Jewish Cuisine in Hungary

A Cultural History with 83 Authentic Recipes
ISBN: 
978-963-386-273-5
paperback
$60.00 / €54.00 / £47.00
Winner of the 2019 National Jewish Book Award in the category of Food Writing & Cookbooks
Publication date: 
2019
420 pages, 200 photos and 83 recipes

András Koerner refuses to accept that the world of pre-Shoah Hungarian Jewry and its cuisine should disappear almost without a trace and feels compelled to reconstruct its culinary culture. His book—with a preface by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett—presents eating habits not as isolated things, divorced from their social and religious contexts, but as an organic part of a way of life.

According to Kirshenblatt-Gimblett: “While cookbooks abound, there is no other study that can compare with this book. It is simply the most comprehensive account of a Jewish food culture to date.” Indeed, no comparable study exists about the Jewish cuisine of any country, or, for that matter, about Hungarian cuisine. It describes the extraordinary diversity that characterized the world of Hungarian Jews, in which what could or could not be eaten was determined not only by absolute rules, but also by dietary traditions of particular religious movements or particular communities.

Ten chapters cover the culinary traditions and eating habits of Hungarian Jewry up to the 1940s, ranging from kashrut (the system of keeping the kitchen kosher) through the history of cookbooks, and some typical dishes. Although this book is primarily a cultural history and not a cookbook, it includes 83 recipes, as well as nearly 200 fascinating pictures of daily life and documents.

Co-published with Corvina Books

PREFACE by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett
INTRODUCTION 
1. KASHRUT 

The Ritual Slaughter of Animals 
The Koshering of Meat at Home
Separating Dairy and Meat Dishes 
Pareve (Neither Meat, nor Dairy) Dishes and Ingredients 
Kosher Wine 
Kosher Milk and Dairy Products 
Giving up Kashrut 
Non-Jewish Views of Kashrut 

2. ASHKENAZI JEWISH CUISINE
Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jewry 
A Short History of Ashkenazi Cuisine

3. HUNGARIAN JEWISH CUISINE
Seventeenth-Century Sephardi Influence 
Nineteenth-Century Gastronomic Writers 
Handwritten Recipe Collections 
Nineteenth-Century Cookbooks
Early Twentieth-Century Pioneers of Jewish Ethnography 
A Turn-of-the-Century Recipe Competition 
Food and Increasing Secularization 
Cookbooks in the First Half of the Twentieth Century
Post-1945 Cookbooks about Prewar Cooking 
Some Characteristics of Hungarian Jewish Cuisine
Food and Hungarian Jewish Identity
Hungarian Influence on the Jewish Cuisine of Other Countries 

4. REGIONAL AND CULTURAL DIFFERENCES 
The Northeastern Regions and the Galician/Polish/Ukrainian Influence
Western Hungary and the Austrian/German Influence 
The Northwestern Regions and the Bohemian/Moravian/Slovakian Influence 
The Southern Regions and the Serbian/Croatian Influence 
Transylvania and the Romanian Influence

5. WEEKDAYS AND HOLIDAYS 
Dishes for Weekdays 
Shabbat Dishes 
Dishes for the Holiday of the New Moon 
Dishes of Rosh Hashanah 
Yom Kippur – Dishes for Before and After the Fast 
Dishes of Sukkot 
Dishes of Simchat Torah 
Dishes of Hanukkah
Purim Dishes 
Dishes for Pesach 
Shavuot Dishes 
Dishes for the Dairy Days and for the End of the Tisha B’av Fast 
Dishes for the Birth of a Boy 
Cakes for the First Day of Cheder 
Cakes to Celebrate the First Exam in Cheder 
Dishes for Bar Mitzvah 
Dishes for Engagements and Weddings 
Dishes for Mourning Ceremonies 

6. HOUSEHOLDS 
Rural and Small-Town Households 
Keeping Geese
Urban Households 
Canning 
Maids 
The Role of Cooking in the Lives of Jewish Women 
Kitchen Furniture and Equipment 
Dishes, Tableware, and Tablecloths 
Ritual Plates, Cups, and Table Linen 

7. DOMESTIC HOSPITALITY AND BANQUETS 
Dinner and Supper Guests, Home Parties, and Salons 
Banquets and Celebratory Meals 
Rules of Good Manners at Meals

8. JEWISH PLACES OF HOSPITALITY 
Kosher Restaurants and Boardinghouses 
Coffeehouses, Coffee Shops, and Pastry Shops 
Jewish Soup Kitchens 

9. FOOD INDUSTRY AND TRADE 
Kosher Food Factories 
Kosher Wine Producers and Merchants 
Food Shops and Street Vendors
Markets

10. CHARACTERISTIC DISHES 
Challah
Gefilte Fish 
Walnut Fish 
Boiled Beef 
Chopped Eggs 
Cholent
Kugel
Ganef 
Stuffed Goose Neck 
Tzimmes
Flódni 
Kindli 
Hamantasche 
Matzo Balls
Chremsel 
Goose Giblets with Rice Pilaf 
EPILOGUE 
APPENDICES
1. Jewish Cookbooks Published in Hungary before 1945:
An Annotated Bibliography
2. Authors of the Handwritten Recipe Collections Used in This Book
3. List of Quoted Recipes 
Notes 
Selected Bibliography 
Sources of Illustrations 
Subject and Personal Names Index 
Index of Foods
Acknowledgements