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!
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • 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.