This recipe began with a tattered French novella I read in the library. It led me to medieval towns in the south of France better known for ambrosial melons than Jewish cooking, and took me to bookstores and museums throughout Paris. It tells the story of a vanished cuisine.
I stumbled on “les juifs du Pape” (the Pope’s Jews) while researching early French-Jewish cuisine at the New York Public Library. Although the Jews were expelled from France in 1394, they were allowed to