In September, ABMF released a unique collection of recipes and testimonies entitled “Honey Cake and Latkes: Recipes from the Old World by the Auschwitz-Birkenau Survivors.” More than a cookbook, this collection of over 110 recipes, memories, biographical notes, and traditions shared by some of the last living Auschwitz-Birkenau survivors from before and after the Holocaust is, in the words of ABMF’s Chairman, Ronald S. Lauder, “a story of hope and triumph of the human spirit.”
The genesis of this book’s creation goes back to January 2020, when ABMF brought 120 survivors to Auschwitz to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of its liberation. “When the pandemic hit, ABMF kept the survivors’ delegation engaged and connected via Zoom. While reunited online, survivors shared their favorite recipes to keep their spirits up during a challenging time of a global crisis,” said Dr. Maria Zalewska, book editor, and ABMF’s Executive Director. The book includes a note from Piotr M. A. Cywinski, Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, in which he summarizes the cultural importance of the cookbook.
Over 110 recipes accompanied by survivors’ pre-war recollections and post-liberation memories weave a unique tapestry of sensory experiences of flavors and aromas from the old world, accounts of loss and trauma, as well as heartwarming and poignant tales of new beginnings and healing. All of the recipes have been tested and retested to make sure they can be replicated in your kitchen while keeping the original character and voice of the survivors who contributed to the volume. Delicious recipes include Blintzes, Kugel, Matzo Ball Soup, Cholent, Goulash, Kasha Varnishkes, Rugelach, and more. Plus, there is a special chapter devoted to classic dishes for the Jewish holidays (Latkes, Charoset, Gefilte Fish, Knishes, Tzimmes, Challah, and others) that you can use to prepare, host, or bring food to a gathering. All proceeds from the sale of this book go to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation.
“Preparing the dishes in this substantial new cookbook feels like paying homage to resilient survivors.”
— Florence Fabricant ― The New York Times
“A perfect gift for anyone who loves the traditions and food in the Jewish religion.” ― Glamour
“Honey Cake & Latkes is more than a collection of recipes. It also contains inspiring stories from the survivors as well as archival and contemporary photographs showing their resilience.” ― Jewish Telegraphic Agency
“Sure, Honey Cake & Latkes contains enough Jewish recipes to feed an oneg’s-worth of hungry mouths, but in this poignant, one-of-a-kind cookbook, the matzo balls and latkes take a backseat to the subject matter at hand: the collective legacy and triumph of the survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, whose families provided the recipes for the compilation. The cookbook is also a gift that keeps on giving, since all proceeds are donated to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Foundation.” ― Saveur
“You’ll want to cook this mix of well-known classics like matzo brei and lesserknown dishes such as mamaglia, a Romanian staple akin to polenta. But just as much, you’ll want to savor the stunning photographs of the foods and, more importantly, the stories of the survivors.” —Dawn Davis, Editor in Chief, Bon Appetit
“Rather than a sad postscript to genocide, the book is a celebration of the power of food told from the perspective of a population who, contrary to expectations, telegraphs survival, renewal and joy.” —Adeena Sussman, Hadassah Magazine