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'The Muslims didn't eat it'


Jewish dafinas
Claudia Roden Writer
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She took the recipes, and I had collected so many stories. So many recipes. By the way, it isn't just everything, I didn't put in everything that the Jews ate as Jewish. Because they eat everything, but it is really what they ate in Sabbath. For instance, nearly every chicken recipe in a book is a Sabbath dish. Somewhere, in one country in the diaspora, they ate on Shabbat. So, I did have to decide what is Jewish enough. And sometimes I was asking people. For instance in Morocco there was a specialist, a historian in Morocco. And I asked him, 'Can you tell me which are the best, the favourite Jewish recipes in Morocco?' And he said, 'The one we cook all the time are awful. But we cook them all the time. It is our dafina'. Actually they had some really, really good dafinas. But they were dishes that they put in a pot. Where you put everything in a pot, even the pudding. In a little compartment. And bring it to the public oven because you have to cook it the day before. And put it in the oven or else in Egypt, it was in the ashes of the public baths. And then you go and fetch it on the Saturday. And so, it's not going to be fantastic. So, he said these are most Jewish dishes, but we cook all these other dishes.

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: recipes, Sabbath, dafina

Duration: 2 minutes, 11 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2022

Date story went live: 04 December 2023