Yahoo Food’s Cookbook of the Week: Oma & Bella (self-published)
The Team: Alexa Karolinski, a filmmaker who wrote down the recipes described to her by her Berlin-based grandmother Regina Karolinski (Oma) and her friend (and roommate!) Bella Katz; illustrator Joana Avillez, who also contributed to Lena Dunham's recent memoir, Not That Kind of Girl.
The Cuisine: Classic Jewish recipes from Eastern Europe. “Having lost both of their families in the Holocaust, Oma and Bella had to teach themselves, often from scratch, how to make the dishes their mothers and grandmothers made for them in Katowice, Poland (Oma) and Vilnius, Lithuania (Bella),” writes Karolinski in the introduction to the cookbook. This means pickles, blintzes, brisket, goulash, kugels, and baked apples, among other comforting dishes.
Who Should Buy It: Anyone with a soft spot for a grandmother’s cooking. Anyone interested in Eastern European cuisine. Anyone with a taste for gefilte fish. (And buy it quickly! Karolinski has almost sold out.)
Who Shouldn’t: Those who learn visually; there are no photographs in this cookbook.
Noteworthy: Oma and Bella dictated these recipes to Karolinski from memory, and together, they translated ”handfuls” into half cups and “platefuls” into servings. Some of this is depicted in Karolinski’s documentary about these octogenarian friends, who also reveal the hardships they experienced as Jewish girls growing up in World War Two-era Germany. Watch the trailer here.
Check out our other favorite cookbooks: