web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » Sections » Books »

Title: Olive Trees and Honey; A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World

Title: Olive Trees and Honey; A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World
Author: Gil Marks
Publisher: Wiley Publishing Co., Hoboken, NJ

 

 

It claims to be a cookbook – but this is one of the best Jewish -Baedekers’ (travelogues) we’ve seen in quite a long time.

When we dine out in fine restaurants we experience not just the food, but also the service and the atmosphere. Jewish home cooking, when creatively conceived and elegantly prepared can take us to places and times that we can only imagine. It is thus that Mr. Marks once again takes us on one his fascinating world trips of discovery in Jewish cuisine.


This time, the author of The World of Jewish Cooking – Desserts – and Entertaining books has outdone himself. Marks offers up history, anthropology, laws of kashruth, ethics, philosophy, health and dietary requirements, practical shopping, and culinary ‘secrets’ of food preparation for both the experienced home (or even institutional) chef as well as the rank beginner.


These are not merely ‘textbook’ classics – Gil Marks is known to personally and actually prepare real dishes from each and every menu selection he writes about, and even discusses the etymology of the names of the recipes, and regional variations on dishes including specific ingredient variants.


Were we aware that it was during the Middle Ages that Jewish communities became the primary growers of citrus fruit – as a result of our requirement for etrogim for Succot. Consequently, citrus fruit found its way into Sephardic and Mediterranean cooking early on. This, and many other cultural ‘tidbits’ about olives, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables abound in Olive Trees and Honey.


Unlike most of the non-Jewish households in the communities we lived amongst, and probably as a result of our kashruth laws, Jews rarely consumed protein from animal flesh, which was ordinarily restricted to special occasions. Historically, in the time of the Bet HaMikdash, animals were primarily shechted in The Temple only during the annual pilgrimage holidays. Except for Levites and Cohanim, most Israelites rarely consumed animal products except milk and dairy products and bird eggs unless there was a wedding or other special celebration. Consequently, our historic diet consisted of grains like barley and oats cooked into gruel or baked into breads, and ‘greens,’ both of which supplied a quite adequate diet.


Vegetarian cooking does require much more planning and preparation than simply ‘tossing’ steaks and hamburgers onto the grill. Until just the recent century most agriculturalists valued their farm animals for their continuing output – sheep for their wool; fowl for their feathers; ducks and geese for their down; bovines for their milk and labor (walking around a millstone to help grind the grain); etc. Domesticated animals were just too valuable to just kill and eat them.


Marks points out that residents of the territories surrounding the Mediterranean, as most of we Jews were until less than two centuries ago, eat at least a full pound of vegetables daily, usually bathed in an olive oil dressing – more than twice as much as Americans. This diet is low in cholesterol, high in fiber, full of natural vitamins, and replete with delicious flavors. There is advice and recommendations for spicing, purchasing and easy-to-follow recipe preparation, including alternatives for possibly unavailable ingredients.


‘The Master’ takes us on a world tour – from Alsace, France to Azerbaijan to Ethiopia to Germany to Greece to Hungary to India to Italy to North Africa to Persia (modern Iran) to the Polish shtetl to Turkey to Yemen and other exotic places. Even if you don’t do all the cooking it makes entertaining reading. Take our advice – Enjoy!

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Title: Olive Trees and Honey; A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A general view of the Bat Ain community at Gush Etzion.
US Pushes PA Agenda and Tells Israel to Cancel New Gush Etzion Town
Latest Sections Stories
LBJ-082914

What better proof do we need than the recent war with Hamas in Gaza, dubbed “Operation Protective Edge,” that transformed the pain and suffering of three families into a sense of unparalleled unity and outpouring of love of the entire nation of Israel?

Katzman-082914

So many families are mourning, and all along we mourned with them.

Astaire-082914

In addition to his great erudition, Rabi Akiva was known for his optimism.

Kupfer-082914-Chuppah

She told me that she was busy and that he could sit in his wet clothes for the rest of the day. It would teach him to be more careful.

What can we do to help him stop feeling so sad all the time?

Children with dyslexia or dysgraphia frequently have problems in social relationships.

Israel’s neighbors engaged in hostilities from the onset. The War of Independence was a hard-won battle. Aggression and enmity has followed for 66 years.

The contest will include student-created sculpture, computer graphic design, collage, videography, PowerPoint and painting.

David, an 8-year-old boy on the autism spectrum, recently attended a Friendship Circle event. As he entered he told his Dad, “I love coming to the FC programs ‘cause everyone loves each other.”

Goldsmith himself went on his own “voyage of discovery” to the places where his grandfather and uncle landed and were sent.

Frank proclaimed himself Zvi’s successor and the reincarnation of King David.

You’re probably wondering why the greatest advocate of fast and easy preps in the kitchen is talking about layer cakes, right?

Almost immediately the audience began singing and clapping and continued almost without stop throughout the rest of the concert.

As of late, vintage has definitely been in vogue in the Orthodox community.

More Articles from Aharon Ben Anshel
book-alex's-wake

Goldsmith himself went on his own “voyage of discovery” to the places where his grandfather and uncle landed and were sent.

book-The-Last-Commission

Green was an American volunteer in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, but something happened In Israel that has haunted him ever since.

Witnessed by Theodore Herzl, who was a journalist for a Viennese newspaper covering the trial, the cause célèbre became the spark that eventually caused the rise of the State of Israel in modern times.

These eleven nursing home residents and their accompanying staff from the Connecticut nursing home could represent any of us or our own loved ones…

There are three kinds of travelers: there are tourists, there are businesspeople, and then there are historians like Ben G. Frank.

The last kind doesn’t simply go from here to there. They try to relive history and find the real meaning behind what they experience.

Behind “the news” there’s almost always a story that isn’t being reported, and certain kinds of phenomenon occur almost simultaneously all over the world in almost every era.

Whether this is a memoir or autobiography or whether this book was written as an article of regional diplomacy, King Abdullah does come across in this book as a quite sincere person making a valiant effort at regional diplomacy, who is trying to quell terrorism in the Mideast and raise the social and economic levels of his countrymen.

As any psychologist can tell you – no two people who see an event come away with the very same experience. Criminologists and detectives who question people who may have witnessed a crime experience the fact that several different people will report various versions of the event.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/title-olive-trees-and-honey-a-treasury-of-vegetarian-recipes-from-jewish-communities-around-the-world/2004/12/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: