The Sephardic recipes that appear in this collection are descended from, or inspired by, Sephardic Jewish food culture. In the Jewish diaspora, Sephardic Jews descend from their ancestors who originally lived in Spain and Portugal. After being expelled in the 15th century, most of the Sephardi settled in warmer areas of the Mediterranean (Turkey, Morocco, Italy).
For the purposes of this collection, the term Sephardic also encompasses Mizrachi Jewish cuisine – recipes that descend from Jewish populations in the Middle East and North Africa (including Yemenite Jews).
Sephardic Jewish populations descend from warm-weather climates, and their cuisine reflects the geography. Sephardic recipes often feature fresh vegetables, fruits, spices, and olive oil. The Mediterranean Sea connects many Sephardic countries, and fresh-caught fish features prominently in the diet. Overall, Sephardic cuisine tends to be lighter, healthier, and more colorful than Ashkenazi cuisine.
Many traditional dishes can be found in both Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine, with slight variations. My husband’s maternal family is Sephardic and his paternal family is Ashkenazi, so most of our family recipes fall into one or both traditions. Modern Jewish home cooking has been influenced by both Ashkenazi and Sephardic culinary traditions. You will find Sephardic Jewish recipes in this collection, as well as some recipes that fit into both Sephardic and Ashkenazi traditions –including holiday recipes.
However, this collection of recipes is not organized by holiday. If you are searching for recipes that are kosher for Sephardic Passover, you’ll find my Passover recipe collection helpful. You can find other dishes for Jewish holidays (as well as many other holiday recipe ideas) here.
Jewish cuisine is filled with delicious variety. If you’re curious about the Ashkenazi side of the cuisine, check out my Ashkenazi recipe collection. I hope you enjoy exploring the many traditional Jewish flavors shared here!