Nourishing Tradition

JEWISH COOKBOOKS & THE STORIES THEY TELL

Introduction

Reaching New Consumers

Food & Community

Homemakers & Restaurateurs

Das Praktische Lieschen

Lieschen Fröhlich

Stuttgart: Verlag Julius Püttmann, 1925

From the Library of the Leo Baeck Institute

Food as Memory

THROUGHOUT HISTORY, FOOD has been an integral part of culture, ritual, and daily life in Jewish communities, signifying religious observance and reverence for tradition. It has played an important role in the construction of the Jewish identity, fostering community and spiritual nourishment, while also resulting in oppression and religious intolerance. In 1492, Spain issued the Alhambra Decree during the Spanish Inquisition, expelling the Jewish people from Spain and Portugal. Those that remained were forced to convert under penalty of death. Despite these regulations, many Jews chose to observe their faith in secret and were oftentimes accused of heresy due to their kosher cuisine and Friday cooking for Saturday meals.

 

Cuisine in the modern Jewish community has since grown to include another facet: perseverance in the face of adversity and religious freedom, highlighted by tradition and the memory of those who have gone before. For Jews immigrating to different parts of Western Europe and the United States during the rise of anti-Semitism in the 20th century, food was the centerpiece of the evolving Jewish identity. It continues to represent the surviving collective consciousness within everyday choices and recipes passed down through the ages.

Author: Mollie Eder

Miami, Florida, ca. 1952

Collection of Yeshiva University Museum

Gift of Michael Tunik

Handwritten Cookbook

This small cookbook was a gift to a young bride. Mollie Eder, the bride’s Aunt-in-law, wanted her to learn her new family’s recipes. Written specifically to be used by the writer and her close family members, this lovely heirloom shows that the desire to share beloved recipes in a personal way has persisted into the contemporary era. The recipes include traditional favorites such as gefilte fish, honey cake and kuchen, as well as the more traditional American George Washington spice cake which originated in early 19th century America.

David M. Gitlitz (David Martin); Linda Kay Davidson

New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999

TX724 .G58 1999

Collection of American Sephardi Federation

A Drizzle of Honey: The Lives and Recipes of Spain’s Secret Jews

During the Spanish Inquisition, some Jews forcibly converted to Christianity (Conversos) covertly tried to preserve their Jewish identities by observing aspects of Shabbat, such as preparing traditional dishes for Friday night. Many of the recipes in this cookbook are from Inquisitorial trials, where they were used as evidence of false conversions.

Das Praktische Lieschen

This handwritten cookbook was so treasured by family members that it was labeled to ensure its significance was noted. On the outside of the cover is handwritten: Heirloom. Tante Lieschen Froehlich was a relative of Clara Lessing, the donor of this object. Tante Lieschen hoped that her recipes would be treasured and practical hints followed. The back cover contains the same text in German.

Lieschen Fröhlich

Stuttgart: Verlag Julius Püttmann, 1925

r 669

From the Library of the Leo Baeck Institute

Kochbuch

This lovingly handwritten, indexed, and illustrated volume contains recipes important to a late 19th century German-Jewish wife, including Bisquitkuchen (sponge cake) and Kleine Gurken einzumachen (little pickled cucumbers). Tipped into the book are additional recipes and food advertisements.

Explore the recipes here.

Rosalie Höchstädter

1891

AR 10940

From the Archives of the Leo Baeck Institute

Das Praktische Lieschen

This handwritten cookbook was so treasured by family members that it was labeled to ensure its significance was noted. On the outside of the cover is handwritten: Heirloom. Tante Lieschen Froehlich was a relative of Clara Lessing, the donor of this object. Tante Lieschen hoped that her recipes would be treasured and practical hints followed. The back cover contains the same text in German.

Lieschen Fröhlich

Stuttgart: Verlag Julius Püttmann, 1925

r 669

From the Library of the Leo Baeck Institute

THROUGHOUT HISTORY, FOOD has been an integral part of culture, ritual, and daily life in Jewish communities, signifying religious observance and reverence for tradition. It has played an important role in the construction of the Jewish identity, fostering community and spiritual nourishment, while also resulting in oppression and religious intolerance. In 1492, Spain issued the Alhambra Decree during the Spanish Inquisition, expelling the Jewish people from Spain and Portugal. Those that remained were forced to convert under penalty of death. Despite these regulations, many Jews chose to observe their faith in secret and were oftentimes accused of heresy due to their kosher cuisine and Friday cooking for Saturday meals.

 

Cuisine in the modern Jewish community has since grown to include another facet: perseverance in the face of adversity and religious freedom, highlighted by tradition and the memory of those who have gone before. For Jews immigrating to different parts of Western Europe and the United States during the rise of anti-Semitism in the 20th century, food was the centerpiece of the evolving Jewish identity. It continues to represent the surviving collective consciousness within everyday choices and recipes passed down through the ages.

Introduction

Reaching New Consumers

Food & Community

Homemakers & Restaurateurs

Author: Mollie Eder

Miami, Florida, ca. 1952

Collection of Yeshiva University Museum

Gift of Michael Tunik

Handwritten Cookbook

This small cookbook was a gift to a young bride. Mollie Eder, the bride’s Aunt-in-law, wanted her to learn her new family’s recipes. Written specifically to be used by the writer and her close family members, this lovely heirloom shows that the desire to share beloved recipes in a personal way has persisted into the contemporary era. The recipes include traditional favorites such as gefilte fish, honey cake and kuchen, as well as the more traditional American George Washington spice cake which originated in early 19th century America.

David M. Gitlitz (David Martin); Linda Kay Davidson

New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999

TX724 .G58 1999

Collection of American Sephardi Federation

A Drizzle of Honey: The Lives and Recipes of Spain’s Secret Jews

During the Spanish Inquisition, some Jews forcibly converted to Christianity (Conversos) covertly tried to preserve their Jewish identities by observing aspects of Shabbat, such as preparing traditional dishes for Friday night. Many of the recipes in this cookbook are from Inquisitorial trials, where they were used as evidence of false conversions.

Food as Memory

Kochbuch

This lovingly handwritten, indexed, and illustrated volume contains recipes important to a late 19th century German-Jewish wife, including Bisquitkuchen (sponge cake) and Kleine Gurken einzumachen (little pickled cucumbers). Tipped into the book are additional recipes and food advertisements.

Rosalie Höchstädter

1891

AR 10940

From the Archives of the Leo Baeck Institute

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