Joan Nathan searches the bittersweet history of Jews in France for recipes and stories
Winner of the James Beard Award and Julia Child Cookbook Award for New American Cooking, and PBS-TV Executive Producer and host of Jewish Cooking in America with Joan Nathan, Joan Nathan herself appeared at the 2010 Miami Book Fair International along with Jack Bishop and Linda Gassenheimer to talk about her new cookbook, Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous (Knopf; October, 2010). Nathan set the table for meat of her presentation with a story about her mother's 40-year old Passover shank bone and how her love of French cuisine began when her father sent her at the age of seventeen to live in France in order to learn to speak French. Tracing the bittersweet 2,000 year history of Jews in France to the formerly German Alsace region of France, where the Askenazi, or 'German Jews,' settled and introduced foie gras and chocolate to the French palate. Recalling her search through France for Jewish recipes and stories, Nathan reflected on the painful period in World War II when France turned against Jews and participated in deporting them to concentration camps, where most died, and the aftermath of WWII when Jews returned to France, coming mainly from northern Africa. Nathan wrapped her appearance with a 'taste' of the recipes included in Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France.
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