Photo by Red Saunders
"Claudia Roden is no more a simple cookbook writer than Marcel Proust was a biscuit maker," declares historian Simon Schama. In her seminal books on Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food, Roden weaves together memoir, history, anthropology, and recipes to tell the story of a culture through its cuisine. In The Book of Jewish Food, we learn what the ancient Hebrews ate and that fish-and-chips was introduced to England by Portuguese Jews. Born in Cairo, Roden left at 15, after the Suez Canal crisis led to the confiscation of property and other attacks on the Egyptian Jewish community. She is the author of numerous books, including A Book of Middle Eastern Food, The Food of Italy: Region by Region, and most recently, Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon.
Recorded Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at The Newberry Library.