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Things that funded my life


My motivation to do my work
Claudia Roden Writer
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There are many people who are migrants now. We are really a generation of migrants, people moving. And really, the last thing that they lose is food, their cooking. It's the one thing that makes them comfortable, that gives them happiness in a new place. Sometimes in a strange place. But it's also immigrants who have written the most cookbooks. Perhaps I shouldn't call immigrants. They are people who just come to live here. But all the people who have written books just lately, this year, have come here from some country and they have wanted to write a book about their food. And so, yes, it's a need. And so, perhaps that I certainly wouldn't have written a cookbook if I hadn't come here. And if I hadn't also been cut off from Egypt. Because of the nostalgia. If I went to back to Egypt for holidays, I would have... and we went on seeing all our relatives, cooking, and eating all our food. I would have no incentive to write a cookbook. But I had this strong incentive, a strong desire and so, I worked hard. Because it was hard work. But it was work that I wanted to do, that also a work that gave me a way of life that I enjoyed. It gave me pleasure to travel. I loved travel. I love seeing new places. I love meeting people. Even people I loved accosting people whom I didn't know. Because you like to accost people.

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: migrants, food, cookbooks, nostalgia, incentive, travel, motivation

Duration: 2 minutes, 6 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2022

Date story went live: 04 December 2023