Food, Fam­i­ly and Tra­di­tion: Hun­gar­i­an Kosher Fam­i­ly Recipes and Remembrances

Lynn Shapiro
  • Review
By – February 13, 2015

Food Fam­i­ly, and Tra­di­tion is so much more than a cook­book. It is many books in one. It is a fam­i­ly his­to­ry, the his­to­ry of Hun­gar­i­an Kosher Foods; it is a book about Jew­ish food and Jew­ish hol­i­day celebration.

This family’s sto­ry is com­pelling and inspir­ing. It is amaz­ing to fol­low the fam­i­ly through mul­ti­ple gen­er­a­tions. Start­ing in Europe and mov­ing to Chica­go, this is an all too well-known Jew­ish sto­ry. Count­less Jew­ish fam­i­lies will no doubt iden­ti­fy with this family’s sto­ry. The pho­tographs, maps, etc. make the family’s sto­ry come alive.

Sev­er­al essays writ­ten by sev­er­al fam­i­ly mem­bers range from a Jew­ish approach to healthy eat­ing, to a his­to­ry of kosher wine (a spe­cial­ty of Hun­gar­i­an Kosher foods) to the his­to­ry of the fam­i­ly kosher gro­cery store Hun­gar­i­an Kosher Foods. Part of what makes this book unique is the essay that details this sto­ry of the fam­i­ly busi­ness, a local store in Chica­go that sells exclu­sive­ly kosher items. This is what enabled the fam­i­ly to rebuild, sur­vive and thrive.

The essay more than recipes” high­lights cer­tain recipes and explains the ratio­nale for includ­ing var­i­ous types of foods in this collec­tion. There is a recipe index in the back to help the read­er find a recipe the sec­ond time. There is also a table of met­ric con­ver­sions. There are wine pair­ing tips through­out the book. The recipes vary in degree of sophis­ti­ca­tion and com­plex­i­ty. The recipes them­selves are very tra­di­tion­al. It is a good place to start explor­ing Euro­pean culi­nary roots. (Don’t expect new or mod­ern recipes here.) 

The recipes are divid­ed into ten chap­ters includ­ing appe­tiz­ers, soups, fish dish­es, poul­try, meat, breads, etc. The pho­tog­ra­phy of the food has a rus­tic old coun­try feel which is quite appro­pri­ate for this book. The design of the book is a lit­tle busy, but the lit­tle recipe card shaped extras” are real­ly inter­est­ing and will have read­ers pour­ing over the pages of this book. There was one error on page 136 that was cor­rect­ed by a lit­tle piece of paper added to the book after printing. 

The title of this book is Food, Fam­i­ly, and Tra­di­tion and it is just that; the sto­ry of this fam­i­ly, their food, and tradition.

Relat­ed content:

Deb­bie Fed­er is cur­rent­ly the Direc­tor of the LRC at Ida Crown Jew­ish Acad­e­my in Chica­go. She has her Mas­ters in Library and Infor­ma­tion Sci­ence from Domini­can Uni­ver­si­ty. She has spent more than ten years intro­duc­ing chil­dren and young adults to lit­er­a­ture and infor­ma­tion lit­er­a­cy at schools and pub­lic libraries. She is the author of Jel­ly Bean’s Art Muse­um Adven­ture and is hon­ored to have been a mem­ber of the Syd­ney Tay­lor Book Award Committee.

Discussion Questions