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Joan Nathan

Joan Nathan

Joan Nathan is the author of numerous cookbooks, each of which focuses on an aspect of Jewish life and culture. What makes her books unique is that each recipe comes with a story, enabling the reader to learn about much more than how to prepare a dish, but where the dish originated, how Jewish migration and living in different lands have changed the dish, and its meaning to the family from which it came. Thus, Joan is not only a cookbook author, but a cultural historian and food writer as well. Her books educate about Jewish life, tradition, and Jewish history.

Eating Jewish: Rosh Hashanah Chicken with Cinnamon and Apples from Metz

Apples are a central component on Rosh Hashanah tables, from the honey dipped apples eaten at the beginning of the evening meal in the hope that they will help bring about a good and sweet new year, to the apple cake eaten at the end of a meal. Thinking about all the apple-eating that happens on this holiday, I couldn’t help but notice that more often than not apples are used in the dishes that grace the dessert table. However, while flipping through Joan Nathan’s latest cookbook Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous (I think this is definitely one of my favorite cookbooks at the moment) my assumptions about apples and desserts were dispelled when I saw the recipe for Rosh Hashanah Chicken with Cinnamon and Apples from Metz. I got extremely excited about this dish and I knew that I had to make it seeing as apples don’t often make it into the savory dishes that I cook.

Eating Jewish: North African salads for Rosh Hashanah

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.

Eating Jewish: Shabbat bread done differently

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.

Eating Jewish: Recipes for a tasty Tu B’Shevat table

Although there are no specific dishes that have traditionally been prepared for Tu B’Shevat, the custom of serving dishes that contain fruits and nuts has emerged.

Eating Jewish: Moroccan chicken with olives and lemons

My inspiration for the dishes I write about on Eating Jewish come from a variety of places that range from the numerous cookbooks that I have around my apartment, articles concerning Jewish food in newspapers and magazines, or simply the ingredients that I happen to have on hand at the moment. However, for this dish my inspiration came from my own academic work concerning the Moroccan Jewish community of Montreal.

Lifetime achievement award for cookbook author Joan Nathan

April 30, 2001

Cookbook author Joan Nathan received the Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America award for lifetime achievement from the James Beard Foundation.

Cookbooks in the United States

When you are searching for instructions on how to prepare the perfect pickled tongue, for hints on setting a festive [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:395]Shabbat[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary] table, or a refresher course in the laws and lore of [jwa_encyclopedia_glossary:377]Passover[/jwa_encyclopedia_glossary], American Jewish cookbooks are an invaluable source of information on Jewish life. The first publicly available American Jewish cookbook was published in 1871. Esther Levy’s Jewish Cookery Book on Principles of Economy Adapted for Jewish Housekeepers with Medicinal Recipes and Other Valuable Information Relative to Housekeeping and Domestic Management was an attempt to touch on most aspects of Jewish home life. While few of the hundreds of Jewish cookbooks written since attempt the breadth of this first work, American Jewish cookbooks capture the range of Jewish religious and cultural expression.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Joan Nathan." (Viewed on August 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/taxonomy/term/18491>.

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