Katherine Romanow is a graduate student in Montreal who is lucky enough to have been able to convince people to let her study two things that she is truly passionate about, namely food and Judaism. When she is not reading or writing about Judaism, food and women, she can usually be found cooking or baking up a storm in the kitchen and then sitting down to share this food with family and friends. Katherine is continually inspired by the voices of the Jewish women she encounters in the cookbooks she reads as well as those in her everyday life, and strives to bring these voices along with feminism into the kitchen with her.
Not only is it almost the beginning of a new year, but the weather is beginning to change and the tomatoes, zucchini and corn that have been so plentiful over the summer are being replaced by squash, apples, pears, figs and a multitude of other autumn fruits and vegetables. The availability of all this fantastic produce has made the High Holidays one of my favorite times on the Jewish calendar to be cooking. This is especially true for Rosh Hashanah, when the food symbolism of the holiday necessitates the use of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
I wanted to write an Eating Jewish post about Tisha b’Av, yet as I started looking through my various cookbooks, I noticed that most of them had no mention of the holiday. It was often missing from the index and even recipes containing ingredients that would usually be included in a dish prepared on Tisha b'Av had no mention of it. I did find mention of Tisha b’Av in Gil Marks' Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, which devotes an entry to it (there’s a reason I’m constantly referring to this book) as well as in his cookbook The World of Jewish Food.
When I think of Shabbat dinner, one of the first things that comes to mind is the sweet, dense challah that I love so much. It has become so popular that it can be purchased in bakeries all week long, and like many of the iconic Jewish foods of North America (bagels, knishes, pastrami, and smoked meat, to name a few) it was introduced by members of the European Jewish community.
One of the ingredients that is a staple in my kitchen cupboard is canned tomatoes. I will almost always have a can or two around in case I decide I want to make a quick tomato sauce or a pizza, and I especially rely on them throughout the majority of the year when local tomatoes are unavailable. Yet I recently realized that throughout the process of buying, using and consuming these tomatoes, I never stopped to think about their history and how they came to be the product we know today.
It was just over a week ago that my advisor told me about Josh Ozserky’s article entitled "The Kugel Conundrum" in which Ozserky bluntly declares, “Jewish food is awful.” My first reaction was one of incredulity and I wondered whether a convincing argument could be made against Jewish food.
When you ask people to think of Israeli food, more often than not, images of crispy brown falafel will dance before their eyes. Yet, when speaking of quintessential Israeli dishes, falafel does not stand alone. Another dish that is central to the culinary landscape of Israel is schnitzel.
The way in which people choose to break Passover varies enormously and that first taste of chametz can be the non-traditional, but ever popular sushi, or something more rooted in Jewish culinary history like bagels. However, the Moroccan Jewish community ends Passover with a distinctive celebration known as the Mimouna.
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Jewish Women's Archive. " Katherine Romanow ." (Viewed on October 31, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/author/katherine-romanow>.