Sababa Secrets

Ep. 194: Adeena Sussman’s new Israeli cookbook; Dani Shapiro’s memoir on family and identity

September 5, 2019

The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia, our guide to all things Jewish (and Jew-ish), is out next month! Preorder your copy today and you could win a Zabar’s gift basket—to enter, forward a copy of your receipt or order confirmation to [email protected].

This week, two more Jewish guests! We sit down with food writer Adeena Sussman, whose new cookbook is Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors From My Israeli Kitchen. She tells us why we should be eating more tahini (which is the same thing as tahina), how she puts her own spin on Israeli food as a California native transplanted to Tel Aviv, and how we can easily incorporate Middle Eastern herbs and spices into our dishes.

Next, we hear an interview Stephanie did with author Dani Shapiro, whose memoir, Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love, begins with the surprising results of an online DNA kit she submitted on a whim. Dani discusses what it was like to grow up always being told she didn’t “look Jewish,” how the discovery of her paternity affected her sense of identity—Jewish and otherwise—and whether we can realistically expect family secrets to stay hidden in today’s modern era.

Let us know what you think of the show! Email us at [email protected] or leave a message at 914-570-4869.

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This episode is sponsored by KOL Foods, delivering great tasting, healthy, sustainable, and ethically raised kosher meat. Get a 10% discount on your next order using the code UNORTHODOX at

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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