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With or without the marijuana, Alon Shaya's cookbook a non-kosher salute to Israeli cuisine

In the preface he writes, "There's some­thing about Israel that draws me. The mixture of cultures and faiths, the richly varied landscape, the tensions that have been deeply woven into the place since its beginning: so much about this country is magnetising. Religiously, politically " and culinarily. Israeli cuisine is a gumbo, a melding of many food cultures. In only a few decades, the population of a country smaller than the state of New Jersey has gone from just over a million people to eight million. Jewish immigrants brought their family recipe books from Germany, Bulgaria, Yemen, France, Spain, Turkey, Morocco, Greece, and many other countries to a land with an already rich Arab food culture.

A recipe from Alon Shaya's cookbook.

As I found out on my first trip to Israel, Israeli food in this book doesn't necessarily mean kosher food. A few of the recipes contain pork, some contain shellfish, and others go against different Jewish culinary laws.

There are recipes for falafel; roasted bone marrow with gremolata and brioche; five-onion soup with provolone toast; kale and andouille jambalaya; smoked chicken with harissa; lobster green curry; crab cakes with preserved lemon aioli; cherry and pistachio cookies; curried sweet potato and leek pie; classic hummus; and pita bread.

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

Copyright (c) 2018. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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