The Jewish Cooking of Southern Italy
La Cucina Ebraica del Mezzogiorno
It’s tempting to consider the Jewish cooking of Southern Italy as though it were a ball of string: pull one strand and you’ll find the influence of Christianity on the Kosher diet, pull another and you’ll find Islam, Spain, Greece and North Africa. What’s startling in Southern Italy, is not the contrasts in food culture but just how much overlaps, with nearly all of it’s based on the love of extra virgin olive oil and sun-ripened Mediterranean ingredients..
This course is a cerebral celebration of the Jewish Cooking of Southern Italy, of learning, time in the kitchen and at the table, of being together with like minded food and wine lovers from Southern Italy, and from all over the world.
We’ll begin each meal with a short discussion- what new human genetic-testing has us taught about the diaspora, the allure of Southern Italian underground rivers for mikveh, Kosher wine then and now, Italian Jewish scholars as gourmands, etc.
We’ll then head into the kitchen together for a hands-on lesson, how to make the fresh pastas of Southern Italy, how to prepare whole fish and how to cook just about any vegetable in the Southern Italian manor. You’ll learn about the wines of the Italian south, with a focus on its migration from The Fertile Crescent to Southern Italy, of pruning and modern fermentation techniques, and short primers on how to better taste and appreciate what’s in your glass. And of course you’ll taste over 20 different wines, enjoying them alongside the food you just prepared.
You’ll learn first-hand about extra virgin olive oil, and how it’s the foundation for everything in the Mediterranean. You’ll learn to taste critically, to know the difference between the mediocre and the sublime.
Our location for week is a Southern Italian castle, the kitchen door opening to the city’s main piazza. You’ll dine underground in the castle’s recently restored olive mill, walk the nearby groves and ease into the rhythm of Italian life, the wine with lunch, the naps, the sense of pleasure that permeates everything. here.
But it just might be the time around the Southern Italian table that you might love most, the spirit of conviviality, of gathering to cook, eat, drink and laugh together, of partaking in one of the most satisfying and civilised actives that we do as human beings.
You don’t need to be Jewish or have a Jewish background to enjoy this course- we aren’t, and we don’t- but you do need to be charmed by sun-ripened food and wine, open, and of course curious to learn about all the pretty threads.
It’s a class we have been wanting to teach for years.
May 7th-12th, 2018.
The Logistics at a Glance
Where: At the Castle, an hour South of Lecce.
When: May 7th-12th, 2018. Adding a second date to come. Write to us.
Taught in: English.
Where you sleep: at the Castle. 95 € a single / 110€ a double
How much? 1995 Euro.
Best way to arrive, depart, maximise your time with us: Everything is spelled out in our Student Services. You’ll be given access about booking.
Who thrives: Anyone interested in great food and this fascinating part of Southern Italian life.
Who doesn’t: Strict Kosher