This Passover Recipe Tells the Story of a Family Tree

The reference of a fish dish stirs Dafna Tapiero’s memory of a jar of saffron water perched on her grandma’s counter in Paris.

The jar sat there, ready to brighten her grandma’s Passover recipes such as poultry, rice and the first class, pescado blanco, the Judeo-Spanish title to get the dish Ms. Tapiero’s grandma Violette Corcos Budestchu ate growing up in Morocco and afterwards made at Passovers at Paris.

“You stuffed the fish with cilantro and parsley in the center,” explained Ms. Tapiero, remembering her grandma’s groundwork,”then inserted peppers and tomato and olives, and poured the saffron water over all.”

Ms. Tapeiro, an global economist who had been born in New York, is a descendant of their Corcos household, with a lineage extending back centuries and largely extending across the Mediterranean and the Americas.

The household, although none of enormous prominence, has a well-documented history, thanks to different members that have tracked its 12,000 descendants.

According to the household, the Corcoses abandoned the Middle East sometime prior to the 13th century, the earliest recorded date of the existence in Spain, where they discovered many new dishes which became part of their Sephardic canon.

Along the manner and over generationsthey, like so many other households, handed down recipesthat shifted slightly over time since the household spread. One of the dishes was that saffron fish, a dish average of Moroccan Jewish cuisine, frequently served in Passover and about the Sabbath.

The dish started as a more straightforward preparation, as an entire fish with onions and a small lemon, and possibly saffron, a spice which came in southern Spain with the Moors in the eighth century. (Most cooks substitute ground garlic to the pricier saffron.) The tomatoes and peppers, an inclusion from the Americas, after came to embellish and deepen the dish flavors.

The cookbook writer Danielle Renov is from the other branch of this Moroccan Corcoses out of Fez. Her novel,”Peas, Love & Carrots” (Mesorah Publications, 2020), comprises many recipes from her grandma Marcelle Corcos, such as a take on saffron fish with fish fillets, and tons of peppers, sweet and hot, together with a side of garlic mayonnaise.

“All these are the dishes I grew up eating,” she added,”along with also the adventure of eating, cooking and serving them is tied into the profound psychological connection I feel to those who cooked them for me personally, my mom and my grandma.”

At another, she integrates preserved lemon, olives, berries, carrots, cilantro and occasionally potatoes.

He adds garlic into his model, as well as the saffron.

Ms. Tapiero adheres to her grandma’s recipe.

Though he does not earn saffron fish, he also makes escabeche, yet another fish dish comprising peppers, and ready by other parts of their Corcos household in Jamaica.

“Our people’s capability to live and flourish through geography and history contained culinary variation,” Rabbi Sasso stated.

Along with the recipe is still passed down. Ms. Renov, for example, will likely be serving the dish for Passover this year.

“When I pour those specific recipes to my children,” she explained,”my hope is to pass the love, warmth and relaxation I was given through those dishes.”