This week I am

preparing lectures and talks on Jewish food. I’m in the middle of a lecture series at the Jewish Museum in St Kilda – will let you know if there’s a repeat. We’ve been looking at food in the Bible (so much of it!) and then at how Jewish food developed in different countries over the centuries. Italian Jewish is a particular favourite – but there was the food Jews ate in Sicily before the Spanish (who ruled the island at the time) expelled them in 1492. Some of those dishes seemed to travel north. We’re conservative with our food, I think. We like to keep the dishes that have meaning and significance. That’s why gefilte fish remains in Jewish cooking, why we have honey cake at Jewish New Year (for a sweet year), and so on. That’s true of all cultures – it’s why Christmas cake and Christmas pudding remain on the table every year.

I shall be hosting two Italian-Jewish dinners soon. Wednesday September 5 at Misterbianco in Kew  http://www.misterbianco.com.au/  and the following night, Thursday September 6 at Massi in Little Collins Street http:///www.massi.com.au/  We’ll be tracking Jewish cooking the length of Italy, and drinking some good wine. Of course. Bookings to the restaurants.

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