Tag Archives: jerusalem

Eggplants Induce Insanity: “The Promised Land” Cookbook Offers Delicious Recipes, Anecdotes

GLN friend Megan sends us word of a promising new cookbook, “The Promised Land.” It looks like the kind of book you’ll want to pull off your bookshelf to consult before every major holiday, dinner party and birthday and then pass over to your children. It’s also the kind of book that you get to learn about life in Jerusalem over the years and surprisingly controversial vegetables:

Sephardic Jews have always been identified with eggplants, as were Arabs, even when Europeans were quite suspicious of them and were reluctant to use them, believing that “mad apples,” as they were known, induced insanity.

Why else is this cookbook notable?

It comprises the culinary memories of the two men behind the celebrated London restaurant chain OttolenghiYotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. Each was born in the book’s namesake city the same year, but on different sides–Ottolenghi on the Jewish west side, Tamimi in the eastern Arab section.

We love anything that brings cultures together, and this tome does it with good taste.