Reyna Simnegar: Converso Roots, Persian Cooking
ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question: What vegetable did converso Jews bring to America in the 16th century, and why?
Reyna Pérez (Peres) Simnegar was born in Venezuela and raised as a Catholic. It was only when she began to question some of her family’s strange customs that she learned that she was a descendent of conversos, Jews who had fled the Spanish Inquisition for America in the 16th century. She went to study in the United States, where she converted to Judaism, and met her future husband, an Iranian Jew. Reyna learned to cook Persian Jewish food from her future mother-in-law, and has written a cookbook, Persian Food from the Non-Persian Bride, which is full of interesting anecdotes as well as recipes. She also has a blog and YouTube channel.
Read Reyna’s article on AISH.com