One Dough, Ten Breads: Making
pistachio-walnut bark. Kids (and adults)
surely will adore Kushner’s little chocolate-
enrobed peanut-butter cups. One thing that
doesn’t change much is the kosher predilec-
tion for sweetness in so many savory dishes:
honey or sugar seems an inevitable addition
in lots of Kushner’s recipes. Rather than la-
beling the recipes as meat, dairy, or pareve,
Kushner leaves it up to the cook to classify.
Color photographs make Kushner’s recipes
even more attractive. —Mark Knoblauch
Great Bread by Hand.
By Sarah Black.
Feb. 2016. 304p. illus. Houghton, $25 (9780470260951).
It’s hard to imagine how the printed
page can capture the sensations—touch,
structure, flavor and texture, and on what
you have learned. What’s also unusual about
this cookbook is the attention to detail.
Black points out the differences between various recipes with “what’s new” sidebars and
lists “other shapes to try.” Photographs accompany the approximately 30 recipes, from
French whole-wheat pain de campagne and
fougasse to sour rye rolls with olives, lemon
zest, and celery-seed salt. All in all, probably the closest a book can get to a hands-on
course in the art of bread. —Barbara Jacobs
The Oxford Companion to Sugar and
Ed. by Darra Goldstein.
2015. 920p. illus. Oxford, $65 (9780199313396). 664.1.
Food writer Goldstein has compiled a delightful encyclopedia of all things sweet.
Nearly 600 entries cover foods, beverages,
and all aspects of the culinary industry as
well as a look at the cultural significance of
sugar in various regions and countries. There
are also 30 biographical entries, from Milton
S. Hershey to Nostradamus. Among the A–Z
entries, readers will find the familiar (Kool-
Aid, Nutella, Rugelach, Tutti Frutti) and the
more obscure (Pekmez, Syllabub). There are
also longer thematic entries, including the
role of sugar in human evolution and in vari-
ous celebrations, mentions of the sweet stuff
in children’s literature, and the use of sugar
The signed entries contain see also references and a brief bibliography. There are
small, black-and-white illustrations scattered throughout and two sections of glossy,
full-color illustrations. Two entertaining and
informative brief appendixes cover sugar in
film and music, and there are lists of famous
pastry shops and museums. General readers
and foodies will discover much to delight
over here, while those doing reference work
will find solid, substantial answers. This volume is highly recommended for public and
academic libraries, where it may find a readership in the circulating collection with the
general cookbooks. —Rebecca Vnuk
Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History
of the Jewish Deli.
By Ted Merwin.
Oct. 2015. 256p. illus. NYU, $26.95 (9781479860314).
The delicatessens that immigrant Eastern European Jews reimagined from their
homelands became for many of these new
Americans their prime gathering places; institutions reaffirmed Jews’ ethnic identity
through their Yiddish-accented owners and
waiters. Expanding from Manhattan’s Lower
East Side, delis reached Midtown’s Theater
District, where they offered late-night meals
and became full-fledged restaurants with
long menus and fancy ingredients. Outer-borough delis were more likely to observe
Jewish dietary restrictions long after city
delicatessens abandoned them. Literature
and movies turned places such as Lindy’s
into nationally recognized institutions, and
the Reuben sandwich became almost as
culturally familiar as the hamburger. Combining a flair for anecdote with exhaustive
research, Merwin has produced an exuberantly readable history of delis, and he
reveals how their prepared foods helped free
early twentieth-century women from daily
kitchen drudgery. The very success of ethnic
Jewish delicatessens led inevitably to cultural assimilation for Jews and to appreciative
acceptance by Gentiles, and the delicatessen
became indisputably an American institution. —Mark Knoblauch
The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen: A Fresh
Take on Tradition.
By Amelia Saltsman.
2015. 310p. illus. Sterling Epicure, $29.95
Anyone who has had only a narrow experience of Jewish cuisine and thinks of it
in terms of corned beef and matzo will find
their prejudices completely upended here.
Saltsman takes her culinary cues from the
traditional Jewish calendar with its succession of seasonally grounded holidays.
She then combines aspects of Northern
European–rooted Ashkenazi cooking with
Sephardic and Middle Eastern foods and
techniques. But in every case, she pays close
attention to seasonality of ingredients and
to modern tastes. Such an approach yields
foods fresher, lighter, and more intensely flavorful. To make tzimmes, she roasts carrots
with sweet potatoes, heightening flavors so
that tzimmes tastes great even as a meatless
dish. Her Purim hamantaschen surprise with
cheese and onion stuffing, rendering them
delightfully savory rather than sweet. This
book will appeal to kosher cooks looking for
novel approaches to tradition as well as to
the nonobservant who are simply curious.
Stories from the Kitchen.
Ed. by Diana Secker Tesdell.
Oct. 2015. 405p. Everyman’s Library, $16
This anthology of writings about food
makes an amiable companion for any hungry
reader. Kicking off with stories about “Food
and Love,” Guy de Maupassant’s “Bel Ami”
and a brief excerpt from M. F. K. Fisher link
eating with seduction and eroticism. Reaching back to the early nineteenth century
and Brillat-Savarin, Tesdell assembles stories
about meals at least memorable, if not transformative, of people’s lives. Isak Dinesen’s
“Babette’s Feast” stars here, and those familiar with only the much-lauded movie will
find the original story different in its details.
Actual recipes appear within an Alice B. Toklas tale of “murdering” a huge river carp, the
only available food in Nazi-occupied Paris.
A selection from Proust recalls not ethereally
divine madeleines but a much cruder and
bloodier butchering of a chicken. Food links
these many stories together, but their true focus is the human heart in all its triumphs and
sufferings. —Mark Knoblauch
Tasting Wine and Cheese: An
Insider’s Guide to Mastering the
Principles of Pairing.
By Adam Centamore.
Oct. 2015. 160p. illus. Quarto/Quarry, $24.99
This very focused and gorgeously illustrated book is a necessary purchase for all
active public-library cooking collections.
It will be enthusiastically circulated, and a
noncirculating copy may be helpful to keep
on the ready-reference shelf in the general
It’s hard to imagine how the printed page can capture the sensations—
touch, taste, feel, and smell—involved in baking bread. Yet lifetime
baker Black manages to do so.
—Barbara Jacobs, on One Dough, Ten Breads