Business, Economics and Jobs

A pork cookbook for Israel


(Image by Kevin Payravi (cc:by-sa))

This story was originally covered by PRI's The World. For more, listen to the audio above.

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One thing both Jews and Muslims have in common is their prohibition on eating pork. That may be why there has never been a pork cookbook published in Israel, until recently. The White Book by Dr. Eli Landau contains recipes for Italian-style pastas and other meals using the treif meat.

The reaction to the book "was much nicer than I expected," Landau told PRI's The World. "The religious Jews and the religious Muslims, they don't care," he said. "They couldn't care less. They don't read these books."

Landau was first attracted to pork as a young child. During World War II, Landau's mother cared for a boy during the Holocaust. Both survived, moved to Israel and the boy became a religious butcher. In Israel, the boy found Landau's mother and brought her a piece of ham, saying "this meat saved my life when you left," Landau says. He continued sending pork for years, according to Landau who says, "my mother didn't eat it and she gave me this pork maybe under the influence of this butcher's story."

Although many still shun the meat, Landau believes the demand for pork is growing in Israel. Though he admits the book is not a bestseller, he says:

In recent years, a chain of big supermarkets started to appear in this country. And they sell pork. So gradually pork is available all over the country. There is a market and there is a demand and restaurants are flourishing.

PRI's "The World" is a one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe. "The World" is a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston. More "The World."