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Jewish Soul Food
Traditional Fare and What It Means
Carol Ungar

2015 • 224 pp. 73 illus. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2"
Kosher Cooking / Jewish Holidays / Jewish Rituals & Practice

$27.95 Paperback, 978-1-61168-501-5
$24.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-693-7

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

“Alongside scores of delightful recipes, Carol Ungar brings to life the meaning and history behind well-known and more obscure Jewish dishes from across the centuries and shares recipes with the warmth and wisdom of the grandmothers she never knew.” —Jewish Herald Voice

A lighthearted introduction to the art of traditional Jewish cooking, which links Jewish foods and Jewish beliefs

Jewish traditional foods often have symbolic meanings. A Passover matzo is a taste of Egyptian slavery. The Hanukkah latke reminds us of the little jug of oil that burned, miraculously, for eight nights. Noshing hamentaschen at Purim, we remember the villain Haman, and his thwarted plan to destroy the Jews.

Even more than in the synagogue, Jewish life takes place around the dining table. Jewish sages compare the dining table to an altar, and that isn’t an exaggeration. Jewish meals are ceremonies and celebrations that forge a pathway between body and soul.

In this unique cookbook, Carol Ungar links the cultural and religious symbolism of Jewish foods to more than one hundred recipes drawn from international Jewish cultures and traditions. She offers easy-to-follow recipes for Shabbat meals and all the Jewish holidays, from Rosh Hashana to the nine days before Tisha b’Av, along with fascinating briefs on how many Jewish foods—challah, kreplach, farfel, and more—express core Jewish beliefs.

With ingredients that can be found in any supermarket, and recipes adapted for the time- and health-conscious cook, this volume is for anyone who wishes to flavor Shabbat and holiday meals with Jewish soul.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“I found the balance of flavors in Ungar’s recipe to be perfect.Forward

"Carol Ungar didn’t design her Jewish Soul Food book as a cookbook in the strict, or even loose, sense of the term. Rather, she intended her book to be a sort of a survival guide for Jewish expats everywhere: It is not only a comprehensive compilation of dishes we Jews love to crave and wax nostalgic about, it is as importantly about the meaning and the mystique around them, what has immortalized those timeless dishes throughout our turbulent history, and what has made them survive.” —Levana’s Whole Foods Kitchen

"Even if you have cooked kosher all your life, no doubt you will find some interesting and tempting dishes that you have never tasted before.”—Jewish Connection

"Jewish Soul Food: Traditional Fare and What It Means by Carol Ungar is not another “coffee-table” cookbook, almost too beautiful to risk staining in the kitchen. This is a slim paperback with a mission: To showcase the deep link between Jewish foods and Jewish beliefs. For example, she explains that Majadarah is eaten before Tisha B’Av because lentils are closed spheres without an opening or a mouth, just like mourners. She also gives detailed instructions on how to fashion almost two dozen spectacular challahs.”Jewish Voice and Opinion

“[Ungar] combines her writing with spirituality and authentic tradition, and adds those to the recipes.”Jewish Standard

“Carol Ungar uses her talents as a writer and cook to bring readers a unique volume. . . . This is a lovely book for anyone interested in Jewish culinary traditions.”Jewish Book World

"Ungar insists she’s not a foodie, but she knows her food. There are helpful hints throughout the book, as she considers the schedule of the busy home cook recommending when a dish will freeze well (stuffed cabbage) and when it won’t (leek pancakes for Rosh Hashanah). There are other tips as well, such as the freezing cabbage for easier leaf separation when rolling Galicianer Stuffed Cabbage for Purim, or using leftover cooked rice for a Sukkah-time tomato soup.The Times of Israel

“Carol Ungar gives us a rare combination: virtuoso writing, spiritual depth, authentic tradition, and delicious recipes. This book is a treat for body, mind, and soul.”—Sara Yoheved Rigler

“Carol Ungar unveils the mystery of each food's mystical connotation, its deliberately designed purpose, and its relationship to specific holiday cuisine, raising our consciousness in such a way that eating becomes a much deeper, more spiritually fulfilling act.”—Yitta Halberstam

CAROL UNGAR, a freelance writer who lives in Israel, has written for Tablet, the Jerusalem Post, and other publications. Her website is

Tue, 15 May 2018 13:29:33 -0500