In this stunning new work that is at once a coffee-table book to browse and a complete cookbook, Janna Gur brings us the sumptuous color, variety, and history of today’s Israeli cuisine, beautifully illustrated by Eilon Paz, a photographer who is intimate with the local scene.
In Gur’s captivating introduction, she describes Israeli food as a product of diverse cultures: the Jews of the Diaspora, settling in a homeland that was new to them, brought their far-flung cuisines to the table even as they looked to their Arab neighbors for additional ingredients and ideas. The delicious, easy-to-follow recipes represent all of these influences, and include some creative interpretations of classics by celebrated Israeli chefs: Beetroot and Pomegranate Salad, Fish Falafel in Spicy Harissa Mayonnaise, Homemade Shawarma, Chreime–North African Hot Fish Stew, Roasted Chicken Drumsticks in Carob Syrup. With favorite recipes for the Sabbath (Sweet Challah Traditional Chopped Liver, Chocolate and Halva Coffeecake) and for holidays (Balkan Potato and Leek Pancakes, Flourless Chocolate and Pistachio Cake), this book offers a unique culinary experience for every occasion. All of this is enriched by Paz’s gorgeous and vibrantly colored photographs and by short narratives about significant aspects of Israel’s diverse cuisine, such as the generous and unique Israeli breakfast (which grew out of the needs of Kibbutz life), locally produced cheeses that now rival those of Europe, and a dramatic renaissance of wine culture in this ancient land.
“In less than thirty years,” Janna Gur writes, “Israeli society has graduated… to a true gastronomic haven.” Here she gives us a book that does full, delectable justice to the significance of Israeli food today–Mediterranean at its heart, richly spiced, and imbued with cross-cultural flavors.
About the Author
Janna Gur was born and raised in the former Soviet Union and immigrated to Israel in 1974. She is the founder and chief editor of the leading Israeli food and wine magazine. She lives in Tel Aviv, on Israel’s Mediterranean coast.
Eilon Paz is a freelance photographer who specializes in travel, editorial, and commercial photography.
Other contributors to this volume are Rami Hann, a translator and writer with extensive experience in cooking and food journalism; Adam Montefiore, who wrote the Wine and Olive Oil chapters and contributes to the Oxford Wine Companion, Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book, and The Wine Route of Israel; Orly Pely-Bronshtein, a chef and veteran food journalist and the author of best-selling volumes such as the Kitchen Helper series; and Ruth Oliver, a chef and pastry chef who teaches in the best cooking schools in Israel and is the author of More Chocolate, among other cookbooks.
Praise for The Book of New Israeli Food: A Culinary Journey…
“It’s a real joy to discover that a great and vibrant gastronomic culture has emerged in Israel out of the varied legacies from the old Diaspora communities. The Book of New Israeli Food is splendid, engagingly written, with delicious recipes and stunning photographs. Stories, features, and background information give a fascinating insight into life in Israel, the enthusiasm of home cooks, the creativity of chefs, and the passionate endeavors of bakers, winemakers, and olive oil and cheese producers.”
–Claudia Roden, author of The New Book of Middle Eastern Food
“Finally, a book about Israeli food that is modern in its approach and comprehensive in its scope… [With] beautiful photography, an attractive format, plenty of useful recipes, and some food stories to boot, [it] is a perfect gift… Warmly recommended.”
–Israel Aharoni, Yedioth Ahronoth
“Filled with delicious recipes, Janna Gur’s gorgeous new book puts Israel on the culinary map–exactly where it deserves to be.”
–Bonnie Stern, author of Bonnie Stern’s Essentials of Home Cooking