James Beard Award-winning Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World (Wiley 2004)
The World of Jewish Desserts (Simon & Schuster, September 2000)
The World of Jewish Entertaining (Simon & Schuster, 1998)
James Beard Award-finalist The World of Jewish Cooking (Simon & Schuster, 1996)
He was also among the international team of contributors to the prestigious Meals in Science and Practice: Interdisciplinary Research and Business Applications (Woodhead Publishing, 2009).
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF JEWISH FOOD
A comprehensive, A-to-Z guide to Jewish foods, recipes, and culinary traditions Food is more than just sustenance. It's a reflection of a community's history, culture, and values. From India to Israel to the United States and everywhere in between, Jewish food appears in many different forms and variations, but all related in its fulfillment of kosher laws, Jewish rituals, and holiday traditions. The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food explores both unique cultural culinary traditions as well as those that unite the Jewish people. Alphabetical entries—from Afikomen and Almond to Yom Kippur and Za'atar—cover ingredients, dishes, holidays, and food traditions that are significant to Jewish communities around the world This easy-to-use reference includes more than 650 entries, 300 recipes, plus illustrations and maps throughout Both a comprehensive resource and fascinating reading, this book is perfect for Jewish cooks, food enthusiasts, historians, and anyone interested in Jewish history or food
The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food is an informative and eye-opening guide to the culinary heart and soul of the Jewish people.
OLIVE TREES AND HONEY
For more than three millennia, vegetarian cooking has been a central component of the rich fabric of Jewish culinary tradition around the world. Olive Trees and Honey is a tribute to this vital realm of Jewish heritage, showcasing an authentic collection of vegetarian dishes that have graced Jewish tables across the ages from Alsace to Uzbekistan, and are still very much alive today—at holiday, rituals, festivals, and everyday meals alike.
From savory pastries like Syrian Miniature Lentil Pizzas to hearty entrées such as Moroccan Mashed Potato Casserole, nourishing Romanian vegetable stews and Sephardic Spinach Patties, to wholesome legume Dishes like Tunisian Chickpeas with Greens, the 300 recipes in Olive Trees and Honey brings the world of Jewish vegetarian cooking to the home kitchen. The classics here—soups, salads, pastas, legumes, vegetable stews, egg dishes, and more—represent every part of the menu from an expansive global palate.
Through brief chronicles of the Jewish Diaspora’s vegetarian legacy in diverse corners of the world and sidebars woven throughout the book, Olive Trees and Honey gives the recipes perspective and a historical presence as well as sheds light on the communities that created the dishes. Olive Trees and Honey makes the reader think about and appreciate cuisine and the communities from which they sprang.
The rich and diverse variety of dishes and history tells a story of not only each community but the Jewish people as a whole. Olive Trees and Honey was awarded the James Beard Foundation award as among the best cookbooks of 2005.
Here I am in 2005 accepting the James Beard Foundation Award for Olive Trees and Honey.
OTHER BOOKS BY GIL MARKS
THE WORLD OF JEWISH COOKING:
MORE THAN 613 TRADITIONAL RECIPES FROM ALSACE TO YEMEN
After two thousand years of living in almost every country and culture, Jewish cuisine is the cuisine of the world. But if Jewish cooking is universal, what makes a dish peculiarly Jewish? Following halacha (Jewish law) meant that Jews could not simply adopt all of the dishes of their new homelands. Since the dietary laws exclude such foods as pork, lard, and shellfish or the mixing of milk and meat, Jews found substitutes for these items. In addition, the Jewish lifestyle -- shaped by Sabbath prohibitions, holiday traditions, Torah study, and life cycle events -- produced uniquely Jewish dishes that, although based on local foods, often manifested similarities to Jewish dishes from other locales. For example, all Jewish communities incorporate foods mentioned in the Bible -- such as almonds, apples, dates, raisins, and honey -- as symbolic ingredients in assorted festival dishes. Since many dishes were prepared ahead to be served cold on the Sabbath, vinegar was commonly added as a preservative and often sweeteners or raisins to counter the acidity of the vinegar. As a result, sweet-and-sour dishes proliferate in the Jewish culinary repertoire. And Jews commonly affixed their own special touches to local dishes such as adding garlic, an item despised by many cultures, and onions, thereby creating extra layers of flavor.
After all is said and done, what is Jewish food? It is food that evokes the spirit of a Jewish community as it celebrates the Sabbath, festivals, and life cycle events. It is a dish that possesses the power to nostalgically conjure up the joy of millions of Sabbath dinners or resounds with the memory of the myriad of mellahs (Jewish
quarters in Moslem countries), ghettos, and shtetlach in which for millennia Jews struggled to eke out a living. It is the context of Ashkenazim serving honey cake on Rosh Hashanah, strudel on Sukkot, hamantaschen on Purim, a flourless nut torte on Passover, and cheesecake on Shavuot. It is Sephardim serving leek patties on Rosh Hashanah, eggplant and meat casserole on Sukkot, doughnuts on Chanukah, Haman's ear pastries on Purim, sponge cake on Passover, and rice pudding on Shavuot. It is tradition.
Since food is the part of life that most closely touches people's day-to-day existence as well as their periods of celebration, through these traditional dishes we can get a taste of a once vital Jewish community, its nature, history, and customs. By discovering the past, we can learn much about our collective selves. The World of Jewish Cooking explores these traditional Jewish foods, their history, and continuing usage in Jewish life.
The World of Jewish Cooking was a finalist in the 1997 James Beard Foundation awards and, still selling strongly after a decade, recognized as a classic in the field of Jewish cooking.