Tamar Adler's Fried Jewish Artichokes
Save the Bubbes!
The Curious History of Kosher Salt
Shiva for Stage Deli
Berlin's Jewish Foodie Comeback
The Great Deli Rescue
Romping Through the Jewish Pumpkin Patch
Haimish to Haute, NYC Transforms Jewish Food
Bay Area's DIY Jewish Food Movement
Yid.Dish Recipe Box
'Inside the Jewish Bakery’
The Bacon Problem
Manischewitz Goes Sephardic
Jews and the Booze
Jews and Beer
Taking the Food Tour That Keeps on Feeding
At Kosher Feast, Fried Locusts for Dessert
Live Long and Super: Supermarket History
A Slice of Hebrew Pizza
Grow and Behold: A New Line of Kosher Chicken Launches A Conversation Around Jewish Food Ethics
When In Rome… Eat Like the Jews Do
A Letter to Our Readers
JCarrot Archives: 2006-August 2010
Shabbat Dinner, With Panache
If, like me, your Bubby doesn’t speak Yiddish, take a lesson from the ladies who do. The latest Yiddish cooking video (with English subtitles) by Rukhl Schaechter and Eve Jochnowitz, shows us how to make fluden, an oft forgotten Jewish pastry from France and Germany. Rolled and baked into a log, the rich dough is stuffed with apricot preserves, chopped dates, walnuts and raisins and sliced into pieces while it’s still warm. Serve it with a glass of tea — make that a glezl tey.
Lovers of bourekas, one of Israel’s national foods, had better brush up on their geometry. The Chief Rabbinate has issued new guidelines on the shapes of the pastry pockets — and no, we’re not kidding.
Until now, consumers have relied on signage by storeowners or package labels to discern among meat, dairy and pareve bourekas, which closely resemble turnovers, only with greasier dough. Now, the kashrut authority is apparently trying to standardize things across the country to keep consumers from accidentally breaking kosher laws.
A letter sent by the Chief Rabbinate to factories and bakeries states that beginning August 7, all kosher-certified dairy bourekas made from puff pastry must be triangular, while non-dairy or pareve ones must be square or rectangular in shape. Oh, and, there are different rules for bourekas encased in phyllo dough. These ones must be triangular or spiral shaped if they are non-dairy, and round or cigar shaped if they contain dairy. It’s all enough to give grown adults scary middle school math exam flashbacks.
New York City gets its first kosher sports bar! Which team will you root for at the new spot? [Eater]
Don’t get us wrong, we love a good bagel and shmear. But, sometimes, life just calls for bialys. Try making some with the help of this easy tutorial. [The Kitchn]
Throw a falafel party! Here’s a step-by-step guide. [Food 52]
Who invented the Reuben sandwich? [New York Times]
As a consummate foodie, my mind makes instant connections between food and people. It’s like I’m wearing Google Glass with an app that sends me food information about everything I see, whether I know it or not. The other night, for example, I was attending a function at a beautiful home in Beverly Hills and when I got to the backyard with a highly manicured lawn all I could think of was how many veggies I could grow with a lawn like that! In my mind’s eye I imagined row after row of chard, carrots, or tomatoes! The same type of thing happens when I think of my friends and family. Take my Bubbie for instance, I can’t listen to her voice or see her picture without immediately thinking, “stuffed cabbage!” It’s not because she looks like stuffed cabbage (I’m a nice Jewish boy) but because that was her favorite special dish to cook. She spent hours boiling down cabbage and stuffing them with rice, meat, raisins (I’m Hungarian) and spices. I’ve come to naturally associate her with the stuff – it’s how my brain works.
The same is true for other family members. My wife – burritos (black beans not pinto) It was one of our first date foods. My sister- Brussels sprouts-because she hates them. My brother – French fries- because of the way his finger guides them into his mouth like the crunchy potato stick was on training wheels.
When it comes to my pop, it has to be a well-done steak.
How do you make the world’s tallest kosher sandwich? The Jewish community in Budapest decided it was high time to find out.
When Andras Borgula started planning the Budapest’s sixth annual Judafest, a cultural street fair celebrating Jewish life in Hungary held June 9, he had an ambitious thought: Why not set some kind of Jewish record?
Borgula, 38, founder and director of the Jewish Golem Theatre and artistic director for the festival, said the idea came to him as he tried to come up with something that would be both Jewish — and Hungarian.
“There isn’t so much Hungarian Talmud or Torah,” he said. “But we’re pretty strong in the kitchen. We like to eat, and we like to cook. So, why not a kosher sandwich?”
Borgula’s dream was almost cut short when he found out that the Guiness World Records did not have a category for unusually tall kosher fare. After much pestering and pleading, the world’s arbiter of unusual and outrageous things agreed to create a special category, with the requirement that the oversized lunch be at least two meters (almost 7 feet) tall.
And so, as the 7,000 attendees of Judafest (put on by the Budapest chapter of the American Joint Distribution Committee) crowded into Kazinczy Street in Budapest’s Jewish Quarter this week, Borgula and 25 volunteers were preparing over 400 sandwiches, to be stacked one on top of each other as “one big club sandwich.”
Sadly, they fell just short of the world-record setting goal, running out of bread just as the sandwich reached 1.9 meters.
But, “even if we had more,” Borgula said, “the tower was start[ing] to fall apart.”
Despite the setback, Borgula, who positioned the individual slices of white bread, kosher turkey, hummus and pickles himself, is proud of his community’s achievement. “It’s not an official record, but still, this is an unofficial tallest kosher sandwich of the world, built by myself, and I’m not an engineer,” he said.
So, what to do with such a masterpiece? Borgula thought of that too. With record-level flooding threatening Budapest, volunteers were put to work to fortify the banks of the Danube. Rather than letting the hundreds of sandwiches go to waste, Borgula and other festival-dwellers carried them down to the river and served them to people working to fight the rising tide.
“I think most of the people never heard about Jews, and never tasted kosher [food] in their entire life,” Borgula said. “They were pretty amazed by this.”
When it comes to wine and Judaism, only one word comes to mind: Manischewitz. At some point, we’ve all spent time mocking the sweet, concord grape nectar that gave most Jews their first hangover some time after their bar or bat mitzvahs. However, it seems that these days, the application of this wine in the world of cocktails and beverages may end those jokes.
Today, sweet wines are typically served after meals in the form of Muscats and Ports, but for decades, Jews have been using this brand as a staple for Kiddush during Shabbat dinners and other holidays. With it’s sweet taste and low price point, Manischewitz is a natural fit for cocktails. We scoured the country and asked some of the top talent in the bar scene to craft some tasty Manischewitz cocktails to spice up your Shabbat dinner.
With recipes like these, how could you not break out a bottle, mix a few cocktails and drink L’chaim to the summertime?
Misconceptions about Israeli wine that remain isolated to Manischewitz should only happen to those living in a vacuum. Israel is definitively part of the emerging new world winemaking scene. Making sun baked and ripe wines still constitute the majority of wines from the Holy Land, but from big companies on down, it is clear that some Israeli producers are looking the other way. They are now beginning to define their wines by freshness and restraint.
On June 4th, 2013, fifteen Israeli winemakers descended upon Manhattan’s City Winery for an intimate showcase of their portfolios. After attending IsraWineExpo a few years ago in Tel Aviv, I was excited to taste new releases of familiar bottles, while hoping to find new producers and styles.
What set the tone was a transparent pre-tasting discussion between Alex Haruni of the Upper Galilee’s Dalton Winery, and Josh Wesson, founder of wine retail empire Best Cellars. Through his humor and gentle quips at kosher wine stereotypes, Josh was able to inspire Alex to speak on behalf on the Israeli industry as a whole. Alex’s openness regarding winemaking practices exhibited the kind of confidence one gains over time. “Eighteen years ago, we were making the best wines we knew how,” Alex said, “and over the last five years our wine making is now less interventionist.” Older vines, understanding terroir, and honing techniques have allowed the winemakers to do less manipulation and yet yield better results.
As a food editor I enjoy a good story as much as anyone. But, what I love most is getting to eavesdrop on a conversation between people who really know what they’re talking about when it comes to food.
On this week’s episode of “Taste Matters,” a podcast hosted by James Beard VP Mitchell Davis, we get to hear Israeli food expert Janna Gur and Davis joke about chopped liver becoming a trendy food in Tel Aviv and find out why so few Israelis know what a knish is. But, more importantly, Gur breaks down what is going on in the Israeli food scene and argues that the Holy Land is at the beginning of its second food revolution. But what does that mean for diners? Listen to the full podcast below to find out.
We have some very exciting news: The 6,000-years-long Jewish ban on pork has been lifted! The Onion is reporting that the World Rabbinical Council has announced that Jews worldwide are now allowed to “dig in to the delicious taste of ham.” No more holding back on the bacon, or skipping “the other white meat” at barbecues. We are finally free to feast on pork-filled Chinese dumplings and maple bacon donuts .
Well, not exactly. The Onion is of course a satirical news outlet, and the World Rabbinical Council is a made-up organization. The pork ban is still standing firm. But what would happen if it had indeed been lifted?
Right off the bat, we would expect Williamsburg-based Hasids to flock to Traif, the ironic restaurant which celebrates all things non-kosher, located in the heart of New York’s hipsters’ hub.
The supermarket in Sunnyside, New York, which sold kosher pork could get back to doing so without being troubled by the New Yorker.
Organizers of a Jewish festival in Budapest said they will try to set a world record for the tallest kosher sandwich.
Many dozens of bread slices will be used to construct the tower on Sunday on Kazinczy Street in the Hungarian capital’s so-called Jewish Quarter during the sixth Judafest cultural street party, organizers said on Facebook. One of the organizers told JTA the plan is to have a 7-foot stack at least.
The Guinness World Records website shows no record for kosher sandwiches, but the tallest non-kosher sandwich was made in 2007 in India and measured 50 feet. It contained 100 pounds of cucumbers, 88 pounds of meat and 330 pounds of butter.
Judafest is expected to attract thousands and is among the largest Jewish events in Hungary. In addition to assembling the sandwich, participants will participate in a cookie-baking contest.
In addition to the culinary activities, visitors to the one-day festival will be invited to watch films about Jewish humor, notably by and featuring Woody Allen. There will also be walks and a rickshaw tour of the Jewish quarter.
The Budapest branch of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee launched Judafest.
If you’re an American Jew, there’s a pretty good chance that somewhere, somehow, someone in your family made dinner on the Lower East Side.
Though the area has been home to a countless nationalities and ethnic groups, it holds a special place in the hearts of American Jews, many of whom can trace their first foothold in the country back to “the old neighborhood.”
On June 5, the Tenement Museum celebrated its 25th anniversary, and the 150th anniversary of the restored building at 97 Orchard Street, which housed over 7,000 people from more than 20 countries from 1863 to 1935.
As a tribute to the many sights and smells imprinted into the tenement’s walls, the gala was set up as an edible timeline, a “taste of the tenements,” catered by current local vendors and restaurants and inspired by the neighborhood’s residents. Here’s a window into what they would have been eating, and where you can find those treats today.
Imagine your regular Shabbat dinner. Now extend the table and summon several more chairs. And a few more. OK, now add about a hundred more seats. Your table is still not likely to be even half the size of the record-setting Shabbat dinner that was recently on display in the Israeli city of Bnei Brak.
A 197 feet long table, with room for more the 300 participants, was assembled by the Bnei Brak-based Coca Cola Israel company, in what is said to be the longest Shabbat dinner setting ever. Arranged on it was the traditional Shabbat fixings, including china plates, crystal goblets, Kiddush wine, challa bread, and, of course, dozens of Coca Cola bottles. Several hundred members of the Bnei Brak community took part in a pre-Shabbat meal around the long table, in which traditional meat, fish and cholent dishes circulated in the unique setting.
The Israeli news outlet Ynet reported that the initiative is expected to be recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. And, while the folks from Guinness have yet to confirm whether the table will be recognized as a world record, Coca Cola’s has already declared the event a success.
Who will one up this Shabbat table? Several years ago, when a group of Israelis prepared the largest hummus bowl ever weighing in at 8992.5 pounds, chefs from Lebanon united and created an even bigger serving of the chickpea dish weighing 23,042 pounds.
While it is highly unlikely that Bnei Brak’s record would ever be challenged by anyone from Lebanon, maybe someone in Brooklyn would like to take on the challenge? If so, please save us a seat at the table!
If you’re a person who spends their weekends schlepping to the outer-boroughs for a taste of New York’s best ethnic cuisines, or, if you are a dedicated reader of the Village Voice, or just a person who likes to eat in the city, you owe a debt to Robert Sietsema.
Sietsema’s taste buds have been New York’s flavor barometer for over 25 years. Starting with “Down the Hatch,” followed by a stint at Gourmet and finally serving as the Village Voice’s restaurant critic for 20 years, he has chronicled the city’s food scene longer than almost any other critic, uncovering hidden gems and whole-in-the-wall ethnic restaurants one review at a time.
His memorable tenure at the Voice came to an abrupt end when Sietsema was somewhat unceremoniously fired in May, along with gossip columnist Michael Musto, and theater critic Michael Feingold.
Fortunately for readers, Sietsema has found a new home at EaterNY, covering what he calls his “natural beat.” As a regular columnist, he’ll continue his pursuit of the perfect dish through a series of “micro-neighborhood dining guides.”
The Forward’s Anne Cohen recently spoke with Sietsema about his take on the future of food journalism, his favorite New York deli, and what he really thinks of gefilte fish.
That’s it, we’re out of cash. Call it a crisis or a temporary slowdown, most of us have less money in our wallets, but still feel the need to indulge once in a while. Our challenge this week was to find restaurants offering worthwhile dishes that would also give us change from 50 shekels. The conditions: No deals, no fast food, no cafes, and no business meals - only fun places that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
The Malaysian dish at Giraffe (NIS 49)
Value for money is a substantial part of the Giraffe chain’s DNA. Whether it is Tel Aviv, Haifa, Rishon Letzion, Herzliya or Eilat, one can be sure that the dishes are always large and fairly priced. The hot Philippine dish, the chicken in lemon and the pad thai were all fair candidates, but we chose the Malaysian dish. For one thing, you simply cannot stuff anything more into your mouth after you finished. The dish can be altered for vegetarians and those who prefer not to mix milk and meat.
Tip: The dish costs NIS 10 less when ordered as take-away.
Double Injra Beintu at Tanat, (NIS 42)
Vegans, arise! Tanat is the best vegan restaurant you’ve never heard of. Tanat offers an introduction to Ethiopian cooking, with a series of appetizing, cheap and healthy dishes. Injra Beintu includes injra bread with three dishes: lentils, siah (Ethiopian humus) and beet leaves, with a salad. Those already familiar with Ethiopian cooking could try the mushroom injra.
Tip: a single Injra dish costs NIS 35; adding one of the cheap shakes – such as avocado – costs only NIS 15 more.
Tanat, Chlenov 27, Tel Aviv
The West Bank is often in the limelight making political headlines, not gastronomic ones. But hidden beneath political and religious agendas, are a small group of artisans turning out various boutique edibles.
Located only half an hour outside of Jerusalem, the Gush (short for Gush Etzion: settlement areas that were built after the 1967 war) is host to vineyards and endless fields of olive trees. Members of local communities are utilizing ingredients that are grown nearby to create and sell organic wine, small-batch ales and brined goods. Small coffee roasters are opening as are companies making hand-crafted chocolates.
While accessible by bus, the best way to get into Gush Etzion is with a car. You can easily eat your way through the “block.” Try to arrange ahead of time, as many of these businesses are small and require reservations.
In a dusty field near my apartment in Petach Tikvah, a huge, old mulberry tree stands alone. During a few weeks in May, its leafy branches hide kilos of those delicate deep-purple berries. If I get out early enough in the morning, I can garner some of that fruit, but I’m competing with other pickers: birds, kids on their way to school, and the Arab construction workers who sleep on site and wake up with the sunrise. Every block in my neighborhood is graced with one or two large, shady mulberry trees. They were likely planted here for the love of their shade and fruit by members of a local moshav in the late 1880s.
Mulberries in Israel go back as far as the mid-1500s, when Joseph Nasi, Jewish diplomat and administrator under the Ottoman rule, tried to re-establish Tiberias and nearby villages as an independent state for refugee Jews from the Papal States (Italy and southern France). Silk was an important luxury product, so mulberry trees were planted there to feed silkworms for the hopeful new industry. The plan failed when the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Venice warred, but the mulberry trees remained, scattering their descendants far over Israel.
Safed also has ancient mulberry trees, and I have harvested their fruit many times when I lived there. I would dry whole berries in the shade, crush some to ferment the juice for wine, and take part of the harvest to cook with sugar for jam. But what I didn’t know is that the leaves are edible too.
We’ve all been told never to judge a book by its cover, but in the case of Meghan Telpner’s recently released book, “UnDiet”, the hot pink, sans-serif cover tells you exactly what you’re getting into. If, at first glance, you couldn’t tell what the ensuing 200-plus pages hold, the rainbow-colored claim to be “the shiny, happy, vibrant, gluten-free, plant-based way to look better, feel better, and live better each and every day” is stated out right on the cover.
If you are a middle-aged female looking for a shiny, happy book with agave-coated nutritional facts and obtuse sexual references to feel better than “UnDiet” is absolutely the book for you. If, like me, words like “awesometown” and “barfiest” make you want to stand on a soap box with nothing but a dictionary, then perhaps we aren’t quite ready for the “UnDiet” challenge yet.
On every plane that touches down in Israel, there is inevitably a group of people who head straight to the Kotel — no matter the hour, they feel they haven’t arrived in the Holy Land until they pray at the wall. I save the Kotel for later and make a pilgrimage straight to Shuk Machaneh Yehudah, Jerusalem’s longstanding market. Here, small wooden stalls are piled high daily with fresh produce grown around the country, fluffy pitas are turned straight from the ovens into bags for shoppers and the halvah men entice shoppers with samples from their endless mountains of the sweet sesame snack. Members of diverse communities converge here, particularly in the hours before Shabbat. It’s one of the divided city’s few points of common ground. It is my Jerusalem.
When I’m away from Israel, I follow the news of the shuk as closely as an outsider can. And even 6,000 miles away, the name Assaf Granit and his restaurant Machneyuda (which shares the same name as the market, but a different spelling) has rung loud and clear.
In 2009 Granit and his partners Uri Navon and Yossi Elad opened a restaurant located just beyond the edge of the market inspired by this bustling place. The chefs change the menu twice a day — an impressive feat for any restaurant, but even more notable in a country where the import of ingredients from other corners of the earth is often challenging.
Check out Gil Marks’s new column on cakes over at the History Kitchen. His strawberry shortcake makes a perfect summer Shabbat dessert. [History Kitchen]
10 Great kosher picnic dishes to know. [Food 52]
Headed to London soon? Check out the city’s newest kosher restaurant. [Yeah That’s Kosher]
Solo Restaurant is going dairy! Get read for pizzas galore. [Yeah That’s Kosher]
When David Manheim first started working at Katz’s Deli, he was a teenager promoting their delivery service and was paid in sandwiches. When he came back five years ago as a waiter, he knew he wouldn’t leave until he made something to showcase the soul of Katz’s, as he pegs it: “The Empire State Building of the Lower East Side.” This deli will celebrate its 125th year serving up some of the best pastrami in town on June 2nd, and it’s only fitting that it serves some old school Jewish humor with the slaw.
A Manhattan native, Manheim, 38, first got the attention of the food, and Jewish, world in late April when he launched his blog The Last Jewish Waiter with an accompanying hilarious video of the shenanigans behind the counter (where all the magic happens) and his often welcome abuse of Katz’s patrons. Deciding to film the deli, Manheim eschewed the reality show mold, which he feels is often fake and opted for a behind-the-scenes feel. “I’ve always been interested in shows that show the process and aren’t pretentious. That’s my vision for this, it should be just like The Muppet Show, a show about making a show yet shows the imperfections of a team.”
Growing up in Chelsea to parents who are both teachers, Manheim was on two different cable shows when he was younger and knew he was comfortable on camera. After a brief stint in Los Angeles, Manheim returned to New York and started waiting tables at Katz’s, which he hopes is only a stepping-stone to the next phase of his career. “I love talking to people and I love it when it’s good,” Manheim told the Forward. “I just have a problem with authority and I don’t particularly like to be told what to do, which is funny for a waiter.”
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