Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Dear Faithful readers

Thanks so much for your interest in Fania Lewando's Vegeatrian Cookbook.

For the last twenty years I have looked forward to the chance to share Lewando's remarkable work with the English-speaking world.  This week Schocken has published My translation of Fania Lewando's beautiful cookbook, which might possibly begin to acquaint the reading audience with her work.
Unfortunately the book has a number of errors, some of them quite egregious.
As a service to the public and to protect the innocent from faulty and dangerous recipes, I have created this page, to be updated as needed..

Errors and Omissions
The Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook by Fania Lewando
Translated from the Yiddish and annotated by Eve Jochnowitz
Foreword by Joan Nathan
Schocken Books New York



1.     The recipes seem to indicate that the baking oven temperature is close to 325 Fahrenheit (170 Celcius, Mark 3). 
2.     Centrifuge butter is butter made from cream separated by centrifuge rather than hand-churning.  Centrifuge butter is not clarified butter and the recipes will not work with clarified butter.
3.     Parsley root is available at farmers’ markets, ethnic markets, and health food stores.  If you cannot find parsley root, you may use parsley.  Parsnip is not a suitable substitute.
4.     Bitter almonds are actually not almonds at all, but apricot kernels (sometimes called apricot seeds by marketers). They are safe, legal, and delicious.  All marzipans, all almond pastes, and all almond extracts are in fact made with apricot kernels, not almonds.  You can find them in some ethnic grocery stores and health food stores, and you can order them online.  Supermarket almond extracts will all too frequently impart a vulgar flavor that is perfumey, excessively extracty, and fake-tasting, even when they are "all-natural".
5.     None of the recipes in the section on marinated foods may be processed in a boiling water bath.
6.     Gzhankes and grzanki are the Yiddish and Polish words for coutons, or toast. 

3 comments:

  1. When you say the recipes indicate a baking temperature of 325, which recipes are you referring to?
    And if clarified butter won't work, what should we use instead, since centrifuge butter is not available?

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  2. Dear Fay,

    Thanks so much for your comment. Almost no hand-churned butter is commonly sold in markets, so any butter you are likely to be able to get is the equivalent of centrifuge butter.

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  3. Thanks for the reply to my second question. I hope you will also reply to the first one.

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