Bone Soup and Flipped Bread: The Yemenite Jewish Table
Sue Spertus Larkey
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This fascinating and thorough exploration of the cooking of the Yemenite community in Israel offers a compelling window to an ancient cuisine which survives in a dwindling number of kitchens, even though it is fiercely protected by cooks who feel “that traditional foods are essential to the preservation of a community’s unique cultural identity…. every morsel offered helps to stem the tide.”
Larkey, a Jerusalem caterer and baking teacher, became fascinated by Yemenite culinary culture when some of her students asked if she was familiar with the dishes of their community. “Soon I was eagerly accepting invitations to visit and learn from Grandma or Auntie.” Her handsomely photographed book offers rich background on a wide range of ingredients and dishes, from the fiery pepper paste known as z’hug and gishr, a drink made from coffee husks to dura l’huh, a sorghum pancake served on the Sabbath and certain holidays, and bayt ‘al-‘iris, a beef stew often served at betrothal celebrations.
As Claudia Roden has said, “Bone Soup and Flipped Bread is an enchanting book written with passion and sensitivity… It offers touching and fascinating insight into an old life and traditions and now that the new generations have become integrated and adopted new ways, it represents a precious record of a unique and ancient Jewish heritage.”
Color photographs throughout. Hardcover.