Koshersoul: The Faith and Food Journey of an African American Jew

HarperAudio. Aug. 2022. 9:30 hrs. ISBN 9780063090699. $27.99. COOKING
Culinary historian Twitty’s latest endeavor, a follow-up to The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South, explores the intersection of food, culture, and identity. A gay Black man and a proud convert to Judaism, Twitty delves into the rich history of the Jewish people while revealing the prejudices that Jewish and Black Americans still experience. Narrating his own book, Twitty is in his element when describing cultural food history and the food journeys of displaced peoples. He rightly posits that food is a great unifier and notes that disparate cultures often have dishes in common. Particularly amusing is his observation that many cultures want to be credited with the invention of the salad. While Twitty has done his homework, listeners might feel that he tries to include too much information here; the narrative suffers from regrettable repetitions and contradictions. Twitty enthusiastically quotes from various cookbooks, which enriches his account. Unfortunately, his own recipes are scattershot, with some omitting measurements; others require ingredients that may be difficult to find for U.S. audiences.
VERDICT Although Twitty’s latest is rather uneven, it is enhanced by his engaging narration. Share with listeners looking for an original analysis of food and cultural history.
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