Throughout history, particularly in the last 2,000 years, Jews have been key in adapting local foods to Jewish sensibilities and dietary laws and then spreading them.
One of the keys to Jewish culinary history is that the Jewish role was not so much innovation but transition and transformation.
I never serve a dessert on Passover that I would not serve the rest of the year.
The more things you make from scratch, the less expensive and usually healthier and tastier.
Each Passover, I prepare all sorts of fancy desserts for my family and friends, often experimenting with adaptations of sophisticated modern fare.
Although I generally avoid the cloyingly sweet wines, I have used them for poaching fruit.
The knish is a classic example of peasant food evolving into comfort food and even sophisticated fare.
People remember the different variations of stuffed cabbage based on their mothers and grandmothers. It's not just about food. Eating something as traditional as this is a cultural experience, one that is spiritual and nostalgic. It manages to transcend time; it's food for the soul.
Judaism is not just a religion but a people, and the food and customs of one part of the people is connected to the other part of the people. They are part of a larger story.
I have been collecting recipes and information for over 20 years, but three years ago, my editor said to me, 'You're a walking encyclopedia of food, so why don't you do an encyclopedia?'
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