The Book of Schmaltz

The Book of Schmaltz

Love Song to A Forgotten Fat

Book - 2013
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Grand Central Pub
The definitive book on schmaltz--a staple in Jewish cuisine and a "thread in a great tapestry," by one of America's most respected culinary writers.

For culinary expert Michael Ruhlman, the ultimate goal in cooking is flavor, and for certain dishes nothing introduces it half as well as schmaltz. A staple ingredient in traditional Jewish cuisine, schmaltz (or rendered chicken fat), is at risk of disappearing from use due to modern dietary trends and misperceptions about this versatile and flavor-packed ingredient.

THE BOOK OF SCHMALTZ acts as a primer on schmaltz, taking a fresh look at traditional dishes like kugel, kishke, and kreplach, and also venturing into contemporary recipes that take advantage of the versatility of this marvelous fat. Potatoes cooked with schmaltz take on a crispness and satisfying flavor that vegetable oil can't produce. Meats and starches have a depth and complexity that set them apart from the same dishes prepared with olive oil or butter.

What's more, schmaltz provides a unique link to the past that ought to be preserved. "Schmaltz is like a thread that runs through a great tapestry," says Ruhlman's neighbor Lois, whose cooking inspired his own journey into the world of schmaltz. "It's a secret handshake among Jews who love to cook and eat."


Baker & Taylor
Offers recipes using the flavorful ingredient made from rendered chicken fat used in traditional Jewish cooking, including kugel, kishke, and kreplach, and discusses why schmaltz has fallen out of favor in modern dietary times.

Baker
& Taylor

A culinary expert offers recipes using the flavorful ingredient made from rendered chicken fat used in traditional Jewish cooking, including kugel, kishke, kreplach and discusses why schmaltz has fallen out of favor in modern dietary times.

Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316254083
0316254088
Branch Call Number: 641.5676 RUHLM
Characteristics: 178 pages : color illustrations ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Ruhlman, Donna Turner
Notes: Includes index

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FatherSteve
Nov 18, 2017

The connotation of the word "schmaltz" (excessive sentimentality; banality in music or literature) has exceeded and nearly eclipsed its denotation (rendered animal fat). The Yiddish and German schmaltz entered English in the 1930s. Bless Michael Ruhlman for his effort to retrieve and restore schmaltz to its culinary dignity as a term for chicken fat slowly reduced with onions. He wrote The Book of Schmaltz: Love Song to a Forgotten Fat and persuaded his wife to take excellent photographs with which to illustrate the book. Ruhlman has also to overcome the mindless but ubiquitous notion that "fat is not good for you." Fat, as rational people know, is not only good for you but is essential to good health. With the assistance of a bubbe (Jewish grandmother) named Lois Baron, Ruhlman leads the reader through (1) the making of schmaltz, (2) the use of schmaltz in traditional Jewish cookery and (3) a few very-modern and distinctly non-Jewish recipes which include schmaltz. Ever had an oatmeal cookie with dried cherries made with schmaltz instead of vegetable shortening or butter? Don't knock it until. In the same way that Jennifer McLagan gets time off from Purgatory for writing Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes (2008), Ruhlman gets a jewel in his heavenly jewel box for adding this book to the many fine cookery books he has already written.

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