Archives of the Sephardi Kitchen
Sephardi food, like Judeo-Spanish itself, represents a continually elaborated tradition built around a persistent medieval Iberian core.
Despite its major role in ballasting the integrity of Sephardi culture, Sephardi foods occupy an uncertain niche in constructions of contemporary Jewish cuisine. They plainly differ from the totemic Ashkenazi foods of the popular imaginary of Jewish cuisine; nor can they easily be grouped alongside the Arab and fusion dishes which have come to dominate the cuisine of contemporary Israel. As heritage foods, Jewish foods reflect the migratory itineraries of their makers. Sephardi itineraries are among the longest and most varied in Judaism, leading to an equally varied cuisine; some Sephardi dishes reach back to ancient Baghdad, while others evoke medieval Al-Andalus, and more still were picked up in the Maghreb, Italy, Egypt, the Balkans, and the Levant (the Eastern Mediterranean broadly, sometimes including the Balkans) over half a millennium of post-expulsion peregrinations outward from Iberia. Perhaps because of this unwieldy variety, Sephardi foods have often been regarded as generally, or generically, Mediterranean, rather than constitutive of a distinctively Jewish culinary tradition.
Unlike “equal pay” — the concept most often used to address gender pay disparities in the United States — the concept of “pay equity” doesn’t just demand equal pay for women doing the same work as men, in the same positions. Such efforts, while worthwhile, ignore the role of occupational segregation in keeping women’s pay down: There are some jobs done mostly by women and others that are still largely the province of men. The latter are typically better paid.