as not a melting pot but rather a multicultural 'mosaic.' Most of the more than 300 recipes she collected come from home cooks, and their stories make this title almost as much a cultural history as cookbook. The bread chapter, for example, includes Pita Spinach Turnovers from a Bedouin family, Yemenite Pancakes, Sesame Bread from the Armenian community in Jerusalem, Ethiopian Shabbat Bread, and Pan de Casa from a Moroccan grandmother. The extensively researched text provides background on the many immigrant groups that make up Israel's population; there are also photographs of many of the people she encountered, literary and biblical quotations, and even a brief Guide to Good Eating in Israel. Although Israeli recipes appear in other Middle Eastern and Jewish cookbooks, Nathan's impressive work is unique. Highly recommended. Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. Read more See all Editorial Reviews
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