This cookbook features recipes for German-Jewish cuisine as it existed in Germany prior to World War II, and as refugees later adapted it in the United States and elsewhere. Because these dishes differ from more familiar Jewish food, they will be a discovery for many people. With a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients, this indispensable collection of recipes includes numerous soups, both chilled and hot; vegetable dishes; meats, poultry, and fish; fruit desserts; cakes; and the German version of challah, Berches. These elegant and mostly easy-to-make recipes range from light summery fare to hearty winter foods. The Gropmans—a mother-daughter author pair—have honored the original recipes Gabrielle learned after arriving as a baby in Washington Heights from Germany in 1939, while updating their format to reflect contemporary standards of recipe writing.
Six recipe chapters offer easy-to-follow instructions for weekday meals, Shabbos and holiday meals, sausage and cold cuts, vegetables, coffee and cake, and core recipes basic to the preparation of German-Jewish cuisine.
Some of these recipes come from friends and family of the authors; others have been culled from interviews conducted by the authors, prewar German-Jewish cookbooks, nineteenth-century American cookbooks, community cookbooks, memoirs, or historical and archival material. The introduction explains the basics of Jewish diet (kosher law). The historical chapter that follows sets the stage by describing Jewish social customs in Germany and then offering a look at life in the vibrant émigré community of Washington Heights in New York City in the 1940s and 1950s.
Vividly illustrated with more than fifty drawings by Megan Piontkowski and photographs by Sonya Gropman that show the cooking process as well as the delicious finished dishes, this cookbook will appeal to readers curious about ethnic cooking and how it has evolved, and to anyone interested in exploring delicious new recipes.