Fellow BBQ Jews, need I remind you that Hanukkah comes early in the year 5771? (That’s 2010 for you genteel gentile readers.) Indeed, the Jewish Festival of Lights begins less than one month from today, as you can likely tell from all the Hanukkah tunes polluting the radio (my local station has “Latkes Roasting on an Open Fire” in predictably heavy rotation). Though time is slipping away, rest assured it’s not too late to find the perfect Hanukkah gift for the ones you love.
In case this website sells out of BBQ Jew Merch again, as it has in many past Hanukkah shopping seasons, then consider buying The White Book instead. As implied by the awkward title (awkward at least for those of us in America, where “white” suggests a mayonnaise-loving racial group more so than a type of meat), The White Book is a pork cookbook. It was written for Israeli Jews by an Israeli Jew. Former cardiologist, current author and likely future hate mail recipient Dr. Eli Landau is a not too serious man after my own heart (as The New York Times article puts it, “ANY author has to deal with bad reviews, but how about the wrath of God?”). He waxes poetic about the other white meat, telling the Times, “Pork meat is to a cook like canvas to a painter.” He also goes on record suggesting that Israeli Jews will abandon their pork-scorning behavior in a couple of decades; a bold assertion for a people awash in thousands of years of tradition and religious teachings but time will tell.
Alas, the Mediterranean focus of Landau’s cookbook seems to exclude North Carolina style barbecue pork from the list of recipes, but no matter. Assuming The White Book manages to break down the thousands of years old wall of anti-pork (and pro-boiled chicken) sentiment among my Jewish brethren then no doubt whole hog barbecue will soon sweep the Promised Land quicker than Moses parted the Red Sea. Until then, at least you’ll have a nice cookbook to get you through the holiday season if you get sick of latkes.