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January 19, 2018 | ‎ג׳ בשבט ה׳תשע״ח‎

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13 of the Best Jewish Cookbooks to Sink Your Teeth Into

13 of the Best Jewish Cookbooks to Sink Your Teeth Into

There are thousands of Jewish cookbooks available, and many of them deserve to be in your cookbook collection. However, it can be hard to choose exactly which ones to include.

Here are a baker’s dozen of the best Jewish cookbooks to get you started.

The Best Jewish Cookbooks

1.) “Jewish Cooking in America” by Joan Nathan. This multiple award-winner is a groundbreaking work that inspired a PBS television series. With Jewish cookbook recipes that incorporate a wide range of culinary and cultural traditions, the stories help deepen the understanding of how Jewish cuisine is inextricably woven into American life, past and present.

Joan Nathan, the undisputed Jewish cookbook queen. Source: Jewish Boston

2.) “Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South” by Marcie Cohen Ferris. Rich in history, this work by an Arkansas-born scholar tackles the complicated intersections of two cultural identities. By asking and answering the question, “What does it mean to be both southern and Jewish?” Cohen Ferris dispels the misconceptions about – and celebrates – both.

3.) “Modern Jewish Cooking: Recipes and Customs for Today’s Kitchen” by Leah Koenig and Sang An. Today’s cooks want fresh updates to traditional recipes. They’ll find plenty of “old world meets new world” recipes in this Jewish cookbook that’s user-friendly and enhanced with lively photos.

4.) “Bubbe and Me in the Kitchen: A Kosher Cookbook of Beloved Recipes and Modern Twists” by Miri Rotkovitz. Eating kosher can be a challenge, but this author looked to her beloved grandmother for inspiration in this book that’s full of family recipes, along with contributions from other noted Jewish food writers.

Bubbe knows best. Source: TTPM Toy Reviews YouTube

5.) “Jewish Soul Food: From Minsk to Marrakesh, More Than 100 Unforgettable Dishes Updated for Today’s Kitchen” by Janna Gur. Born in Latvia and emigrating to Israel as a teen with her family, this author learned to embrace her new identity through Jewish cooking and food writing. These recipes help preserve a complicated culinary heritage while at the same time revealing ways to adapt it to modern times.

6.) “Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking” by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook. Restaurant cookbooks can be too aspirational or cerebral for home cooks, but this one by an award-winning chef is a love letter to the author’s family, traditions, and journey from Israel to America and back.

7.) “King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World” by Joan Nathan. Playing up the concept of culinary adventure, the newest work from this revered author expands to a global stage as it traces a lavish journey of discovery.

8.) “The New Mediterranean Jewish Table: Old World Recipes for the Modern Home” by Joyce Goldstein. While much of Jewish cooking focuses on Ashkenazi and European influences, here more than 400 recipes interpret the Sephardic, Mizrahi, and Maghrebi cultures of the Mediterranean.

9.) “A Jewish Baker’s Pastry Secrets: Recipes from a New York Baking Legend for Strudel, Stollen, Danishes, Puff Pastry, and More” by George Greenstein, Elaine Greenstein, Julia Greenstein, Isaac Bleicher. Even a confident cook can feel uneasy as the prospect of baking, especially for a holiday. This useful book demystifies the secrets of perfect bundts, babkas, and 200 variations of favorite baked goods.

Daaaang, that’s a good lookin’ babka. Source: Food & Wine Magazine

10.) “The New Yiddish Kitchen: Gluten-Free and Paleo Kosher Recipes for the Holidays and Every Day” by Jennifer Robins and Simone Miller. Followers of paleo and gluten-free diets will find creative adaptations of traditional recipes in this specialized collection. This is a truly innovative Jewish cookbook.

11.) “The New Passover Menu” by Paula Shoyer. Mouthwatering photos highlight a lovely collection of globally influenced recipes from a classically trained pastry chef and beloved teacher. Also, the Jewish brisket recipe is to die for.

12.) “Perfect for Pesach: Passover Recipes You’ll Want to Make All Year” by Naomi Nachman with photos by Miriam Pascal. Nachman grew up in Australia, far from the geographic centers of Jewish culinary attention. But this professional chef has compiled a nice assortment of recipes that readers praise for their practicality.

13.) “The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York” by Claudia Roden. The author spent more than 15 years traveling and doing research to develop this book. Now considered a modern classic, it contains more than 800 recipes.

What is your favorite Jewish cookbook? Let us know in the comments section below.

Author: Amy Rogers

Amy Rogers is contributing editor at NPR station WFAE’s food blog, “WFAEats: All Things Food and Culture.” She is the author of “Hungry for Home: Stories of Food from Across the Carolinas.” Visit her at

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