From the Inquisition to the Mishiguene Restaurant: the Latin American Jewish Food Story

New York, NY (July 20, 2020)

Take a culinary tour of Jewish Latin America Wednesday, July 22 at 4pm.  The Center for Jewish History will host esteemed food, culture writer, and cookbook author Jayne Cohen live on Zoom.

The journey will begin during the Inquisition and travel all the way to today’s Mishiguene (a Spanish take on meshuggeneh), the Jewish restaurant in Buenos Aires rated number 18 on Latin America’s 50 Best list. Along the way Cohen will explore diverse Jewish foodways south of the border, from tamales con schmaltz, posole with matzoh balls and guava-filled sufganiyot, to Cuba's kosher butcher and the most traditional kitchens. And then she will take a look at how Latin American Jewish immigrants are changing the landscape of Jewish cuisine in the U.S.

"When most Americans think of Jewish food, what comes to mind is Eastern European cuisine. The Jewish foods of Latin America, which blend some of those traditional foods with indigenous ingredients and local cultural traditions, tell a fascinating and little-known story of the diaspora," said Lauren Gilbert, Senior Manager for Public Services.

Jayne Cohen writes and lectures extensively about Jewish cuisine and culture and created and moderated an annual program on Jewish cuisine around the world at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage for seven years. Her most recent book, Jewish Holiday Cooking: A Food Lover's Treasury of Classics and Improvisations, was named a James Beard award finalist in International Cooking. She has appeared on numerous radio and TV programs and has written for publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Gourmet, and Bon Appetit, among others.