A scholar specializing in the culinary history of medieval Spain, Helene Jawhara Piner has drawn on an impressive array of original sources to reconstruct the cooking of Jews in Spain before their expulsion in 1492. From there, she addresses both the cooking of families who remained in Spain as ostensible converts, as well as those who scattered to places as disparate as Mexico, Brazil, Morocco, Italy, and the lands of the Ottoman Empire, including Greece.
Although this is first and foremost a cookbook, each recipe is supported by an ample headnote citing its source or inspiration, as well as its place in the culture of the region from which it hails. Whether she’s offering a challah recipe adapted from the text of a 13th century Spanish cookbook (reproduced in translation) or meals for breaking the Yom Kippur fast from 17th century Mexico, Piner creates a fascinating portrait of the adaptation and growth of a culinary culture.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.