The Jew And The Carrot

Kosher Sex and Lure of Forbidden Fruit

By Emily Shire

sheeshoo

You don’t need to see the movie “American Pie” to know that there’s a complicated, but very real relationship between food and sex. Earlier this month, an Islamic cleric in Europe called for a ban on women touching the seemingly innocuous banana and cucumber, for fear that foods resembling male sex organs would arouse them.

Even innocent cookies have been linked to such wanton behavior. Loved by Girl Scouts and other s’mores aficionados, the graham cracker was originally developed by Reverend Sylvester Graham in 1829 as a way to stifle sexual desires. And if Islam and Christianity have complicated histories conflating food with sex and repressing the desires associated with both, then it’s not surprising that the religion behind both Sigmund Freud and the plump Hebrew National dog must, too.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Kosher Treyf, Jewish Food and Sex, Kosher Sex, Isaac Rosenfeld

Shabbat Meals: Dessert No Piece of Cake?

By Anna Hanau

Flickr: Kimberly KV
When I first started keeping a kosher home, the biggest change was dessert. True there were new sets of dishes to keep track of, and combinations of foods that were not allowed, but the thing that would trip me up the most was planning our Friday night meals. We like to serve meat on Shabbat. It’s a treat, and much enjoyed. But that means…parve dessert?

Not all desserts have milk or dairy products in them. But let’s be honest: the good ones do! And being health and environmentally conscious, I wasn’t about to jump on the margarine and soy-milk bandwagon to make creamy things with fake cream. So I’ve gradually adopted two strategies to address this conundrum:

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Recipe, Shabbat

The 8th Night: Celebrate With a Cupcake Menorah

By Elizabeth Savage

Photo by Elizabeth Savage

I love the notion of hiddur mitzvah, this idea that beautifying a ritual object enhances and heightens the mitzvah related to that object. Hiddur Mitzvah can apply to a mezuzah, to a pair of tefillin, to a tzedakah box, to an etrog and, of course, a menorah, and it’s this principle that has brought us the fine works of Judaica art through the ages. There’s something fascinating about a religion not of minimum requirements, but of maximum aesthetics.

So here’s my question: what about a cupcake menorah?

You may think that cupcakes, which at this point have become a bizarre cultural phenomenon, are over-hyped. Well, you’re right. But I love them anyway and I love – with a convert’s zeal – Chanukah. Put the two things together and you have a cupcake menorah. It’s like a delicious and decorative dayenu. So if we’re encouraged to go the extra mitzvah mile, then why not do so with baked goods?

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Recipes, Hanukkah

Cassola, Rome's Jewish Christmas Treat

By Alessandra Rovati

Alessandra Rovati

A popular Italian saying advises: “Dress like a Turk, and eat like a Jew.”

Jews have enjoyed an uninterrupted presence in Italy for more than 2,200 years, producing a delicious cuisine with almost endless regional variations, that profoundly affected broader Italian cuisine. Contrary to the all-too-common American assumption that most Jewish food is bland or boring, Jewish Italian cuisine tends to be seen as a delicacy by non-Jewish locals. Some of the most popular restaurants in Rome serve traditional Jewish dishes, like the famous fried artichokes.

Rome’s unofficial Christmas dessert, cassola, or a baked ricotta cheese cake, was originally a Jewish dish. In the 16th century, while some Jewish communities in Northern Italy made a fresh cheese baked sandwich-like dish sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon called pizza dolce, Roman Jews used ricotta to make large sweet pancakes cooked in a skillet. The dish was called “casciola” (from “cascio”, cheese), says Italian food historian A.Toaff in his “Mangiare alla Giudia.”

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Shavuot, Italian Jewish Recipe, Italian Jewish Food, Dessert, Christmas, Cassola

Mixing Bowl: Hanukkah Edition, Part 2

By Devra Ferst

iStock

Cook the book makes “Kosher Revolution’s” Be-All, End-All Chicken Soup. Check out the recipe. [Serious Eats]

Two Jewish brothers are heating up the kitchens at some of Brooklyn’s hottest restaurants. [Jewcy]

Microbrews for Hanukkah and some Jewish beer history. Bottoms Up! [NPR]

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Kutsher's, Matisyahu, Kosher Wine, Jewish Beer, Kosher Revolution, Hanukkah Recipes, Hanukkah

Q&A: Dough's Fany Gerson Talks Mexico and Donuts

By Temim Fruchter

Ed Anderson

Despite my love for many, many of this country’s donuts, I’m just going to come out and say it: This year, for Hanukkah, I’m going to be I’m spending all my donut gelt at Brooklyn’s Dough.

My Hanukkah-season fixation with Brooklyn’s Dough bakery is due neither to the teeny corner shop’s amazing size-to-price proportions (ginormous donuts; a mere two bucks) nor to the selection of heartbreakingly good glazes (including but not limited to the “rich enough to stop time” earl grey and the simultaneously sweet and tart hot pink hibiscus). And while their yeast-donuts-only policy is exciting to me (a total yeast donut devotee), that’s not my reason, either.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Recipes, Hanukkah Recipes, Hanukkah Donuts, Dough, Sufganiot

Chinese for Christmas: DIY Dumplings Video

By Molly Yeh

Nate Lavey

As a person of Chinese and Jewish heritage, I have inherited two wonderful, though often divergent culinary traditions. My favorite moment in our kitchen is when the two traditions converge on Christmas Eve at our annual Dumplings of the World Festival. We gather with family friends to make steamed barbecue chicken buns, potstickers, samosas, empanadas and pierogi and whatever new recipes we decide to throw in the mix.

(Video Below)

The potstickers, which are a staple of the festival, are made from an old family recipe from China. Last year, we added a little twist to these dumplings by morphing them into our take on Shanghai xiaolongbao, which are delicate steamed dumplings that are filled with meat and soup. To our potstickers, a soup filling component was added, and then the shape changed from a crescent into a symmetrical little pouch. They were a tasty, exciting, and slightly messy success!

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Kosher Soup Dumplings, Christmas Recipes, Jewish Christmas, Kosher Chinese Food Recipes, Chinese Food for Christmas, Chicken Soup Dumplings

The Tastes of a Kurdish Hanukkah

By Sarah Melamed

Sarah Melamed

On Agripas Street in Jerusalem, between the workers’ diners and the outdoor market, there is a Kurdish Cultural center. With a dwindling number of native born Kurds, each year their legacy slowly declines. Many of their descendents have naturally assimilated into Israeli culture and no longer keep the traditions of my family’s ancestors.

Sadly, the language, dress, music, folklore….the entire way of life of my ancestors is now almost exclusively confined to the pages of academic research. Food is often the last vestige of a bygone era to survive. It is what differentiates one ethnic group from another and it is also what binds them.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Latke Recipes, Hanukkah Recipes, Kurdish Latke

Fry 'Em Up: Can the Latke 'Go Gourmet'?

By Devra Ferst

Devra Ferst

With the recent opening of Kutsher’s Tribeca, which bills itself as a modern Jewish-American bistro, much of the New York food world has been abuzz with talk of whether Jewish food can be gourmet. New York magazine and Chow.com took on the question this month, both citing Kutsher’s gefilte fish, which is made with poached wild halibut and topped with micro greens, as an example of the cuisine’s gourmet potential.

Food writers and avid Jewish foodies, however, seem unsure if Kutsher’s has accomplished this in this one dish — and perhaps it’s because they’re looking at the wrong food. While certain humble Jewish foods like gefilte fish, may never “go gourmet” — and arguably shouldn’t — others with more versatile ingredients lend themselves well to being elevated to gourmet status. Latkes, which at their most basic call for only five ingredients — potatoes, onions, oil, matzo meal and eggs — but exist in countless iterations fall cleanly into this category.

The winners of last night’s Third Annual Latke Festival, which pitted 17 chefs’ latkes against one another at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, proved that. The judge’s and my personal favorite, prepared by Jason Weiner from Almond restaurant, topped a classic and delicious latke with a superb house-smoked blue fish and goat yogurt. The latke was inspired by his grandmother’s recipe and his great uncle’s passion for fishing blue fish.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Third Annual Latke Festival, Latke Recipes, Sweet Potato Latkes, Latke Fest, BAM, Best Latkes

Hanukkah Sipping: The Maca-Bee Cocktail

By Katherine Martinelli

Courtesy of The Sipping Seder

During Hanukkah, there’s nothing like a nice cocktail to wash down the epic amounts of fried food. Rob Corwin and Danny Jacobs, who created the popular Sipping Seder have come to the holiday rescue once again with their newest Maca-bee Cocktail, a mix of bourbon, honey syrup, lemon juice, and macadamia nut liqueur. “The Maca-bee Cocktail takes its name from a crossing of macadamia nuts (i.e., “maca”) and honey (i.e., “bee”),” they explain on their website. “It’s a bit more tongue in cheek than the drinks on our Passover list, but no less delicious.”

Their latest cocktail came about as a request from friends who enjoyed the Sipping Seder and wanted something similar for their holiday party. Corwin and Jacobs teased that “At Hanukkah we serve only flaming drinks. How’s your insurance?” While that was a joke, it did put the wheels in motion for a Hanukkah-themed drink. “We toyed around with actually putting together a list of eight flaming drinks,” says Corwin, “but it just felt too involved to be practical for most folks at such a busy time of year. Instead we decided to focus on crafting a single signature drink for the celebration. We wanted it to be accessible, seasonal and exceedingly sippable.”

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Sipping Seder, Maca-Bee, Jewish Cocktail, Hankkah Cocktail, Hanukkah

Savoring the Miracle: Hanukkah Side Salads

By Louisa Shafia

Louisa Shafia

The miracle of Hanukkah was not, alas, brought about by a latke. The eternal flame, it seems, was kept alive not by everyone’s favorite fried Jewish food, but by olive oil. According to historians, there can be little doubt that the oil used to light the menorah 2,200 years ago was olive oil. In ancient times it was used for everything from lighting to food to cosmetics.

Today, we honor the place of oil in our history by making fried food the centerpiece of the Hanukkah feast. No one seems to be able to say exactly why fried food, as opposed to olive oil, gets the spotlight, but it’s likely because olive oil was not available in Eastern Europe, from whence comes the latke. The next best thing, which was plentiful, would have been rendered chicken or goose fat, otherwise known as schmaltz. By frying up potatoes in schmaltz, a European Jew of modest means could make a dish that commemorated the miracle of Hanukkah closely enough.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Salads, Olive Oil, Hanukkah, Hanukkah Recipes

Foods of Israel: Tahini

By Cindy Katz

FotoosVanRobin

When folks think of Israel’s reigning culinary monarch, they think of the falafel. While this might indeed be true, behind every good falafel ball is an equally delicious and every bit as loved food that is far easier, and far more nutritious: tahini. Oh the tried and true tub of tahini, lurking in an Israeli pantry near you, so often overlooked, but nevertheless, so deeply loved.

Pronounced “t’hina” (the “t” and the throaty “h” blend together that it almost sounds like “trina”), tahini is an ancient Middle Eastern paste or butter that comes to us from the sesame seed. Traditionally the seeds are hulled. Although, unhulled tahini, celebrated for its higher calcium content, is also readily available in Israel. Humble, distinct and delightfully diverse, tahini is perhaps comparable to the United States’ ubiquitous peanut butter, but without all the sugar. High in copper, manganese, magnesium, calcium, B1 and iron, and despite its high caloric numbers, tahini is most definitely a “health food.”

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Tahini, Recipe, Israeli Food, Health Food, Dates

Buon Hanukkah! An Italian Holiday Feast

By Katherine Martinelli

Katherine Martinelli

Like Jews around the world, Italian Jews, who make up one of the oldest Jewish communities, mark Hanukkah with a fried feast, but with their own spin. Holiday tables are covered with with dishes like fried chicken, mashed potato pancakes, olive oil fried eggplant and honey-soaked dough fritters.

Italian Jewish cuisine traditionally varies greatly by region and even community. However, some Hanukkah foods, like Pollo Fritto per Chanuka, or simple fried chicken seems to have almost universal appeal. Now, get those images of the heavy Southern American version out of your head. This rendition is marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, nutmeg, and garlic before being dredged in flour and egg (in that order) and fried. The marinade keeps the chicken moist and flavorful while the outside crisps in the hot oil.

(Recipes below)

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Recipes, Hanukkah, Italian Hanukkah

Mixing Bowl: Hanukkah Edition

By Devra Ferst

Flickr: elana's pantry

Everything you would ever want to know about making the perfect classic latke. [Serious Eats]

If you’re looking for more innovative latke recipes, here are five. [The Kitchn]

And what to serve with those latkes? Here are some suggestions, including a delicious recipe for Orange Olive Oil Cake with Candied Walnuts. [Serious Eats]

A menorah made of chocolate that you can eat? Yeah, we’re pretty excited about it too. [New York Times]

Get that frier ready! Jewish fried treats from around the globe, one for each of the eight nights. [Philadelphia Jewish Voice]

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: White House, Mixing Bowl, Latkes, Hanukkah, Chocolate Menorah

The Best Jewish Food Books of 2011

By Devra Ferst

Nate Lavey

You may not be familiar with many of the authors of this year’s top Jewish food books, but don’t let that keep you from devouring their delicious books. They preserve the recipes of the classic Jewish bakery, provide an easy primer for Persian Jewish cuisine, explore global vegetarian fare and chronicle the path of America’s only Jewish beer. Each would make a great addition to your cookbook collection or the perfect Hanukkah gift. If you’re giving them as a present, consider preparing one of the recipes or purchasing a bottle of wine or beer from the book to go along with the gift.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Kosher Wine, Hanukkah, Hanukkah 2011, Hadassah Everyday Cookbook, Best Jewish Food Books, Best Jewish Cookbooks 2011, Best Cookbooks 2011

Healthy Hanukkah? Yes, It’s Possible

By Jackie Topol

Photo by: Jackie Topol

Hanukkah often feels like a week-long calorie splurge. Between the fried latkes, sufganiyot (Hebrew for doughnuts), and chocolate gelt, the extra calories can really add up quickly in our diets. But maybe there’s a way to enjoy the holiday’s celebration of oil and sweets a bit more healthfully? Indeed there is!

Resist the urge to deep fry. Try a baked latke recipe, and if you really are craving that extra crispiness achieved from frying, pan-fry them in a small amount of oil and then finish them off by baking in the oven.

Pack in some fiber. Instead of using white flour, use whole wheat flour to get some extra fiber into your latkes. You can also mix in other vegetables into your potato latkes, like zucchini, carrots, and parsnips, to boost the fiber and antioxidant content.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Nutrition, Healthy Food, Hanukkah, Donuts, Recipe

Shabbat Meals: Sam's Cherry Pie

By Lisa Amand

iStock

My maternal grandparents had come to America from Eastern Europe; my grandmother from Minsk, my grandfather from Riga. While the reason was religious persecution, their houses and apartments they set up felt void of Jewish rituals. But of course, they were Jewish to their cores.

Friday night dinners at their enormous penthouse near Beekman Place in New York City in the ’60s were elaborate, as were meals every other night of the week. My blond, petite Belarusian grandmother was a stickler for manners and Friday night felt more Masterpiece Classic than borscht-belt buffet. Sam, my grandparents’ chef, butler and maitre of all apartment-centric matters, created rich, decadent dishes. This warm, wonderful man, always dressed in a serious white coat, was constantly thrilling us by putting a down-home spin on my grandmother’s sophisticated menu — especially desserts.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Shabbat Meals, Shabbat Dinner, Pie, Cherry Pie

Bizarre Food Flick: 'Jewish Lamb'

By Nathan Burstein

Food’s a fairly common theme in music: off the top of our heads, we can think of songs involving milkshakes, mashed potatoes and cake.

But in what is probably a first in the history of music videos, the guys behind Torrisi Italian Specialties — a sandwich shop by day and high-end Little Italy eatery by night — have released a musical tribute just to “Jewish lamb.”

The video — succinctly titled “Jewish Lamb” — features an eclectic medley of songs and images as it follows the path of the dish from Rome’s Jewish Quarter to the Lower East Side restaurant. With songs by Bruce Springsteen and Kenny Loggins, among others, the clip traces - or at least identifies - the meal’s various ingredients, including honey, Jerusalem artichokes and even Manischewitz wine. (After landing in New York, the video briefly crosses the Hudson for a stop at the Jewish winemaker’s Newark headquarters.) The lamb itself evidently comes from Pat LaFrieda Wholesale Meat, also located in New Jersey.

(Video below)

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Manischewitz, Lamb Video, Eater, Torrisi

A Sustainable Hanukkah

By Alyssa Berkowitz

Hazon

Hanukkah can be one of the messiest Jewish holidays; waste is generated from wrapping paper, gelt wrappers, and wax drippings. To top it off, all the frying in oil can be both unhealthy and unsustainable. But this year, it doesn’t have to be. JCarrot and Hazon offer sustainable, healthy Hanukkah resources to green your holiday, so you can spend more time enjoying, and less time worrying about your global impact. From eco-friendly candles to sustainable gifts, the following suggestions can help to enrich any Hanukkah celebration. Also, these sustainable resources can be used as activities that can make for a great addition to any Hanukkah party. This year, opt for sustainability when celebrating Hanukkah by incorporating all, or even a few, of the following suggestions.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: sustainable, local, fair trade, Hannukah, Chanukah

'The Borscht Identity' and Other Puns From Twitter

By Nathan Burstein

Courtesy of Michael Leventhal

It’s hard to think of two topics more beloved by Jews than food and movies, so it’s no surprise that the duo have inspired a lively exchange of puns on the Twitter feed of Gefiltefest, a Jewish food festival held annually in England.

Since last month, the festival and its Twitter fans have been renaming famous movies, incorporating Jewish delicacies into the titles like “The Hand that Rocks the Knaidl,” “For Hummus the Bell Tolls” and — for you Hitchcock fans out there — “Shmeer Window.”

Matt Damon fans can ponder “The Borscht Identity,” while Marilyn Monroe mourners can imagine how her career might have developed differently if the movie had been called “Gentlemen Prefer Blintzes.” Other intriguing — though not necessarily appetizing — titles include “Mystic Liver,” “Kischke of the Spider Woman” and “Charoset of Fire.” Inspired by this list, the Jew and the Carrot can add a couple more: “Moulin Rougalach” (Nicole Kidman could stand to eat a few) and “The Third Manischewitz.”

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Jewish Food Movie Titles, Bacon, Gefiltefest



Find us on Facebook!
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • 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.