Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Food Historian to Speak About Food, Memory, and Survival During WW II

Noted food historian, scholar, and award-winning journalist, Cara De Silva, will discuss, “In Memory’s Kitchen: War and the Food of Dreams” 

this Thursday, May 10 at 7 p.m. at Adas Yoshuron Synagogue, 50 Willow Street, Rockland. Her talk is free and open to the public.

Ms. De Silva edited and wrote the commentary for “In Memory’s Kitchen: A Legacy of the Women of Terezin.” Based on a manuscript of “dream” recipes set down in Terezin, a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, by the women who cooked and died there during the Holocaust, the book was voted one of the most noteworthy of the year by the New York Times Book Review when it was first published in 1996, and has been in print ever since. According to Ms. De Silva, the recipes were surely written as a means of keeping sane, of hanging on to life, as well as a way for the authors to comfort themselves by recalling gentler times. But, she says, they were also a form of psychological resistance: “Because food is a powerful identity marker, to remember the dishes you once cooked and served your family—the traditional foods with which you celebrated—is to reinforce your sense of who you are when your culture and your people are in danger of being obliterated.”

In addition to New York Newsday, where she was a long-time columnist, Ms. De Silva has written for many newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Gourmet, Saveur, Food & Wine, Eating Well, Martha Stewart Living, and others. She also writes an online food-and-travel column, A Fork in the Road.

In her talk on May 10, Ms. De Silva will consider the role of food in culture, and particularly during the Holocaust. The talk will be followed by refreshments and an opportunity to meet informally with the author.

For more information, please contact the synagogue office, 594-4523, or emailyoshuron@midcoast.com.