Balabustas’ Best

Balabustas' Best

The Balabustas’ Best: The Prize Winning KOSHER RECIPES from the Jewish Examiner
112 pages, Copyright 1955

The Jewish Examiner was the most widely circulated English-language Jewish weekly newspaper in the United States. The very first issue of The Jewish Examiner Prize Kosher Recipe Book was published in 1937. The inaugural editor was mysteriously credited as “Balabusta” with slight clarification that she was the Woman’s Page Editor. What her real name was, we may never know. Housewives and homecooks from across the nation were invited to participate in an annual Woman’s Page Recipe Contest. The best recipes were chosen by Balabusta. In addition to compiling an amazing celebration of culinary cultural heritage, the cookbook offered essays that explained many things, including the Jewish Calendar, what’s Kosher and why, and the end of Caveat Emptor.
Progress a bit forward through time, to 1955, and the tradition of the annual contest was still going strong. We created The Balabustas’ Best at the request of the Judea Publishing Corporation (Brooklyn, New York). At that time we had 13 Handy Aid Cookbooks in publication. Readers submitted their favorite recipes, and we had plenty of fantastic content to bring together for the new cookbook.
As the cookbook states, “They are prize-winning recipes, each one having actually been tested and tried out in the home, by a committee of BALABUSTAS appointed for the purpose before being accepted for publication in this book. Every recipe is accompanied by the name and address of its author. This affords a convenient opportunity to the users of the book everywhere to communicate with the individual authors of these recipes for an exchange of opinion, suggestion, and practical experience in the preparation of the dishes described. The widespread demand for such a cookbook indicates not only that there is an increasing interest in the subject of Kashruth, but also that there is a real need for an authoritative Kosher cookbook.”

We were very pleased to be a part of their success and this fantastic endeavor.