I hate spending time reading about the plot of a book on review sites - just tell me, Did you like it or not?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home


4 stars

276 pages
Publication date: Sept. 3, 2013

When I first saw this cookbook, I thought "I could use a great bagel recipe!" Boy, how narrow-sighted I was. Bagels are just the beginning!
This cookbook is an all-encompassing Jewish food extravaganza! I learned so much about the culture and customs from simply reading the introductions at the beginning of each recipe. What I learned: Jewish cooking is steeped in tradition and flavor and really fun-to-say words. Varniske, blintz, knish, lox, charnuske, ajvar! Oh, my!
Gorgeous photographs are sprinkled throughout the tome; I wish there had been more! For a newbie like me, a picture is vital so I can see what the finished product is supposed to look like. The layout was easy to read and was pleasant-looking. I thought the chapter contents pictures were very clever - a chalked deli menu board!
Most of these recipes are not for those who are on a diet or have dietary restrictions. There is too much salt, fat and other tasty things to be included in a "healthy" diet. But there are a few healthy recipes, such as Curried Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup or Deli Health Salad.
I appreciated the "Sources and Resources" section at the end of the book. The author admits that some of the ingredients included in the cookbook are difficult to find, so he names some websites and blogs that provide the necessary ingredients via mail. This unfortunate fact - lack of availability of ingredients - detracted a bit from the initial excitement I had when I first started thumbing through this book, but it didn't dissolve my spirit of adventure.
I did find my bagel recipe - with five cream cheese schmears, too! Yay!
This is a fantastic cookbook filled with delicious deli food for any home cook - Jewish or not.
Thank you Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, and NetGalley for the chance to review this wonderful cookbook.

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