Mollie Katzen's Sukkot Menu
Secret Tables of Gotham
Bourdain Invades Israel
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
Next Generation Challah
August 18, 2011 marked the first day of Hazon’s annual Food Conference. The four day gathering at UC-Davis, a global leader in sustainability projects, united people from Colorado to Japan under open blue skies and amongst beautiful trees, flowers, creeks, and even a dairy farm and winery. Food, fun, and activities aside, the 311 person gathering had an intense agenda including seven program tracks like Food Systems and Policy and Jewish Agriculture.
The Food Justice and Tikkun Olam track provided an opportunity for community activists, teachers, students and foodies alike to learn from one another about our complex food system and a broader movement to address hunger, poverty, workers rights, and food access both locally and abroad. Pursue, a project of American Jewish World Service and AVODAH, hosted a session called “Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA): A Vehicle for Collective Action and World-Changing!” The workshop provided a platform for learning, idea sharing, and, ideally, continued conversation and collaboration. All three presenters were recipients of the Pursue Food Justice Scholarship, a pilot initiative to strengthen the food justice programming at this year’s conference.
This week The Jew and the Carrot celebrates the first anniversary of its re-launch. In honor of the milestone, we took a deeper look at the roots of our namesake veggie — the carrot and its tangled Jewish past.
Myths, both ancient and modern, abound around the orange veggie — some say it improves your eye sight, others claimed it aided in contraception, some quibble over the fact that orange carrots were created by botanists working under the House of Orange in Holland, and finally, others claim that Jews are responsible for the first written carrot cake recipe in America. Like most good legends, there’s a grain of truth and a whole of hullabaloo in these myths. So here are the facts:
First of all, carrots, and not just the ones sitting at the bottom of your vegetable drawer, are really old. Fossils of wild carrot pollen stretch back 55-34 million years, according to botanical researchers John Stolarzyk and Jules Janick. Since then, carrots have transformed from wild inedible roots to the sweet orange vegetable we know today.
Britain’s next food TV star may just be a kosher housewife. [The Jewish Chronicle]
With the Jewish farm movement growing, Leah Koenig takes a look at the history of Jewish farming in America. [Tablet]
The tale of a family’s babka recipe. [Gilt Taste]
Last butcher standing: “Yuval Atias is the last of the Bay Area’s independent kosher butchers.” [The Wall Street Journal]
The growing season in Colorado may only be about 150 days long, but the New Jewish Food Movement is growing here year round. Two years ago, Colorado sent 52 Participants to the Hazon Food Conference in Monterey, CA. Those participants came back to Colorado and began building one of the most diverse and dynamic local scenes in the New Jewish Food Movement today.
The Denver and Boulder areas are home to four Jewish run CSAs. The Minyan Na’Aleh, Denver JCC Edibly Fit, Boulder’s Tuv Ha’Aretz and the South Denver CSAs have grown out of the Hazon CSA program and offer a connection between the Jewish Community and local farms. Along with offering a way for community members to enjoy local produce, the CSAs also offer a spot for the local community to gather and connect with each other.
For the small but budding wine community of Israel (and many local revelers), The Israel Wine Festival at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem is the pinnacle event of the year. Friends and celebrities — close to 10,000 of them — mingle outside between the museum’s buildings and trees. Wines from around the country were poured, as guests munch on locally made cheeses from places like Jacob’s Dairy.
The festival, which started on Monday and ends tonight, is in its eighth year and was started by owners of two Jerusalem wine shops, by Avi Ben and Smulik Shahar. The winery lineup consists of 40 Israeli wineries. This year’s newcomers included: Bazelet ha’Golan, Kitron, Ella Valley, Katlav, Gva’ot, Har Bracha, Chillag and others. More established wineries like Carmel and Golan Heights were there as well, as was Tishbi Winery and Binyamina Winery. And some of the boutique Israeli wineries like Tzuba Winery, Odem Mountain Winery and Yatir Winery also made appearances.
Our daily need for food means that people who need to lose weight have a hard time, as we cannot simply withdraw from food’s siren song, unlike the non-essential addictions for cigarettes or alcohol. The most interesting research for me has been the work of Brian Wansink and his colleagues at Cornell, who’ve studied how and why we keep on eating “mindlessly.” I was fascinated by the description of their clever experiments in his 2006 book, “Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think,” including the study in which unsuspecting participants eat soup from bowls engineered to automatically refill until the researchers called it quits — the soup eaters did not, as they saw there was still liquid in their bowls! Another experiment involved inviting college students for a free movie and handing them buckets of popcorn, the students gorged themselves on the snack, even though it was three days old. What they might have rejected otherwise as stale and unpalatable, was consumed uncomplainingly, because they were distracted by the movie and because they had been ingrained to eat at the cinema. Dr. Wansink taught his readership how easy it is to be fooled into over-eating by our circumstances.
Thanks to my boyfriend Matt, I am now completely addicted to the Food Network. Matt and I often spend time glued to the television, brainstorming what we might create on “Chopped” with a certain mystery basket of ingredients. We get excited about what Canadian chef Chuck Hughes whips up on his day off. We even try and guess which celebrity chefs might be hitting the bottle a little too often.
A few weeks ago, I set out to put my newly gained food knowledge to good use and planned to make something special for Shabbat dinner. I prefer to keep my apartment’s kitchen meat-free (it makes keeping kosher much easier, especially in a small space) and admittedly, I was getting a little tired of trying to come up with new recipes using fake meat, which often didn’t suit a fancier Shabbat meal. I thought about some options and tilapia popped in to my head. There was just one problem: I had zero experience cooking fish that hadn’t come from a can or frozen in a box.
On Monday morning, my doorman handed me an insulated food storage bag with all of my day’s meals — plus snacks! — inside. And I didn’t have to cook (or shop for) a thing.
The food, which had been delivered by 5 a.m. (deliveries take place from 7 pm-5 am) was cooked the day before by chefs at the Kosher Fresh Diet, a recently launched arm of food delivery service The Fresh Diet.
Breakfast was an egg white omelet with smoked salmon and whole wheat toast, lunch was a tuna and mozzarella wrap, and dinner was a turkey breast scallopini with whole wheat linguine. Dessert was a (really delicious) pear walnut muffin and snack was a garlic crostini. Though there were a few problems — my breakfast toast was soggy — on the whole, the meals were tasty and fresh, and the variety of food impressive. Of course, the portions were small — not surprising for a service that aims to help people lose weight.
A popular pig product is generating heavy treyf-ic on Twitter.
For reasons JCarrot has not yet determined, one of today’s trending topics on the social media site is #ReplaceMovieNamesWithBacon. The game is fairly self-explanatory: Twitter users suggest new names for well-known movies, having switched one of the key words with “bacon.” Some sample tweets: “No Bacon for Old Men” (not bad, at least as medical advice), “Gone With the Bacon” and “There Will Be Bacon.” Harry Potter movies seem to be an especially popular source of inspiration, with suggestions including “Harry Potter and the Half-Bacon Prince,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Bacon” and more.
We tried mixing this trend with Jewish themed movies and here’s what we came up with:
Fiddler on the Bacon
The Bacon Commandments
Kissing Jessica Bacon
Meet the Bacon
You Don’t Mess With the Bacon
Why this particular topic has lit up the Twittersphere, we can only guess. But we look forward to the day when kosher-food movies become their own trending topic. We’ve already got some ideas: “Lox, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” “All the President’s Manischewitz” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Challahs.”
While some high school juniors choose to spend their summers working at summer camps, attending college programs to boost their résumés, or simply hanging out to relax after a hectic and stressful year of hard work, I decided that I wanted to try something uniquely different from anything I had ever done. After a couple of plans fell through, a friend of mine (also named Andrew) and I chose to volunteer on a farm in Israel. Through the program WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), we found Kibbutz Hokuk near the Sea of Galilee.
With hindsight, I guess one might say that I romanticized the idea quite a bit of working the land of Israel on a Kibbutz. However, it really did end up being a learning experience I will never forget. Prior to my experience in Israel, I had done some farming in Vermont, which I really enjoyed, but never anything like the journey I was about to embark on. In addition, I have really tried to eat consciously — whether that means eating locally or choosing to avoid eating meat on a regular basis — so, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to try something new and accomplish my goals of truly involving myself in the process of how food reaches my plate. Sounds like this would be a perfect fit for my summer, right? Wel … let’s just say it was a worthwhile experience that ended up being far more difficult than I expected.
New York has its fair share of iconic Jewish delicatessens — there’s Katz’s, Carnegie, and even the new, hipper Mile End in Brooklyn — but there’s only one kosher deli that stands up to the others: The 2nd Avenue Deli.
The deli — which was on Second Avenue and 10th Street from 1954 to 2006 and reopened in 2007 in Murray Hill — is known for its decadently delicious food — like towering pastrami sandwiches, the Instant Heart Attack (where deli meat is sandwiched by two potato pancakes), and fried chicken skins (a.k.a. gribenes). It’s also famous for its colorful waitstaff, who do their fair share of kibbitzing.
This week, the deli opens a second location on the Upper East Side. We spoke to owner Jeremy Lebewohl, 29, about his “new baby,” his family business and his brother’s surprising appearance in Penthouse magazine.
The debate whether to boycott Israeli products at the Park Slope Food Co-op continues. [WNYC].
A recipe for pickled tongue? Ah, it would make your bubbe proud. [Serious Eats]
A chef-turned-rabbinical student struggles with eating food on Shabbat that was prepared in advance, which doesn’t compare in taste as food just made. [Tablet]
Since Zabar’s is Zabar’s, most customers don’t blink at paying $16.95 a pound for lobster salad.
But Doug MacCash, a dining columnist with the New Orleans Times-Picayune, noticed a minor inconsistency with a container of takeout lobster salad he picked up during a New York City trip with his family last month.
The problem? The role of lobster in Zabar’s lobster salad was played by crayfish.
“Lobster salad on a bagel; why not?” he wrote in a report on the alleged lobster fraud last week (we can think of several reasons why not, but that’s for another time). “It was delicious, but the pink/orange tails seemed small and somehow familiar from New Orleans cuisine. Then I read the label. The lobster salad ingredients were: wild freshwater crayfish, mayonnaise, celery, salt and sugar.
The oldest bialy store in Brooklyn, and perhaps all of New York City, will soon close its doors.
The long-lived Coney Island Bialys and Bagels, which has been in operation since 1920, is calling it quits. Proprietor and baker Steven Ross said his 91-year old company was a victim of the economic downturn and the changing demographics of his shop’s neighborhood.
“I’m heartbroken,” said Ross, 51. “It’s been four generations, including my son.”
Ross’s bialy bakery is located on Coney Island Avenue in an area once teeming with Jews. he has watched their number diminished in the area as Asian, Russian, and Middle Eastern residents have moved in. Traditional customers, such as husbands coming in Sundays to pick up bagels, cream cheese and juice for their families, have vanished.
Last August, my husband and I chose to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary by going to Costa Rica. It was our first vacation with an ecological focus, as recommended by old friends who have more refined tastes and more stringent religious commitments. We were delighted to have our girls accompany us. It was a vigorous vacation with hiking, snorkeling in Puerto Viejo (newly discovered by surfers) and daily yoga sessions. My husband was able to decompress faster — and remain relaxed longer — than on any other trip and my review of our stay at the Samasati Nature Retreat posted on TripAdvisor has been read by enough viewers to garner me a free Shutterfly photo album (which, alas, I was too late to redeem). This was a great way to unplug from the world — no phone, no Internet, no television.
Our bungalow overlooked the mountainside and we woke each day to the sunrise (about 5 am) and the chattering of the monkeys. It was the off season in the Caribbean coast, so we had the resort mostly to ourselves. My family had de facto private sessions with the yoga teacher in the beautiful, octagonal studio.
It rained hard most days we were there but at different times of the day. In the capital city of San Jose, the streets have deep and wide gutters, up to two feet in parts. The locals, called Ticos, carry their babies everywhere, not bothering with carriages, strollers or even slings. People can even steer their bicycles, while holding up umbrellas.
Savta Zarifa is the paradigm of a fairy tale grandmother; plump, patient and never far from her kitchen. Unlike characters from Mother Goose stories, she did not bake gingerbread cookies but simmered tangy tomato dumpling soup over a kerosene stove or rolled countless grape leaves with herbs and rice. On Friday she also prepared hamin, a slow cooked stew of wheat berries and meat that permeated the house with the aroma of Shabbat and was enjoyed the following day for lunch.
As a child, I remember Shabbat lunches at my maternal grandmother’s house as boisterous affairs that always ended with lively singing and platters of cold watermelon. Aramaic and Hebrew were spoken interchangeably and every five minutes another guest walked through the door. After double kissing their guests, chairs were scuffled to accommodate them and another voice was added to the banter. These meals replicated a sense of community that once existed in her native Kurdistan before the entire Jewish population immigrated to Israel. Like a mystical shaman, she transformed a few core ingredients, tomatoes, onions, wheat… into a feeling of home. This was what her mother taught her, the knowledge not only to create but to give.
Most foods of Jewish ritual are well known to the larger Jewish community. The entire seder is focused around a series of symbolic foods that are familiar to almost all Jews. However, the foods of smaller and lesser known Jewish communities around the world are often lost as their numbers dwindle and dishes are prepared less and less.
At the core of the Bnai Israel Jewish Indian community is the Malida, both a dish and a ceremony surrounding the food, that are essential to the group of nearly 60,000 in Israel and a few thousand living in India. The dish of sweetened, moistened, parched (dried) and flattened rice is prayed over, and like offering at the temple mount and traditions of Hindus offering food at local Indian temples, is offered to God. The dish is served and celebrated during many happy occasions such as wedding henna ceremonies, engagement parties, housewarming parties and when blessings for bon voyage, safety or good health are wished upon.
A Jewish-themed Tribeca eatery that riffs on Kutsher’s, the 100-year old Catskills staple, is set to open in late October, according to reports yesterday.
Kutsher’s Tribeca, described by resort-family scion Zach Kutsher as a “modern-Jewish-food-inspired bistro”, will occupy a former bakery space, said the Tribeca Citizen, which also posted a draft of Kutsher’s gargantuan menu. The selection trends as a high-gloss mish-mash of traditional and nouvelle Semitic specialties. Varnishkes come with organic quinoa “kasha”, wild mushroom gravy, and truffle butter. Kugel – made with broccoli, Gruyere, and spinach, thank you very much — will accompany free-range roast chicken.
The magnificent Ruth Reichl talks to Ha’aretz about food writing, her new book which will take place in WWII and “why people take cookbooks to bed.”
Ruth Reichl, iconic Jewish American food critic and bestselling author has captivated readers with her frank, down-to-earth approach to cooking, and her insatiable love and enthusiasm for cuisine.
She is the author of four best-selling memoirs: “Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table”; “Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table”; “Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise”; and “For You Mom, Finally.”
Read more at Ha’aretz
What do cottage cheese and natural gas have in common?
Earlier this summer the news in Israel was dominated by “The Great Cottage Cheese Uprising,” a consumer boycott of one of the country’s favorite foods. The boycott was prompted by a 75% rise in the price of cottage cheese.
While Israelis were rebelling against the high price of cottage cheese, people in Pennsylvania and New York were waking up to the threat of gas drilling in the Marcellus shale, a geological formation located under much of Pennsylvania and New York.
I know it sounds like a stretch, but cottage cheese and natural gas have something in common. The reason that each product has triggered a revolt is that it is a symbol of a much bigger and more complex problem.
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