Feeding Fleishman

Ep. 191: Taffy Brodesser-Akner, author of ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble,’ and banker-turned-baker Umber Ahmad, owner of Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery

August 8, 2019

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Our Jewish guest is Taffy Brodesser-Akner, New York Times Magazine writer and author of Fleishman Is in Trouble. She tells us about the moment she learned her debut novel was a New York Times bestseller, why she writes from such a specific—and Jewish—place, and why people are always asking her about Philip Roth.

Our gentile of the week is Umber Ahmad, the banker-turned-baker behind Mah-Ze-Dahr bakery in Manhattan’s West Village. She brings us their delicious old-fashioned donuts, which are made with buttermilk, lemon zest, and vanilla bean and are fried and then glazed, and tells us about growing up in Northern Michigan to Pakistani immigrant parents, and learning from a young age to use food to tell stories and create community. Her question for the hosts is about how food became such an integral part of the Jewish holiday calendar.

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Unorthodox is a smart, fresh, fun weekly take on Jewish news and culture hosted by Mark Oppenheimer, Stephanie Butnick, and Liel Leibovitz. You can listen to individual episodes here or subscribe on iTunes.

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