Nineteenth-century Ashkenazic cookbooks?

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Nineteenth-century Ashkenazic cookbooks?

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Abr 29, 2008, 1:18pm

I posted the following on "Cookbookers" about a month or two ago--before I discovered that this group even existed. I'm thrilled to find it and thought I'd begin by picking everyone's brains on this topic. I got a few helpful replies to my post on "Cookbookers" but am always on the lookout....

I am very interested in cookbooks reflecting the way Ashkenazic Jews cooked in the late 19th century—the cooking of my grandparents’ generation. I’ve accumulated a number of modern cookbooks that reflect some of that heritage (such as Robert Sternberg’s Yiddish Cuisine, and the older American classics Leah Leonard’s Jewish Cookery and Jennie Grossinger’s Art of Jewish Cooking). But these are modern books and often reflect Americanized versions of the recipes.

More fascinating to me are the older books or the more modern ones that focus on a particular local cuisine such as Eugeniusz Wirkowski, Cooking the Polish-Jewish Way and Zorica Herbst-Krausz, Old Jewish Dishes (Hungarian). There’s also Suzanne Roukhomovsky’s wonderful 1928 Gastronomie juive, which, though small, includes dishes from Russia, Alsace, Romania and the “Orient.”

My query is simply this: does anyone know of any of the older works I’m missing? I am not so much interested in contemporary books unless they’re very specifically and consciously historical. I’ve heard about an old book (1929 but reprinted in 1985) by Edouard de Pomiane called Jews of Poland but that exhausts my knowledge.


Jun 10, 2008, 9:13pm

A Taste of the Past :the daily life and cooking of a nineteenth-century Hungarian-Jewish homemaker
sounds like just your thing.

Mar 3, 2010, 3:23pm

Yiddish cookery books were published in Warsaw in 1930 under the title "Di Idisze Kukh" by B.Szafran. It resembles Suzanne Roukhomovsky's "Gastronomie Juive" of Paris 1929. Even the illustrations were purloined. In 1938, restauranteur Fania Lewando published "Vegetarishe-Dietishe Kokh- Bukh" in Vilna Poland. Marc Chagal and Itzik Manger among other customers wrote testamonials at the end of the book. Cookbooks in German, Hungarian were published in inter-war Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia. A Polish translation of a classic German Jewish cookery book was published in 1904 Warsaw.