Top 10 Jewish Food Blogs
As we all know, it is far too easy to waste (or gain, depending on your worldview) many a good hour on the internet. It usually starts with a click on something that catches your eye, which leads to another click and another, until an hour later you catch yourself on a random site, reading a random person’s random musings, or worse, looking at their online wedding album.
This, more or less, is how I discovered the world of food blogging. A long time lover of eating, I was beginning to explore my culinary skills when someone recommended a food blog as a new source of recipes. Around the same time, a friend began her own food blog and recommended a few others on her blog roll, and so I stumbled upon a world which was in the midst of an expansion so rapid it could be most accurately described as an explosion. After discovering with glee the mouth-watering food pornography, the charming writing, and personal appeal of many a food blog, I even decided to give it a go myself (http://eatlovejump.wordpress.com).
The amazing thing about the age of the internet is that anyone can have a voice; anyone who wants to can express themselves, and even in the realm of food, the results are inspiring, creative, and bridge- building. Anyone from a Yemenite grandma in Tel Aviv to an eco-warrior teenager in New Jersey who can get their head around a simple template such as Wordpress can join this growing global community.
Of course, being a Jew who takes an interest in most things Jewish, including Jewish culinary delights, it didn’t take me long to find the blogs which could tell me how best to bake my challah, how to make delicious Sephardi or Ashkenazi classics, or which recipe to add to my repertoire of pareve desserts. What I offer below is by no means the definitive guide – I am sure that there are tens, if not hundreds, of Jewish food blogs I have yet to discover. While some of these blogs define themselves as Jewish or kosher, others are simply written by Jews whose culinary heritage comes across strongly in their choice of recipes and ingredients, and in their descriptions of family gatherings and holidays where food is a prevalent and essential component. I have long believed in the power of people breaking bread together. Through my exploration of this online world, I have discovered that those who really love food are willing to put differences aside in order to share their passion with others, and this is a truly beautiful thing.
1. Café Liz (http://food.lizsteinberg.com/)
Café Liz features colorful, healthy, kosher vegetarian recipes made in a Tel Aviv kitchen. Liz uses fresh fruit and vegetables in most of her dishes, which are light and refreshing compared to some of the traditional Jewish fare. Her skilled photography makes the recipes even more enticing.
2. Not Derby Pie (http://www.notderbypie.com/)
Just like its name, Not Derby Pie is a charming blog, which presents recipes far more varied than anything I would think of cooking up in my kitchen. From spinach bourekas to Moroccan salmon with curried yoghurt to Brussels sprouts with sriracha, honey, and lime, Rivka is an adventurous cook and a delightful blogger.
3. My Mom’s Recipes and More (http://momsrecipesandmore.blogspot.com/)
What this blog lacks in style, it makes up for with an abundance of tempting recipes. Chanit, an Israeli blogger, writes in English and specializes in delicious breads, buns and rolls (for which she lists 92 different recipes) and baked goods (192 cookies, bars, and cake recipes). If you’re looking for something specific, you’ll probably find it here.
4. Sweet Amandine (http://www.sweetamandine.com/)
Not an overtly ‘Jewish’ blog, but the clues aren’t hard to find. All recipes are kosher, and probably delicious, but it is the excellent writing which brings me back to this blog again and again. Jess weaves tales around food, touching on her family, friends, and her own life in a way that makes you want to sit down with her for a good chin-wag over a cup of coffee and some of her homemade cookies.
5. The Jew and the Carrot (www.jcarrot.org)
More than just a food blog – get your discussion of contemporary issues concerning food and Jews here, alongside some good Jewish recipes. The discussion may be contemporary but the recipes are heartwarmingly traditional: borscht, hamentaschen, bagels, and coffee cake feature alongside creative inventions such as tehina ice cream, beet and carrot burgers, and vegan cholent.
6. Batzek Alim (Hebrew) (http://www.bazekalim.com/)
One of Israel’s most popular food blogs – for those of you who want to practice your Hebrew – with a beautifully presented, step-by-step guide to every recipe. Blogger Maya diligently digitally labels her photos, just to make things even clearer. So if you were wondering what certain ingredients look like, the diameter of the ideal tart dish, or how fine is ‘finely chopped’, wonder no more, Maya will tell you everything you need to know.
7. Food Bridge (http://www.sarahmelamed.com/)
Reporting on “Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Cuisine, Culture and History” – the blog’s tagline – this blog is an interesting read which features not only recipes but travel writing from around Israel, usually with a culinary theme. Sarah writes on a wide range of topics including home brewed Israeli beer; herbs, spices, and flowers; Kurdish flatbreads and adventures in the desert.
8. Kosher Camembert (http://koshercamembert.wordpress.com/)
Kosher cooking inspired by international travel – written by a stateside blogger who knows how to appreciate good food. This blog has seasonal themes and celebrates Jewish holidays with timely recipes such as Moroccan-style roasted pomegranate chicken and apple cake. The blog also reveals a fondness for French cuisine – look out for gâteau au chocolat (Bistro chocolate cake), salade niçoise and honey Madeleines.
9. Israeli Kitchen http://www.israelikitchen.com/)
Mimi, an Israeli-American living in Israel for over 30 years, shares with us her “urge to cook” and her passion for culinary creativity and regional ingredients. This blog doubles as an interesting guide to food and wine in Israel, as Mimi loves exploring different open air markets and sampling Middle Eastern specialties.
10. Kosher in the Kitch (http://www.kosherinthekitch.com/)
Delightfully kitsch, kosher and pink, this blog has a collection of recipes from various bloggers and contributors and a useful section for those seeking clarification on issues of kashrut - 'halachot in the kitch'. Blogger Nina Safar also sends out a useful weekly meal planner to those who subscribe, all dressed in pink gingham of course.
Jo Mandel-Cohen is a born and bred Londoner-turned-Israeli. She works for the Mandel Jerusalem Fellows program and in her spare time loves to teach aerobics, travel, experiment in the kitchen, and enjoy good food with her husband Etan. Jo writes a blog about food and life called Eat Love Jump.