Honored to welcome two special guests to the podcast today: musician Sarah Aroeste and chef Susan Barocas. They share unique connections as Sephardic Jews with roots tracing back to a large, influential, and ancient Macedonian town. Sadly, during the Holocaust, nearly the entire population of that town was lost - a shocking 98%, in fact.
Both Sarah and Susan are passionate about preserving Sephardic culture. As enthusiastic researchers, they delve deep into historical records, oral traditions, and stories. Together, they're on a mission to curate and share this rich heritage with all of us.
But what makes their "Savor! project unique and truly remarkable is how they express this shared passion differently.
The "Savor" experience is, in part, a music album filled of Sephardic songs about food, sung in the Ladino language. It's also a collection of recipes that go hand in hand with each song. Plus, Susan and Sarah have created videos featuring female chefs demonstrating these recipes, all while discussing their personal connection to food and Sephardic culture.
As we approach the Jewish High Holy Days, I’m thrilled to have Sarah and Susan here to discuss Sephardic history and heritage. As you’ll hear, they teach me so much, not only about Sephardic culture, but also about the profound role of food and music in preserving heritage, tradition, history, values, and stories.
- A concept album: How the Savor project of pairing Sephardic recipes & songs began
- Sarah and Susan’s shared heritage in Bitola (formerly Monastir) in Northern Macedonia, where 98% of the town was exterminated in the Holocaust
- The distinctions among Jews (Sephardic vs. Ashkenazi) are a modern construction
- When & how did the lineages and stories of Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews
- How the geography, language (Ladino), and music of the Sephardics developed
- The core elements of liturgy and customs that unite all Jews
- The effects of the multi-century Spanish Inquisition on the entire Jewish populations, especially Sephardic Jews
- The Holocaust was deadly for Sephardic Jews as well
- Sarah’s story: “Music was my life.” How Sarah pivoted from classical opera to performing as a Ladino singer.
- How did Sarah and her mentor uncovered and created Ladino music
- No such thing as “authentic” or “traditional” Sephardic music or recipes
- Sopa de Ajo: Allium Soap - Why Sarah chose it
- Alliums and the Inquisition
- Susan’s story: Her father as teacher
- How Sephardic cooking spread to and melded with the rest of the world’s cuisine
- How to prepare garlic until it’s “mellow, sweet, and flavorful”
- Susan’s tips for preparing leeks
Listen to Guest Now
Follow The Storied Recipe in Your Favorite Player
Learn More About the SAVOR Experience!