Adam Shatz with Claudia Roden Myself With Others

    • Arts

Claudia Roden is the author of cookbooks that revolutionized eating in the United Kingdom, including The Book of Jewish Food and Arabesques. Raised in a Jewish family in Cairo, Roden began to collect Middle Eastern recipes after her family and families like her own fled Egypt in 1956. By chronicling the cuisines of the Middle East, Spain, the Mediterranean, and the Jewish diaspora, Roden has produced an extraordinary Book of Memory, as rich in history as it is in flavors and aromas. In our conversation, Roden talked to me about her Cairo childhood and her youth in Paris; about how collecting recipes became her obsession; about the sexist prejudices against cookbooks; about how politics informs her understanding of food; about the secret Jewish origins of fish and chips; and about how she discovered why the Spanish roast their pork with cumin seeds.

Claudia Roden is the author of cookbooks that revolutionized eating in the United Kingdom, including The Book of Jewish Food and Arabesques. Raised in a Jewish family in Cairo, Roden began to collect Middle Eastern recipes after her family and families like her own fled Egypt in 1956. By chronicling the cuisines of the Middle East, Spain, the Mediterranean, and the Jewish diaspora, Roden has produced an extraordinary Book of Memory, as rich in history as it is in flavors and aromas. In our conversation, Roden talked to me about her Cairo childhood and her youth in Paris; about how collecting recipes became her obsession; about the sexist prejudices against cookbooks; about how politics informs her understanding of food; about the secret Jewish origins of fish and chips; and about how she discovered why the Spanish roast their pork with cumin seeds.

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