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Jewish Cooking in America
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About the Author

Joan Nathan was born in Providence, Rhode Island. She graduated from the University of Michigan, where she eventually received a master's degree in public administration from Harvard University. For three years she lived in Israel, where she worked for Mayor Teddy Kollek of Jerusalem. In New York, she founded the Ninth Avenue Food Festival. Ms. Nathan wrote for the Washington Post for eight years and currently contributes articles on international ethnic food and special holiday features to the New York Times, Food Arts, Gourmet, and the B'nai B'rith International Jewish Monthly. She is the author of An American Folklife Cookbook and coauthor of The Flavor of Jerusalem. Ms. Nathan lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and their three children.

Reviews

Nathan's new book is an important addition to this excellent series. Author of The Jewish Holiday Kitchen (Schocken, 1988. rev. ed.), Nathan has researched her subject extensively, and the result is as much cultural history as cookbook. Along with more than 300 kosher recipes, from classics like Herring Salad to regional reinterpretations such as Southwestern Gefilte Fish, there are period documents, including letters and diaries, interviews, nostalgic reminiscences and anecdotes, and lots of photographs, giving a real sense of time and place to the culinary traditions celebrated. Highly recommended. Homestyle Bks. alternate.

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. (Mar.)

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