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Finding a publisher


Loving other people's company
Claudia Roden Writer
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I've always liked to have people around the table. For me, it's the loveliest thing. In Egypt, and I found also later on, I travelled the Mediterranean, the idea that food is not just about exactly the pleasure of eating. It's also the pleasure of... not just the senses, but people now say, the soul. But for me, it was the company. The conviviality. The bonding, that is always around the table. But I did feel it early on, because of my upbringing. And I would always have a lot of people coming to test the recipes. To say, if they're good enough. Because I had to get them right, but they had to be really good. And sometimes, the people had cooked them for me, but when they didn't cook them for me, all these people who had given me recipes. They couldn't cook them for me. They were on their way from Switzerland, they were going to America. They just happened to be at dinner at my mother's. And so, I had to make it taste good. So, I felt that was my job as well. And so, yes, this thing of inviting people to dinner... I never wanted to do... Of course, afterwards I had to redo it, to measure. To get the measurements exactly. But I had to see when does it taste good. And people would tell me.

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: conviviality, eating, dinner

Duration: 1 minute, 44 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2022

Date story went live: 04 December 2023