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Best Cookbooks for Israeli Food

Yael Eckstein in kitchen with elderly Jewish woman (Photo: Arik Shraga)

As you finish your holiday shopping, perhaps you're still looking for the perfect gift for that loved one who's a culinary expert. If that's the cast, ISRAEL21c's Jessica Halfin presents this list of 12 fabulous cookbooks by some of the Holy Land's best chefs:

1. The Book of New Israeli Food, Janna Gur

A modern-day classic and a personal favorite, this cookbook is written by power foodie Janna Gur and her team, with gorgeous photos by Eilon Paz. You can flip through this one when you’re feeling nostalgic for Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda shuk or when you want to find an authentic recipe for that Israeli dip/dish/bread/pastry that you just can’t get off your mind since returning home.

2. Jerusalem, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

In Jerusalem, London-based celebrity chef Yotam Ottolenghi and then partner Sami Tamimi rehash their Jerusalem childhoods from different sides of the tracks with equal warmth and character, while giving a complete history of the volatile city and showing off its most charming corners through positively stunning photography.

Sure, the recipes might contain an eclectic mix of 20 ingredients, but they are all fresh, wholesome and inspiring. This book belongs on every coffee table, if only as a discussion piece, and for its celebration of Sephardic cuisine. The scrumptiously delicious and herbaceously rich recipes are only a bonus.

3. Breaking Breads, Uri Scheft

From Israeli baker Uri Scheft of the famous Breads Bakery, which has several branches in both New York City and Tel Aviv, this book covers a wide range of influences on Israeli baking and includes hundreds of bread recipes, alongside other beloved Israeli baked goods such as Krembo and hamentaschen (both with updated twists). We’re buying the book mostly for the chapters on challah and babka, which are filled with tips, interesting variations and mouthwatering pictures of the bakery’s bestselling items...

Tags: Inspiration , Life in Israel

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