Falafel Nation: Cuisine and the Making of National Identity in Israel

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U of Nebraska Press, 2015 - Cooking - 304 pages
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When people discuss food in Israel, their debates ask politically charged questions: Who has the right to falafel? Whose hummus is better? But Yael Raviv’s Falafel Nation moves beyond the simply territorial to divulge the role food plays in the Jewish nation. She ponders the power struggles, moral dilemmas, and religious and ideological affiliations of the different ethnic groups that make up the “Jewish State” and how they relate to the gastronomy of the region. How do we interpret the recent upsurge in the Israeli culinary scene—the transition from ideological asceticism to the current deluge of fine restaurants, gourmet stores, and related publications and media?

Focusing on the period between the 1905 immigration wave and the Six-Day War in 1967, Raviv explores foodways from the field, factory, market, and kitchen to the table. She incorporates the role of women, ethnic groups, and different generations into the story of Zionism and offers new assertions from a secular-foodie perspective on the relationship between Jewish religion and Jewish nationalism. A study of the changes in food practices and in attitudes toward food and cooking, Falafel Nation explains how the change in the relationship between Israelis and their food mirrors the search for a definition of modern Jewish nationalism. 

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Judiex - LibraryThing

Several years ago, my husband and I were looking for a restaurant in Eilat, Israel. We ended up at one called “Hallaluyah.” It was a kosher, Chinese restaurant and the hot and sour soup was the best ... Read full review

FALAFEL NATION: Cuisine and the Making of National Identity in Israel

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

What's in a falafel? By the lights of food-studies and nutrition adjunct professor Raviv, it's not just chickpeas and pita bread, but also identity. You are what you eat. That's true of nations as ... Read full review

Contents

Agricultural Labor and Icons
28
Educating Home Cooks
86
Historical Context
213
Notes
235

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About the author (2015)

Yael Raviv is the director of the Umami food and art festival in New York City. She has a PhD in performance studies from New York University and is an adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at NYU. Her work has appeared in Women and Performance, Gastronomica, and elsewhere.

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