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ISO Hannukah gift: Best Jewish Cookbook?

  • d

I want to give a Jewish cookbook to someone who doesn't really cook but wants to learn...I hear "Jewish cooking in america" by joan nathan and "the book of jewish food" by claudia roden are supposed to be tops -- which one is better? what is the best cookbook for me to get? thanks so much for the advice!!

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  1. Kosher Palette, and it's not even close, imo.

    1. b
      Bride of the Juggler

      "The Complete American Jewish Cookbook" has all the basics and more. I've never gone looking for a Jewish recipe that it didn't have - kreplach, cholent, the world's best hamentaschen, veal paprikash, mandlen, taiglach, etc. It's out of print but worth hunting down a copy - there are usually a bunch on Amazon. If I had to have only one of all my cookbooks, this is the one I'd keep. Thank you.

      2 Replies
        1. re: Niki Rothman
          b
          Bride of the Juggler

          The authors are Anne London and Bertha Kahn Bishov but sometimes it is listed by the editor, Robert I. Gordon. Thank you.

      1. Those are both interesting books and great resources. But, if I had to choose any one, I'd definitely go with one of Faye Levy's books. Her recipes always work perfectly and produce amazing results.

        1 Reply
        1. re: David

          I have one of hers- 1000 Jewish Recipes- and there's one recipe in particular that I have to recommend- Friday night chicken- it's basically chicken pieces roasted on top of thick slices of onion. The chicken is rubbed with a mixture of cumin, turmeric, and paprika. Yum!

        2. It may be interesting to get two books, one with an Ashkenazi focus and the other Sephardic.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jonathan Saw

            Claudia Roden's book is wonderful for several reasons. She is from Egypt and has lots of Sephardic recipes. Her book is divided into the 2 sections (Ashk and Seph). There is lots of history and great sepia photos. She is a reliable source for recipes as she's written several earlier books. She also had a really interesting cooking show (maybe originating in GB?) where she went to the homes of cooks and prepared recipes on their sometimes tiny stoves.

            I've used the book many times and it has lots of great recipes as well as the other bonuses listed above.

            I haven't seen Joan Nathan's book and so cannot comment.

          2. Nathan's "Jewish Cooking in America" might be perfect for someone who doesn't cook a lot because it's such a pleasure to browse, and the histories that go with the recipes are nicely done. It's a lovely gift book. But the recipes are primarily (not solely) Ashkenazi.

            I don't think the Roden book is great for someone who "doesn't really cook."