There’s a saying that there are only six Jews left in Baghdad, but that wasn’t always the case. Before World War II, for hundreds of years, Jews flourished in Iraq, and shared beautiful food traditions that emphasized feeding the spirit as much as the body. My father, an Iraqi Jew, always insisted on cooking thematically by color, claiming Iraqi-Jewish tradition. I always believed such a thing was a myth until author Rivka Goldman substantiated it: yellow ingredients for happiness, greens for prosperity, peeling the black skin of an eggplant to ward off unluckiness. The hyper-regional cuisine she lovingly describes relies on the classic, warm flavors of the Middle East (cardamom, ginger, and cumin) but isn't afraid of a creative flourish here or there, such as using lemon crystal and tart mango powder for acid, or simmering turnips in black tea.