The Jewish Pork Cookbook

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I’m a vegetarian, but if I wanted a really great pork recipe, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t head right over to the Israeli cookbook section of my local bookstore. Or to the kosher section, for that matter.

There’s actually a law on the books in Israel making it illegal to sell pork (though I know plenty of Israelis who have gotten hold of it through various underhanded methods) but that didn’t stop Dr. Eli Landau, author of the first Israeli pork cookbook. Um, hooray?

According to the NY Times:

With 80 mainly Mediterranean recipes and Eastern European dishes, “The White Book” tries to reveal the secrets of the pig for cooks who have never prepared it nor perhaps even tasted it.

Predictably, Orthodox authorities are outraged, but for some reason have decided to just simmer in anger rather than protest and possibly help publicize the shanda. I kind of want Dr. Landau to hang out with fellow Israeli Einat Admony, the chef at NY restaurant Ballaboosta. Ballaboosta means “perfect housewife” in Yiddish (well, kind of) and on the menu at Ballaboosta you can find challah with ham, and a side of applewood bacon.

Posted on September 29, 2010

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19 thoughts on “The Jewish Pork Cookbook

  1. Sue

    I am offended that you publish this on my favorite Jewish website. I reference you as a religious school teacher. Need I say more? Shame, shame.

  2. Guenter

    Let those Pigs for the goys–what else would you try a nice Lobster-or maybe a nice and raw Snail–?? Lets be proud and live the right way!

  3. Phil

    My grand father was a Hungarian-Jew who came to the US from Budapest. Don’t be shocked or saddened, but we ate pork and still do. However it disagrees with my stomach for some reason, so I avoid it.

  4. Tamar

    Hi guys,

    Just want to be clear, I’m not endorsing this cookbook. I don’t eat pork and never have (and certainly never plan on it). I just think it’s interesting. The “Um, hooray?” was meant to be sarcastic. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

  5. DianeH

    My mother was Jewish and my father was Catholic. My mother did like pork chops. When I read Leviticus and the types of food that were not allowed I was surprised and enlightened. I myself,raised a Christian, will not eat “pig” products. If you realize how pigs are raised (eat disgarded garbage etc.) and my mother-in-law (a Christian) whose family raised pigs told me they just cut out the cancers that were imbedded in the meat (they eat garbage, what do you expect?), and then processed the meat for eating, Yuuch!! They, like Lobster, snails, crabs etc are garbage eaters (they eat other fish’s excretions). Why would anyone want to eat garbage? Why do you think God said these were not to be eaten? They are the most unhealthy things on earth, THEY EAT GARBAGE AND OTHER REFUSE!! Need I say more? My five year old granddaughter almost died the first and only time she ate shellfish. A commandment from God is given for a reason. Everyone can learn a lot by following Jewish tradition and God’s laws.

  6. DianeH

    P.S.: The only reason pork products and shellfish TASTE good is because of the preservatives and artificial flavorings used in their preparation. Not because they are good for you.

  7. Berel Nissan

    I am a “Liberal” Jew and an ardent Zionist. I help make Minyans so that people with a Yahrzeit can say Kaddish. However, in puberty, I discovered that my Mother [whose Mother was a Socialist] kept Kosher because she thought my Father wanted it, and My Father [whose Father was a Hebrew teacher] kept Kosher because he thought my Mother wanted to. I joined him out of the house for little necks and a baked stuffed lobster, and as we left Lundy’s. he said, “please don’t tell your Mother what we had for lunch.”
    Married in 1951 and finishing an MS at Cornell, rather than brave a crash by going to Syracuse for a Kosher Butcher, I bought Black Angus chops, steaks, and ground beef from the Ag School Lab on grading meat, at 25 cents a pound. We moved to Albany,NY area for a job and for bride to finish her degree, and were recommended to a Kosher Butcher by her cousin. She came home with a Texas Road Runner as a chicken, and a steak that was definitely road kill, at $5 per pound. That ended kosher meat and/or cooking for me. Reading the Pentateuch in English translation I decided that it was not written by GOD, and each word graven in stone, but was written by the priests in the Temple, to make life tougher for Jews, and was a “Union Contract” that favored the priests. The temple was destroyed three times and the priesthood fled for their lives. I can’t cry on Tish AVov, as I believe that GOD didn’t interfere, because he decided that a centralized place of worship and a hereditary priesthood was leading to corruption, and we embarked on Rabbis and synagogues, much more secular and egalitarian. I cook pork, lobster, shrimp, and other foods banned by the priesthood and by today’s Orthodox triumphantly. When cooking in Temple with a bunch of lawyers, doctors and CPAs, I keep control so that everything remains Kosher. When I have a party home, I label all dishes as Kosher, Meat, Dairy, Parve and Tref. In large letters. I believe eating is best left to the individual. I have invited Muslims to parties, and under printed “Kosher”, I printed “Hallal” which is their version of Kosher; and very similar. I believe that so-called Glatt Kosher is a racket, and avoid it. Usually tasteless!

  8. Irina

    I think author’s position could be more clearly definded. Subtle “Um, hooray?” doesn’t do and readers are confused.

    This is Jewish website. For me, coming from former Soviet Union, it’s one way of discovering what I was cut off from: my Jewish heritage. I am very open minded, don’t keep kosher (I whish I did), yet, I feel realy uncomfortable with that book’s idea. If someone would like to print pork cookbook – by all means; why put Jewish in context?
    There are plenty of Paula Dean’s, Marta’s etc. pork recepies books – so, I believe, it’s just marketing (to make more money!)

  9. stephen

    the pot belly pig of south east asia has a split hoof…so is it kosher??? it is still being talked about….

  10. glorin

    All my family are catholics and I was christian not catholic
    for some reazon I always I tried to stay away from pork,and shellfish now for the pass 10 years I learn study and believe in Jewish religion and respect very much .
    Idont want to be fanatic about it but the THORA is very clear
    on this law of course every one has threir on free will.
    Like Christians in general or other religions have o create their own rules . not THORA RULES

  11. Anne

    I wasn’t happy seeing this either. I felt like it was mocking my faith. Next thing the Author is going to Replace Jewish pork cookbook with Muslim pork cookbook. If you really want to learn how to cook pork, there are ways to find out without this cook book.

  12. Harold & Judy

    We agree with the criticism of having this on your site. What kind of Jewish Learning is this?.

  13. Jane Clifton

    I do not eat pork,why? Because Yahweh said not to, I wont to do his way, not Jewish, not chistian, not rabbincal, Just plain and simple, Yahwehs word.

  14. Richard ben Serai

    I recall a Talmud quote: “If you don’t know the Torah, don’t eat meat.” Can anyone remind me where this is? I think it’s attributed to Akiva.

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