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Jewish cooking in Italy

Our cooking school has always been in the former Jewish ghetto of Lecce, a fact that often troubles those on a first visit to Italy. (Those that know Italy well often point out our school’s location as in the ghetto, even before I say it).

And it comes up a lot around the Southern Italy, not only the Jewish contribution to Southern Italian culture but the sobering influence on the food and wine as well.

As I travel Southern Italy throughout the year. From Trapani, Sicilia to Trani, Puglia. In Lecce, in the new museum dedicated Lecce’s Jewish history. In Calabria. The Communities have come and gone, acclimatised, relocated, adapted. And each time they contributed to the local food, in ways that are still active and cherished today, among the various faiths alike.

‘Have you ever thought about teaching a class on the cooking of Southern Italian Jews’, an Israeli student asked me a few weeks back. And I had, but just feared that the audience wouldn’t be large enough. The next day we put a feeler out on Facebook and had as many emails. Even if only half those that wrote come, the class will be full. And it’s not even on our site yet.

We’ll be running the week with a short discussion series before each meal, a short of lecture that puts everything into context.

Discussion topics.

1) From the fertile crescent to Italy: the migration of wine making, from the Middle East to Europe.

2) Invisible Rivers: Puglia’s underground water sources and cleansing rituals.

3) That Bitch! Isabella of Castile and the Alhambra decree.
 
4) Lamp oil to Extra Virgin: The Olive oil trade in Southern Italy.
 
5) 20th Century Italian writers and why 8 out of 10 weren’t Christian.
 
6) A Little Off the Top: The history of circumcision in Italy.
 
7) Kitchen as Safe Haven: commonalities in the cooking of the Salento and Mediterranean Kosher diet.
 
 
But of course as always, we’ll then head into the kitchen, the theoretical and historical guiding our hands to put great food on the table.
 
At the castle. June 2018. 1995 Euro.
 
Write us for details
 
And of course the course is open to everyone, regardless of faith. And if a goy like me can get excited about creating this course, you can bet that it will be good.
 
Silvestro Silvestori
Sommelier / Owner / Director of The Awaiting Table Cookery School, Lecce, Italy

<p>Silvestro Silvestori, the owner, founder and director of The Awaiting Table Cookery School, Lecce, Italy has been teaching the food and wine of Puglia and particular- Italy’s Salentine peninsula since 2003.</p> <p>In addition to his knowledge of Pugliese food and culture, Silvestro is a nationally-certified sommelier in Italy, and a staff writer for Wine & Spirits magazine, covering all their Southern Italian food and wine content. He has also appeared on American, Australian, Belgian, British, Chinese, Dutch and Italian television, and Italy’s most respected newspaper called him, ‘A national treasure’, and ‘THE anthropologist of the traditional cuisine of the Salento’ for his work in preservation and promotion of Salentine’s food and wine.</p>

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