Drawing on two distinct bodies of Sephardi food writing—Anglophone cookbooks and the long-running recipe column in the Judeo-Spanish periodical Aki Yerushalayim—this paper explores the role of cuisine as a primary affiliative structure in contemporary Sephardi culture. I argue that these two divergent literary traditions, in their general ignorance of one another, constitute a framework for an archive of Sephardi cooking. In spite of these texts’ common conception of cooking as a female practice of memory and identification as well as their shared interest in the intersection of the culinary and the linguistic, they are at odds with one another as to whether Sephardi culture exists only in the past, or may also be found in the present. Side-by-side consideration of both corpuses requires an understanding of Sephardi culture attentive to persistent continuities in spite of major historical ruptures.
Author: Harry Eli Kashdan