The Jew And The Carrot

2012's Best Jewish Cookbooks — Day 2

By Molly Yeh and Ben Harris

  • Print
  • Share Share

From our eight favorite books from the year — one for each night of Hanukkah — we present two below. (Check back every day this week for another two books.) They are all great holiday gifts for the passionate cook in your life or a treat for yourself.

2012’s Best Jewish Cookbooks — Day 1

Meat Smoking 101 for the Deli Fanatic

The Mile End Cookbook: Redefining Jewish Comfort Food From Hash to Hamantaschen
by Noah and Rae Bernamoff
Clarkson Potter, 224 pages, $27.50

For the restaurant that is described by co-owner Noah Bernamoff as a “Montreal greatest-hits album,” its cookbook reads like an intimate liner jacket to your favorite new band’s cover record, where Jewish delicatessen classics are covered by twenty-somethings with a knack for all things local and homemade. A first skim, with sightings of DIY salami and Montreal smoked meat, may intimidate even an experienced chef, but Noah and Rae Bernamoff’s humble-beginnings narrative is relatable enough to encourage even a culinary novice to take a stab at some of the more complicated recipes.

The book traces the history of the Jewish deli, with help from “Save the Deli” author David Sax, and then carefully walks the reader through the processes of smoking meats and curing fish to re-create some of the New York deli’s most popular offerings. Later parts of the book include recipes for breads, sides, soups — essentially everything you would need to construct your favorite deli sandwiches and then serve them with all the fixings (11 recipes are strictly devoted to pickling). Essays from the Bernamoffs’ favorite purveyors, knife maker and a short wine-pairing lesson from their wine consultant, add color and a wonderful sense of community to the book.

— Molly Yeh

The Ultimate Guide for Novice and Expert Picklers

The Art of Fermentation
by Sandor Ellix Katz
Chelsea Green Publishing, 528 pages, $39.95

There are no precise recipes in Sandor Ellix Katz’s “The Art of Fermentation,” just 500 pages of encouragement to experiment with the general principles and techniques of microbial manipulation (aka pickling). The tome may seem daunting, but Katz is the country’s leading fermentation evangelist, and this collection of his accumulated wisdom covers everything from standards like bread and sour pickles to more exotic fare like Himalayan gundruk (a fermented green) and millet tongba (a fermented alcohol).

For the novice, Katz offers chapters on equipment and the basic science of fermentation. But for the more experienced kitchen tinkerer, Katz serves as the guide on a wide-ranging tour of the fermented delicacies that have established themselves as staples of the world’s cuisines.

As in his previous book, “Wild Fermentation,” Katz offers something of a manifesto for a new food consciousness, one that rejects the standardization of our palettes and reclaims sovereignty over our diets from food multinationals. It’s an awful lot to heap on a pile of sauerkraut, but as Katz is fond of pointing out, there’s a reason that some of humanity’s most beloved foods are the result of fermentation. “Everybody loves fermented foods,” Katz says. “I’m just helping people realize how easy it is to make them.”

— Ben Harris


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Hanukkah, Best Jewish Cookbooks, Best Cookbooks 2012

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.