Sunday, June 9, 2013

Recipes and Research: A New Summer Jewish Heritage Custom

Ynet -- the internet version of Israel's popular newspaper Yediot Ahranot -- reported a few days ago that Michelle Obama will include recipes of Israeli women living in Nazareth Ilit in her national health campaign "Let's Move!"

The recipes represent different denominations and ethnic groups residing in this northern Israeli city.
Nazareth Ilit aside, Israel is a mirror image of the Jewish people's melting pot -- one that has cooked up many delicious dishes over the centuries. Have a good look at your family tree (or start one now). You may be surprised to find out that your roots do not lie in one country, continent or condiment.

What did your ancestors cook up along the way? Tracing possible dishes and ingredients can transform idle summer hours into a cooking custom with many memorable master chef moments reflecting Jewish diversity. Take it a step further, and explore Jewish history in every country along your ancestors' path.

For example, Great Britain may have been one of their stops. There they learned to have a yen for  shepherd's pieWhile it bakes, have a look at the history of British Jewish life. 

On to France, where ooh la la, there is so much to choose from. Did your grandmother's blintzes evolve from French crepes? BTW: do you know that Rashi -- the famous Biblical commentator -- was French and a vintner? Find out more about French Jewish history.

Next stop -- Istanbul. Perhaps that should be your first stop, for so much Jewish history is rooted to the Ottoman Empire. Let Jamie Geller show you how to make an easy Turkish salad. While you savor the taste find out if there is a connection between Christopher Columbus and the Jews of Turkey.

Hopefully I've whetted your appetite on how to create a new summer custom. For the teachers among you -- who knows, maybe you'll be able to transport this custom into your classroom?!

As they say in Hebrew -- בתאבון

Photo credit
Shepherd's pie photo credit
Crepe photo credit
Turkish salad photo credit

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