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The German-Jewish Cookbook
Recipes and History of a Cuisine
Gabrielle Rossmer Gropman, Sonya Gropman; Nach Waxman, fwd.

HBI Series on Jewish Women

2017 • 272 pp. 56 illus. (23 color) 7 x 10"
Kosher Cooking / Holiday Cooking / Cooking - Reference

$35.00 Hardcover, 978-1-61168-873-3

$19.99 Ebook, 978-1-5126-0115-2

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

“It is hard to overstate the importance of a book like The German-Jewish Cookbook. . . . It captures a lost moment in time, elevating a rich history and culture that, within a generation, will have almost no one left who experienced it.”—Tablet

The first German-Jewish cookbook in a century, a history and memoir with over 100 recipes

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.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“What a feast! Rich in cultural history and vibrant with personal stories, The German-Jewish Cookbook offers up recipes both homespun and elegant, from simple Potato Puffs to show-stopping Chestnut Crème. . . . This beautiful book is a moving testament to food and family and the enduring bonds of taste.”—Darra Goldstein, award-winning cookbook author and world-renowned food scholar

“With a preservationist zeal and a modern day appetite, Sonya and Gaby pay a long-overdue tribute to the fascinating German-Jewish culinary traditions. Through charming stories and mouthwatering recipes they bring that almost-vanished gastronomic culture to life—and the results are delectable.”—Anya von Bremzen, author of Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing

“It would have been straightforward enough to write a collection of recipes extolling the virtues of the German-Jewish food we all love, but this mother-daughter team make it a book to not only cook from but to sit down and read. . . .We’re keen on this fabulous insight to a cuisine we think we know (but don’t know well enough).”—Southern Jewish Living

The German-Jewish Cookbook contains not only the recipes of the vanished German-Jewish community but the cultural history and historical context behind them.”—Jewish Week

“The flavors preserved in
The German-Jewish Cookbook are a sensory bridge to the past. The everyday pleasures of sour cherry soup, boiled beef with fresh horseradish, and potato dumplings with gravy entice us to claim bygone food traditions as our own.”—Brandeis Magazine

“What really enriches the history is Rossmer Gropman’s personal essay, “Living and Eating in Washington Heights,” a virtual journal of growing up in a family of German-Jewish refugees—from cooking with Oma, to Shabbat kiddush led by Opa. It’s a peak into a culture of Kaffeeklatsch, specialized butchers, and the varied religious life of the neighborhood.” —
Intermountain Jewish News

“An absolute joy to read. Written by a mother and daughter team, The German-Jewish Cookbook wonderfully chronicles their experiences hunting down family recipes and gathering the many enthralling stories of the foods with which they grew up. . . . A book that will make a contribution in culinary iconography and that for me, personally, opened up a new glimpse into my own German-Jewish past.”—Joan Nathan, author of King Solomon’s Table: A Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from around the World

“A long-anticipated examination of a cuisine steeped in the rich, tragic history of a people for whom the flavor of home is a direct connection to the past. It is a deeply personal, ethno-culinary marvel, and as extraordinary to cook from as it is to read.”—Elissa Altman, author of Treyf and Poor Man’s Feast

“A full and beautiful portrait of German-Jewish cuisine, from its roots in Germany to its flourishing in New York City. The recipes and stories from mother and daughter ooze with love. This is a very special cookbook and such a valuable slice of history.”—Jeffrey Yoskowitz, coauthor of The Gefilte Manifesto: New Recipes for Old World Jewish Foods

“Spending time with Sonya and Gabrielle Gropman is like dropping in on old friends for an afternoon kaffeeklatsch. Welcoming hosts, they are also eloquent storytellers who know how to cook. Their book is a rich and enticing blend of recipes, history, and family memoir that documents a vanishing cuisine, while expanding our grasp of what Jewish cooking can be.”—Jane Ziegelman, author of 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement

“More than a cookbook . . . a hybrid of memoir, family and cultural history, and ethnography. So many recipes, traditions, and details of daily German-Jewish life were lost in the abyss of its twentieth-century history, along with entire communities. The German-Jewish Cookbook, written for Jews and non-Jews alike, gives these wonderful recipes for all occasions new life and provides fascinating reading as well.”Helen Epstein, author of Children of the Holocaust and Where She Came From: A Daughter’s Search for Her Mother’s History

GABRIELLE ROSSMER GROPMAN is a visual artist and mediation professional, who was born in Germany in 1938 and emigrated to the United States in 1939. Her art has been exhibited throughout the United States as well as in Germany. A multimedia art installation about the history of her German-Jewish family was exhibited at the Villa Dessauer Municipal Museum in the town of her birth, Bamberg, Germany, in 1991 and again in 2013–14. SONYA GROPMAN, her daughter, is a painter, photographer, and writer whose work has been exhibited and published in the United States. She is involved in local sustainable agriculture in New York City. She and Gabrielle coauthor the website, where they post original material about German-Jewish food and culture. Their Twitter handle is @Ger_Jew_Cuisine; their Facebook page is

Click here for author's website.

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:08:31 -0500