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My attitude makes me who I am


Cooking means happiness
Claudia Roden Writer
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When I cook the dishes that I cook, when I am researching the book or rather writing them in the book, I always think of the people who gave me the recipes. I think of the occasion when I ate them, and it keeps me happy. That's why I'm a happy person. Because I remember the wonderful events and the people. And I hear their voices, but I'm also happy now, when other people cook those dishes. And when we make the vermicelli dish with a chicken and honey sauce. Yes, it reminds me of the food in Fez. When I make the pastilla I make it in a different way now, I don't make the very fine pastry that is really more like a paper thin pancake. What I do is I put puff pastry, I put it in the oven, and I just put it on top. Because now I just haven't got the strength to cook that. But I've got the smell, the taste, the same ingredients, and I have found a way of making it simpler for people and for me in particular and for everyone else. Because we don't have time now to cook all that. But it is lovely the way people in the West have really made those foods their own, they love them, and it's part of what I would say is modern English cuisine now.

Claudia Roden (b. 1936) is an Egyptian-born British cookbook writer and cultural anthropologist of Sephardi/Mizrahi descent. She is best known as the author of Middle Eastern cookbooks including A Book of Middle Eastern Food, The New Book of Middle Eastern Food and The Book of Jewish Food.

Listeners: Nelly Wolman

Claudia Roden talking to her granddaughter Nelly Wolman about her life in food.

Tags: cooking, pastilla, puff pastry, happiness, recipes, memories, modern cuisine

Duration: 1 minute, 53 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2022

Date story went live: 04 December 2023