As a young woman, acclaimed author Barbara Bensoussan always thought she’d marry a nice Jewish boy from New York, just like her mother. But her life took a distinctly different turn when she entered the Orthodox world and her nice Jewish boy turned out to hail from Casablanca! Suddenly she found herself the Sephardic version of the bride-who-knew-nothing!
Now she had a husband who thought the chicken soup she adored was little more than flavored water, and who’d grown up eating the head of a lamb—teeth showing—on Rosh Hashanah. As the years passed and her family grew, she did her best to absorb the culture and cuisine of the Sephardic world— some of which, she laments, is still clinging to her waistline.
The literary result of Barbara’s foray into the Sephardic world is The Well-Spiced Life, an authentic food memoir that combines the best of pleasure reading with excellent recipes. Packed with delightful anecdotes, culinary tips culled from years spent cooking for a “mixed” (Ashkenazic/Sephardic) family, loads of exotic recipes, and an abundance of comic relief (a necessary ingredient in every culinary undertaking!), it’s a book that belongs on the shelf of every respectable balabusta, Sephardic and Ashkenazic alike.
As they say in Casablanca: bon appetit!
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