Sephardic Cookbook (Viki Koronyo & Sima Ovadya)


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Five centuries ago, the Jews who emigrated from Spain to Turkish territories brought along their culinary traditions as well as their religious and social traditions. These traditions have passed on generation after generation and have become our heritage… Due to changes in lifestyles and life circumstances, we risk losing some of these traditions. Our people spend less and less time in their kitchens and they tend to prefer more practical meals. The recipes of the main Sephardic dishes that are cooked in Turkey are compiled in this book, in order to somehow preserve the disappearing Sephardic culinary traditions. General Characteristics of Sephardic Dishes In general, the preparation of Sephardic dishes requires a detailed and long preparation. Some of these dishes require the boiling, then frying, and then consequently cooking of the vegetables. In Sephardic cuisine, vegetable dishes outnumber the meat ones. Probably, this is a direct result of the desire to adhere to the kasherut principles which are the tenants of the Jewish culinary traditions. Some of the characteristics of the Sephardic cuisine are: – Usually, more than one kind of vegetable is used in any one dish. – Onions, tomatoes, parsley and lemon are used very often to enhance the taste of the dishes. The main modes of cooking are: – Cooking with tomatoes, lemon and parsley (Huevo i Limon, Agristada, Papeyada) – Frying (Albondigas, Kavakadas etc.) – Baking in the oven (Takayyut, Fritada etc.) – Stuffed with meat or rice (Reynadas etc.) – Combining different styles The Dezayuno (breakfast) that takes place on Sabbath (Saturdays) and holidays is an important part of the Sephardic culinary traditions. The Dezayuno starts with Borekas, Boyos, Bulemas and continues with Fritadas, hard-boiled eggs, olives and cheese. It concludes with fruits like melons, watermelon and grapes. The different styles of preparing fish are: – Uevo i Limon – lemon and eggs (Tempered) – Agristada (Sour, with flour) – Avramila – (With plums) – Cooking with tomatoes, lemons and parsley – Baking with tomatoes, lemon and parsley – Frying with sunflower oil