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Recipes from Tel Aviv win Holland’s best cookbook award

AMSTERDAM (JTA) – A book of recipes from Tel Aviv won first prize in the Netherlands’ national competition for new contributions in the cookbook genre.

TLV—Recipes and Stories from Tel Aviv, by the Dutch-Jewish author and journalist Jigal Krant, wasr ecently  declared as this year’s winner of The Golden Cookbook Award among the five finalists. The competition started with 64 submissions of cookbooks published in Dutch this year.

Janny van der Heijden, the chairwoman of the five-judge panel, said Krant’s book “teaches, pleases and entertains” its readers.

“It’s a cookbook, good reading material and a travel guide,” she said.

In his book, Krant explains that “Tel Aviv is a progressive city in a conservative region. A melting pot where many cuisines fuse. In an area where religious rules often determines what end up on the table, Tel Aviv has an innovative and free cuisine with no rules.”

Many of the recipes in Krant’s book are classic dishes served in Tel Aviv cafes and restaurants, such as green shakshuka, roasted eggplant with tahini, various hummus dishes and the malabi dessert pudding. Some are extrapolations in which the author envisions what characteristically Dutch dishes like white asparagus would look like after receiving the Tel Aviv treatment.

An Israeli chef “wouldn’t cook it in water and serve with butter sauce or with ham,” Krant said in a video about the dish he called “grilled white asparagus with thyme zhug and pita bread croutons.” Zhug is a Yemenite sauce that resembles pesto but it based on coriander.

The award was created in 2015 by the CPNB association, which promotes Dutch-language literature in the Netherlands and Belgium.

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