The Jew And The Carrot

How Ashkenazi Food Became Trendy in Israel

By Haaretz/Ronit Vered

  • Print
  • Share Share
Haaretz/Dan Peretz
Short ribs in a white bread sandwich from Cafe 48.

The story begins with a plate of tongue, which may terrify people nowadays but its tenderness and delicate flavor were once favored by children and adults alike. We ate some at Cafe 48 in Tel Aviv after two or three other courses. One of them was a divine sweet cornbread with sour cream and red chili, perfect as a comfort food for a morning hangover. Yet the tongue managed to activate not only the taste buds and pleasure sensors but also the mind. The four slices of meat were thick, not like the thin ones Grandma used to serve, but the texture and flavor brought back childhood memories. Despite the modern look and the addition of green leaves, the course – served with fresh horseradish and cornichon pickles – excelled in delivering a familiar sweetish taste that caused a twinge of nostalgia.

“Two years ago I started to experiment with cooking and pickling tongue,” says Cafe 48 chef Jonathan Borowitz. “Not with the presumption of reviving the old Eastern European Jewish cuisine, but to experiment with cooking and preserving an unfamiliar ingredient. The experiments failed, and I abandoned them.

“A few months ago, Noah Bernamoff, the founder and owner of the Mile End Deli in Brooklyn, came to the restaurant, and at the bar we began a fascinating conversation that lasted for almost four hours. We spoke quite a lot about the pickled and smoked meats that have earned his delicatessens an international reputation. This is a man who never studied cooking formally, and I told myself that if he can devote years of trial and error to deciphering the code of perfect pickling, I can continue to experiment, too.

“The result, inspired actually by a traditional French technique, is tongue that is marinated in salt and spices for at least five days before you cook it – for at least five hours – then cool and peel it. I could have combined a million other flavors with the juicy meat, but for some reason, for me it connected with the classic horseradish, purple onion and mustard.”

Read more at Haaretz.com.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: pickled tongue, mile end, israel food, ashkenazi food

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.