Tag Archives: Rhodes

Sephardic women built the Pyramids (and called them mustachudos)

That’s ridiculous. Everyone knows the Pyramids were built by extraterrestrials…

Whatever your own theory about who built the pyramids or how, several hundred years ago my female ancestors chose to commemorate the monumental labor with a monumental Passover cookie: the mustachudo.


Mustachudos (hazelnut spice pyramids from Rhodes)

Hazelnut mustachudos (Sephardic spice pyramids)

Any Sephardi whose family came from Rhodes (and a few other places) has some kind of mustachudo recipe. Mustachudos are soft, chewy cookies made from ground nuts. They weren’t always shaped like these neat little pyramids. That’s my doing. Continue reading



Filed under History, Holidays (fiestas judias)

Sephardic food is simply exotic

Years ago my brother-in-law, who is a tall, blue-eyed, blond-haired WASP from Ohio, told my sister, who is a tall, brown-eyed, olive-skinned Jew from New York, that when he first laid eyes on her he was struck by her exotic looks.  “Exotic!!?” she cried, “Where I come from, Meg Ryan is exotic.”   Exoticism, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder and has everything to do with your frame of reference. Continue reading


Filed under History

I never forget there are mysterious forces at work

I’m just back from 24 hours without heat, light or (gasp!) phone service.  Me and 249,999 other homes on the Costa Brava, and all because of a freaky, freaky snow storm.  So much for life in a temperate zone!  Blinding, slushy snow for a good 10 hours, violent winds, fences down, trees down, lamp posts down, major car accidents – and that’s just on my street (no kidding)! I know, I know, I’m not telling you anything new.  My payback, perhaps, for gloating last week about prancing around in sandals already.  Whatever the reason, the skies opened up, let it rip and then, as soon as major amounts of damage were done, settled right down again.  Out came the sun as if nothing had happened.

On an ironically related note (draw your own analogies), I’ve just completed my new Passover recipe folio, called “A la Muestra!”  Our way.  Sephardic style.  The publication began as a companion piece to my Rhodesli Passover cooking workshop, but has since taken on a life of its own; this year I’ve expanded the recipe section and written menus for four different seders:  meat, fish, vegatarian and yes, even vegan!  The majority of these recipes are family heirlooms that will never find their way into the blog.

Follow this link to my sister site to learn more and to order a copy for yourself or as a gift (the folio is an e-book, delivered to you in downloadable pdf format).  And drop me a line if there’s something about it you’d’ like to know!

Think of spring and…

Stay warm!


Filed under Holidays (fiestas judias), Recipes

If spring is around the corner…

Winter is SO incredibly long and then suddenly – suddenly! – it feels like spring again.  Okay, maybe not where you are.  But last week we were still running around in winter coats and for the past two days I’ve been sporting Birkenstocks.  Which can only mean it’s time to shake off the mothballs (ew!) and get ready for Passover.   By the end of this week I’ll be rolling out a new edition of my annual Sephardic Passover recipe folio.  Check back here, or subscribe, or leave a request in the comment box (it won’t be published) and I’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready. — JA


Filed under Holidays (fiestas judias)