Cooking with the Bible: Biblical Food, Feasts, and Lore – A review

Cooking_3 By authors Anthony F. Chiffolo and Rayner W. Hesse, Jr.

If food connects us to each other, to our families, and to our history, then Cooking With the Bible, helps to connect us to biblical stories and peoples. Selecting passages from The book of Genesis through the Gospels, authors Chiffolo and Hesse first offer an accessible, easily understood commentary on the context of each story and then, using mostly ingredients available in common grocery stores, create menus with recipes to invoke the meal highlighted in the selected passage. While cooks of all abilities would enjoy trying their hand at the recipes listed, it is a great book for small and large bible study and fellowship groups who want to engage bible stories with all their senses, not just their intellect.

At 386 pages (including references), the physically well-constructed book contains eighteen stories and menus as well as over 160 pages of background on the ingredients used. The list price of $75 (three times the cost of most cookbooks) may give individual cooks a pause, but Cooking With The Bible would certainly make a strong and frequently used addition to the church library shelf.

Update: The recipes are not limited to their chapter settings. Windsor Presbyterian Church in Windsor, CA used one of the recipes (Persian Lamb Stew with Sweet Fruits – pg 131) with great success for a Maundy Thursday meal this last spring.

Posted by Anitra Kitts| Reprinted by permission from the May 2007 issue of Presbyterians Today


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