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Encyclopedia Judaica 1906

Jewish cuisine is a collection of the different cooking traditions of the Jewish people worldwide. It is a diverse cuisine that has evolved over many centuries, shaped by Jewish dietary laws (kashrut) and Jewish Festival and Sabbath traditions. Jewish Cuisine is influenced by the economics, agriculture, and culinary traditions of the many countries where Jewish communities have existed and varies widely throughout the world. In turn, Jewish cuisine has also influenced the cuisines of many countries.

Broadly speaking, the distinctive styles or cuisines in their own right that may be discerned in Jewish cuisine are: Ashkenazi (Central and Eastern European), Sephardic (descendants of the Iberian Jews, including Greek, Italian, Balkan, and Turkish ), Mizrahi (North African, including Moroccan, Tunisian, Algerian and Libyan), Judeo-Arab (Lebanese, Syrian and Iraqi), Persian Jewish, Yemenite Jewish, Indian Jewish, and Latin-American Jewish. There are also distinctive dishes from Jewish communities ranging from Ethiopia to Central Asia.

Furthermore, since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, and particularly since the late 1970s,

a nascent Israeli "fusion cuisine" has developed, adopting and adapting elements of all the aforementioned Jewish styles, new dishes based on agricultural products introduced and grown since 1948, and incorporating other Middle Eastern fare and international cuisines.

Influences on Jewish cuisine

Kashrut—Jewish dietary laws

The laws of keeping kosher (kashrut) have influenced Jewish cooking in two primary ways: by prescribing what foods are permitted and how food must be prepared.

Certain foods, notably pork and shellfish, are forbidden; meat and dairy may not be combined, and meat must be ritually slaughtered and salted to remove all traces of blood.

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