I caught up with Daniel Rogov, author of the manna cakes recipe I tried.
I’ve heard Rogov call himself a curmudgeon more than once, so was eager to see what sort of curmudgeonly thoughts he would have about manna.
Here’s what he said:
Q. What word comes immediately into your mind when you hear ‘manna’ (?)
Q. Do you think of manna as something that offered ‘salvation’ or as a thing that offered mere ‘survival’ or as a combination of both or as something else (and if so, what would that be) (?)
A. Neither. A great symbolic myth.
Q. Is there a wine that would go well with the manna pancakes from your recipe?
A. Yup….Sauvignon Blanc or Champagne
Q. Is there any particular food or wine whose taste brings ‘manna’ to your mind?
A. Caramel crunchies
Q. Where should one go first, in real-life travels or in literature, when searching for manna?
A. One might do better to look for gefilte fish. Or, well, caviar.
Q. Do you have any thoughts to add to ‘Manna for Breakfast’?
Q. If manna comes from heaven, does it bestow some essence of Godliness to those who consume it?
A. Is there a “:Heaven”? Is there a “God”?
Rogov’s done a great job in explaining what manna is, personally, to him. I’m going to think about his answers and maybe try some caramel crunchies. I’ve already had gefilte fish before in life and am not sure that should be the focus of my search, unless I can find a gefilte fish that somehow speaks of salvation.
I trust Rogov in matters of scholarship, for I’ve heard him use the word epistemology without the least hesitation or stutter, and believe this is not due just to the good wines he drinks but has more to do with the fact that he really does know his stuff.
If you’d like to read more of Rogov (I always do) you can find a collection of essays on food here at Stratspace, and you can find Rogov’s Wine Forum here at this link – which also has a section for food talk.
In Hebrew, the word manna is said to mean ‘gift’. Rogov, you’ve made me smile. Thank you, then, for the manna.