A seder feast in provence, with roots in ancient rome – the new york times how to bake a salmon fillet

CARPENTRAS, france — since roman times, jews have lived in this town in northern provence, which lies on an ancient trade route from marseille to bruges, belgium. This year, about 50 people will hold a communal passover seder at the carpentras synagogue, built in 1367 and one of the oldest active synagogues in europe.

Today’s congregation has about 100 members, many with roots in north africa; their seder traditions include salmon tagine and a feast of vegetable salads. But gilberte levy, who can trace her family tree here back to the 1600s, will also cook some of the kosher recipes that provençal jews have been making for centuries. Photo

Haroseth, the fruit paste that evokes the bricks and mortar used by jewish slaves in the passover narrative of the old testament, is part of every seder ritual. Her 13th-century recipe includes dried apricots, figs, raisins and chestnuts, reflecting the sunny climate of this mediterranean region.Carpentras became


and a traditional whole veal breast stuffed with swiss chard will be the centerpiece of her table.

Because there is no longer a shochet, a kosher butcher, in carpentras, ms. Levy must order the meat from marseille, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) away. “once, the community’s shochet slaughtered chickens, lamb, and goats right inside the synagogue building,” she said.

Carpentras became a center of jewish life after 1306, one of many occasions on which jews were expelled from the kingdom of france. Like other nearby sanctuaries such as avignon and cavaillon, carpentras was not in france, but within the comtat venaissin, a papal state, where pope john XXII decreed that refugees would be welcome. With more than 1,000 jews among its population of about 10,000, carpentras became known as “la petite jerusalem,” with a large ghetto arising around its famous synagogue.

For more than 300 years, by papal decree, the ghetto was locked at night to protect the residents, and unlocked each morning to allow them to shop, travel and work under strictly limited conditions.Carpentras became

In some periods, “jewish men living in the carriero could only be horse traders, secondhand clothing and furniture dealers, or tailors,” said ms. Levy, using the term for ghetto in shuadit, a hebrew-french-provençal dialect that is almost extinct. Jewish men and women alike had to wear a yellow item of clothing when outside the ghetto, to denote their difference. Photo

In 1791, when french jews were finally granted citizenship, most jews still living in carpentras moved to cities, including nearby avignon and marseille. But not ms. Levy’s ancestors. Many have served the synagogue as its rabbi; she continues the tradition as a historian and volunteer.

Her great-grandmother noémie cohen bédaride “was one of the last to bake coudoles in the synagogue’s oven,” ms. Levy said, using the shuadit word for matzo.

The community was decimated by influenza in 1918, and then again in world war II. Ms. Levy’s grandparents survived, hidden from the nazis in the nearby village of bédoin, where they were protected by the mayor, local communists and members of the resistance.Family tree photo

Gilberte levy, who can trace her family tree here back to the 1600s, with a whole breast of kosher veal, a traditional passover centerpiece. Credit

Dr. Meyer benzekrit, the synagogue’s current president, believes that the ancient synagogue of carpentras will once again become the heart of a vital jewish community. Behind and beneath its unassuming exterior are a perfectly preserved baroque interior, the original ritual bath with fresh water from an underground stream, a slaughterhouse and the bread ovens. All are being excavated and renovated.

Most traditional foods of the provençal jews have been forgotten, but a few live on. Some old-time bakeries here sell brassados, bagel-like rolls that are boiled and then baked. Lightly sweet and sometimes spiked with anise, orange flower water or orange peel, they were adopted by christian bakers as a lenten and easter tradition. Ms. Levy makes her own crunchy brassados with matzo meal.Carpentras became

To start her seder meal, ms. Levy serves chicken soup with a mashed hard-boiled egg and crushed matzo. Then, the veal with its stuffing of chard, a vegetable that is in constant use in provence. She sees her family’s cuisine as part of french culinary tradition, not different or separate from it. Photo

CARPENTRAS, france — since roman times, jews have lived in this town in northern provence, which lies on an ancient trade route from marseille to bruges, belgium. This year, about 50 people will hold a communal passover seder at the carpentras synagogue, built in 1367 and one of the oldest active synagogues in europe.

Today’s congregation has about 100 members, many with roots in north africa; their seder traditions include salmon tagine and a feast of vegetable salads. But gilberte levy, who can trace her family tree here back to the 1600s, will also cook some of the kosher recipes that provençal jews have been making for centuries.Family tree photo

Haroseth, the fruit paste that evokes the bricks and mortar used by jewish slaves in the passover narrative of the old testament, is part of every seder ritual. Her 13th-century recipe includes dried apricots, figs, raisins and chestnuts, reflecting the sunny climate of this mediterranean region. And a traditional whole veal breast stuffed with swiss chard will be the centerpiece of her table.

Because there is no longer a shochet, a kosher butcher, in carpentras, ms. Levy must order the meat from marseille, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) away. “once, the community’s shochet slaughtered chickens, lamb, and goats right inside the synagogue building,” she said.

Carpentras became a center of jewish life after 1306, one of many occasions on which jews were expelled from the kingdom of france. Like other nearby sanctuaries such as avignon and cavaillon, carpentras was not in france, but within the comtat venaissin, a papal state, where pope john XXII decreed that refugees would be welcome.Carpentras became with more than 1,000 jews among its population of about 10,000, carpentras became known as “la petite jerusalem,” with a large ghetto arising around its famous synagogue.

For more than 300 years, by papal decree, the ghetto was locked at night to protect the residents, and unlocked each morning to allow them to shop, travel and work under strictly limited conditions.

In some periods, “jewish men living in the carriero could only be horse traders, secondhand clothing and furniture dealers, or tailors,” said ms. Levy, using the term for ghetto in shuadit, a hebrew-french-provençal dialect that is almost extinct. Jewish men and women alike had to wear a yellow item of clothing when outside the ghetto, to denote their difference. Photo

In 1791, when french jews were finally granted citizenship, most jews still living in carpentras moved to cities, including nearby avignon and marseille. But not ms. Levy’s ancestors. Many have served the synagogue as its rabbi; she continues the tradition as a historian and volunteer.Carpentras became

Her great-grandmother noémie cohen bédaride “was one of the last to bake coudoles in the synagogue’s oven,” ms. Levy said, using the shuadit word for matzo.

The community was decimated by influenza in 1918, and then again in world war II. Ms. Levy’s grandparents survived, hidden from the nazis in the nearby village of bédoin, where they were protected by the mayor, local communists and members of the resistance. Photo

Gilberte levy, who can trace her family tree here back to the 1600s, with a whole breast of kosher veal, a traditional passover centerpiece. Credit

Dr. Meyer benzekrit, the synagogue’s current president, believes that the ancient synagogue of carpentras will once again become the heart of a vital jewish community. Behind and beneath its unassuming exterior are a perfectly preserved baroque interior, the original ritual bath with fresh water from an underground stream, a slaughterhouse and the bread ovens.Carpentras became all are being excavated and renovated.

Most traditional foods of the provençal jews have been forgotten, but a few live on. Some old-time bakeries here sell brassados, bagel-like rolls that are boiled and then baked. Lightly sweet and sometimes spiked with anise, orange flower water or orange peel, they were adopted by christian bakers as a lenten and easter tradition. Ms. Levy makes her own crunchy brassados with matzo meal.

To start her seder meal, ms. Levy serves chicken soup with a mashed hard-boiled egg and crushed matzo. Then, the veal with its stuffing of chard, a vegetable that is in constant use in provence. She sees her family’s cuisine as part of french culinary tradition, not different or separate from it. Photo