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Asif Journal: A Culinary Digest #2

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Asif means harvest in Hebrew. Asif: Culinary Institute of Israel is an ambitious undertaking in Tel Aviv that celebrates Jewish culinary heritage while encouraging food-related entrepreneurship and innovation. The organization operates a test kitchen, a cafe, an event and exhibition space, a rooftop farm, and a library in furtherance of those aims.

This is the second of an annual, limited run series which celebrates traditions and expresses curiosity. In the case of this issue, Asif founder Naama Shefi notes, “the same differences that may cause conflicts in certain contexts also provide inspiration for curiosity in the local kitchen and culinary culture.”

Among the articles exploring this are:

  • Baker Hagay Ben Yehuda explores the ancient wheats of the Fertile Crescent and the breads they produced
  • Kobi Rubin, a taxi driver and columnist for the Ynet news site, shares his favorite roadside restaurants
  • Hila Alpert looks at the foods brought to Israel by immigrants from Arab countries
  • A cluster of articles examine “workers restaurants,” created to serve hearty inexpensive lunches to laborers including new groups of immigrants
  • Michal Levit and Ronit Avidan Sheinfeld examine ways in which desert lands can yield food in response to global warming.

Illustrated with handsome photography, the journal also contains recipes relevant to the various articles, from Turkish-style bourekas to an Iraqi beef and eggplant casserole and a Yemenite chicken soup.

Paperback. Color photographs throughout.

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