With Hanukkah around the corner and Christmas coming soon, holiday cookbook season is in full swing. Among the piles of recently published, glossy tomes, the book I'm most excited about is Jewish Soul Food: From Minsk to Marrakesh by Janna Gur.
Gur is the longtime editor of Al Hashulchan, a popular food publication in Israel. Through her work, she has been exposed to hundreds of recipes for what she calls "grandma cooking" — dishes brought with immigrants to Israel from countries, as her title suggests, as far flung as Algeria and Yemen to Poland and Russia. Jewish Soul Food is her love poem to these foods, as well as her attempt to make them "sexy and relevant" to today's cooks.