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
The first Jews to arrive in New Amsterdam in 1654 came fleeing persecution in Brazil. What did they eat for Shabbos when they arrived? Brazilian rice casserole. [JPost]
No plans for Christmas? Make your own fortune cookies at home. [The Kitchn]
A California inmate, who claimed to be celebrating the “Seinfeld” holiday Festivut, “used his devotion to Festivus as an excuse to get kosher meals.” Apparently, he didn’t like the prison’s salami dinners. [KTLA]
There are few Jewish foods in America as iconic as the bagel and lox. We eat it at Sunday brunch, after funerals, for Yom Kippur break fast and at brises. It is a staple food of Jewish lifecycles and traditions.
Rarely, though, is your bagel with shmear actually accompanied by lox. What, you say? Then what have I been eating all this time? In most cases, the answer is smoked salmon.
Lox, which originally comes from the German word for salmon, lachs, and the Yiddish word laks, is actually a salt-cured fish, a method that was used for preserving fish in Northern and Eastern Europe.
There is more to cooking than food, three home cooks and passionate foodies discovered on Sunday. The Next Great Kosher Chef competition, the first of its kind, was hosted by The Center for Kosher Culinary Arts. With gruelling written and physical parts of a eight-hour competition the heat was definitely on.
The prize: A scholarship to attend the school’s cooking program, valued at $5,000.
Want-to-be contestants first had to send in a short video and a personal essay. Of hundreds, ten were chosen for interviews. Three finalists took part in a televised elimination process. At 8 A.M. Sunday morning they began a written exam, with questions covering a variety of related topics such as “What temperature does water boil in Denver, Colorado? (answer; 203 F because of the different atmospheric pressure of a higher altitude.) A series of five surprise culinary challenges (julienne carrots, scale a fish and whip eggwhites to a stiff peak for example) followed. Then the competition culminated in a cook-off.
Active members of the Jewish blogosphere know Heshy Fried as the author of Frum Satire, a widely read humorous ranting blog about what he views as hypocrisy and judgementalism in the Orthodox community.
Fried, 29, said he launched the blog in 2006 to write about “things that I found disgusting and funny at the same time.” He further explained, “I was taking stereotypes and blowing them out of proportion and really exaggerating and being incredibly sarcastic and cynical and satirical all at the same time, to try and bring forth some sort of change… I don’t know if I was thinking so altruistically at the time. I thought maybe I could just get some chicks from it.”
The blogger apparently doesn’t hide much from his readers, but he has been circumspect about his newfound profession in the culinary arts. In the last year, Fried has moved out to the San Francisco Bay Area and has been working as a mashgiach and cook at The Kitchen Table, the only kosher fine dining establishment in Northern California. He has decided that it is time to let his readers peak through the kitchen door, and he has chosen to share with the Jew and the Carrot the recipe to his newfound happiness and success as a cook.
It’s been a busy few months for Shimon Cohen, who heads the lobbying organization Shechita UK. It is his task to advocate for consumers of kosher meat in Great Britain and battle against what he calls “an assault” on kosher slaughter by animal welfare organizations and their allies in the British media.
It all began with McDonald’s. The fast food chain became the target of a campaign by British groups who object to the methods of slaughter that result in kosher meat for Jews and halal meat for Muslims, claiming that the techniques are crueler than conventional methods of slaughter, in which animals are rendered unconscious before they are killed.
Between 1941 and the 1970s the majority of Iraq’s Jewish population faced institutionalized violence and persecution in their homeland, forcing them to flee. Today, only a handful of Jews remain in Iraq, down from an estimated 150,000 in 1948. For the Iraqi Jews who sought refuge in Israel (some sources say up to 90%), their food is their remaining legacy. Dishes like meat stuffed dumplings called kubbeh are their lifeline to a country they cannot return to, and recipes are carefully passed down through the generations to preserve their heritage.
Iraqi food has been incorporated into the Israeli zeitgeist and has become an integral part of the patchwork that is developing into Israeli cuisine. Kubbeh (also spelled kubba and kibba), and in particular the hearty soup known as marak kubbeh, is one of the dishes that is most beloved and recognized by Israelis of all ethnic backgrounds. Sometimes fried and served as an appetizer, they are more commonly simmered in broth and served as a hearty, comforting stew – something of a step-sibling to the lighter, Ashkenazi matzo ball soup, and closely related to fried Syrian kibbe. Although served year round, there’s no better time than the cold months of winter to enjoy a steaming bowl of this robust, tangy soup.
“So long as Kosher consumers demand cheap meat, and a lot of it, the big slaughterhouses and packing plants will continue to churn it out as quickly and inexpensively as possible.” – Sue Fishkoff, “Kosher Nation: Why More and More of America’s Food Answers to a Higher Authority”
Four “meat-makers” at the Hazon East Coast Food Conference, held this past weekend, who spoke at the session “Pleased to Meat You: The Story of the Sustainable Meat Revolution,” are working hard to change that. Motivated by religious imperatives and their own personal food philosophies they share a common goal: to guarantee that the meat they distribute has been treated in the most natural way possible (organic and local feed, no hormones or antibiotics), has a small ecological footprint and is ritually slaughtered according to tradition.
“Goats are the Jews of the animal kingdom,” Aitan Mizrahi told a group at the Hazon Food Conference on Friday morning. The workshop participants, gathered in the warm, cream-scented air of a small industrial kitchen at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, immediately picked up on the tongue-in-cheek theme: They wander, they are intelligent, and they are stiff-necked, they said. And, Mizrahi pointed out, “They enjoy to be in a minyan and they also enjoy to go off on their own and shmooze.”
So the gentle and friendly milk-producers make a perfect fit for Freedman, an eco-conscious retreat space in the Berkshires.
During the session, Mizrahi described how the annex of the center’s staff housing where farming fellows make fermented delicacies, called the Cultural Center, turns goat milk into cheese and “goatgurt.” offering samples and sprinkling his presentation with biblical references. He and Adamah fellows Mònica Gomeryand Rachel Freyja Bedick also explained how the participants could turn their own kitchens into cultural hot spots.
Tshuvah, the Jewish idea of repentance is usually associated with Yom Kippur and atoning. But it’s actual meaning is return, an idea that Ilana Margolit, a nutritionist with a spiritual bent and Nigel Savage, the director of Hazon clarified in their Hazon East Coast Food Conference session “The Tshuvah of Feeding oneself,” this morning.
They applied the idea to food and the opportunity to use the act of eating and our food choices to return to our most pure and true. This opens up an interesting perspective when we look at our food habits. Instead of feeling guilty for eating bad foods or giving in when we have cravings, we can orient ourselves towards the experience of eating in such a way that we end up making the “healthy choices” for ourselves and not because our doctor, parent or nutritionist told us to. It is a truly liberating meal that leaves us desiring nothing.
Going to be in New York on Christmas and looking for a break from Chinese food? Eater NY gives us a list of 22 restaurants where you can enjoy a delectable meal. If you’re afraid to stray too far from the classic Chinese feast, they recommend trying Brooklyn’s Mile End Deli’s interpretation. [Eater]
‘Tis the season for brisket. It seems brisket recipes are everywhere at the moment. The Kitchn supplies us with a recipe cooked in pomegranate juice from James Peterson’s new book “Meat: A Kitchen Education.” [The Kitchn]
I am conscious of the meat, dairy and vegetables that I buy and the meals I prepare, but unfortunately, until recently I never gave a good look at how much waste my family produces. Jonathan Bloom’s new book “American Wasteland, How America Throws Away Nearly Half of its Food (and what we can do about it)” takes on the topic of food waste from various religious perspectives. Interviewing several rabbis in his book Bloom discusses the concept of bal tashchit, meaning “thou shall not destroy” but is often interpreted as “thou shall not waste.”
This idea stems from “When you lay siege to a city for a long time, do not destroy [lo tashchit] its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit.” (Deuteronomy) From this passage, the Talmudic rabbis declared a general prohibition against waste.
Recipes can be like a blind date: the ingredients sound intriguing, expectations run high but the finished product is not always as advertised. If the date doesn’t pan out, it’s one evening. But when a recipe that dirties a big pot has the nerve to fall flat?
This deserves the Yiddish thumbs-down “doss hot mayn bobes tam” (“It tastes like my grandmother used to make it”).
Sounds like a back-handed compliment, but cooks of a certain age recognize the expression as swift criticism of food short on taste or flavor.
Throughout Hanukkah donut aficionado Temim Fruchter has shared with us the best donuts from coast to coast to devour during the holiday. In case you missed any of the first seven nights, here’s a recap:
The Donut Diaries - First Night
The Donut Diaries - Second Night
The Donut Diaries – Third Night
The Donut Diaries – Fourth and Fifth Nights
The Donut Diaries – Sixth Night
The Donut Diaries – Seventh Night
And (finally) the Eight Night…
While our blogger Temim Fruchter has been on the search for the perfect Hanukkah donut, I have been hunting down an unusual and creative gourmet latke as a reprieve from classic recipes. So far this year I have sampled 14 varieties – ranging from classic to topped with braised beef, purple potato to ginger and pork belly-stuffed (yes, pork belly, more on that later) – and while my desire for fried potatoes has been satisfied twice over, my appetite for a truly intriguing latke has only barely been whetted.
Innovation in the arena of latkes seems to go one of two ways. Either the cook dresses the latke, as New York Times columnist Melissa Clark proposes in a recent Dining section article, or the cook remakes the latke by adding ingredients or seasoning the of the potato.
Cross-posted from Saveur.
Last Sunday, my friends Anna and Naf deep-fried a turkey in their Brooklyn backyard. I’ll admit that I balked when the invite came – with Thanksgiving and its parade of leftovers still fresh in my digestive memory, I really wasn’t craving more turkey. But my friends had chosen this particular Sunday because it was the fifth night of Hanukkah – and by the fifth night of a holiday culinarily dedicated to fried foods, it seemed only fitting to graduate beyond the world of fried potato pancakes and doughnuts to something larger. Or as Naf put it, “latkes are for kids.” Deep fried turkey, on the other hand, is serious business.
Read more at Saveur.com.
Each night of Hanukkah, donut blogger and connoisseur Temim Fruchter shares with us one of America’s best donuts to devour during the holiday. In case you missed yesterday’s New York City donuttery Bombolini read the post here and check back each day for a different city’s top donut.
What is blissfully Technicolor, rooster-themed and open 24 hours a day? The Donut Whole, in none other than Wichita, KS. No sooner had I walked in than this became one of my favorite donut shops in the country. The shop is a cheerful alcove of vintage jukeboxes and decor, bright colors and serves one of the largest varieties of flavorful cake donuts I’ve ever experienced. While you wait in line, you can explore the shop’s impressive-if-wacky fake rooster collection and watch as the person behind the counter navigates one of the dozen or so impressively stacked donut trays for your flavor of choice. I like my donuts lighthearted – try the Triple Chocolate Fluffernutter (peanut butter and marshmallow), the King Midas (vanilla, salted peanuts and Lyle’s golden syrup) and the PB&G (peanut butter and grape) – and love a donut place that serves up some vegan options, too! And of course, much like meal + wine pairings, some of us take our donut & caffeine quite seriously. Ordering a “large coffee” at the Donut Whole yielded me one of the biggest, strongest vats of coffee I’ve ever consumed alongside a Homer J (mixed berries and sprinkles) in my entire life. And I didn’t regret if for a second.
Hanukkah relevance: One of the best donut places to both have a holiday-appropriate snack and to burn the midnight oil, as it were. Plus, the décor matches your Hanukkah candles, I guarantee it.
As we kindle the Hanukkah lights, eat greasy foods, and exchange presents with loved ones during this season, it is sometimes easy to forget about how powerless the Jews must have felt prior to their victory in the Hanukkah story – regardless of which version of the story you believe. In our present day Jewish discussions of food issues, rarely do we consider power as the primary lens by which to judge the food system. Yet, many of the most persistent and pervasive challenges to a sustainable, healthy and equitable food system exist because of the consolidation of power.
While the United States has anti-trust laws intended to reduce monopolies in the marketplace, these laws have rarely been enforced when it comes to agriculture, allowing companies to dominate an unfair market. For the first time in decades – after years of complaints and advocacy by farmers and groups like the National Family Farm Coalition – the Department of Justice, in conjunction with USDA, is investigating whether US anti-trust laws are being violated by the agriculture sector.
One of my most cherished childhood memories is Christmas Eve at my aunt Carmenza´s house. There, among family and friends, she would produce an endless parade of the traditional Colombian dishes for the holiday. Chief among them, were delicious, golden, crispy buñuelos, savory deep-fried balls of heavy cheese dough, often served as a snack or as part of dessert on Christmas Eve.
Buñuelos were then for me, as they still are for most Catholic Colombians, the quintessential flavor of Christmas. So strong was my association of this dish with the holiday, that for many years after my conversion to Judaism I avoided eating them or making them, as a way to not celebrate Christmas.
Each night of Hanukkah, donut blogger and connoisseur Temim Fruchter shares with us one of America’s best donuts to devour during the holiday. In case you missed the fourth and fifth night donuts click here and check back each day for a different city’s top donut.
Bomboloni does not kid around. They are a serious bakery with seriously gourmet donuts – including, but not limited to, Meyer lemon, Nutella, apricot, passion fruit and fresh apple flavors. To take advantage of their six bomboloni (an Italian word for the filled pastries they peddle) for $7 deal is to feel like a curator, assembling the perfect collection. Will it be Valrhona chocolate and vanilla bean or Nutella and honey? Every donut in this place is a qualified Hanukkah candidate and their gelato’s not too shabby, either.
Hanukkah relevance: Must I spell it out?
Typically we celebrate the miracle of Hanukkah’s burning oil with vegetable or canola oil used for frying latkes and sufganiyot but there are other oils with stronger flavors worth exploring in non-fried treats in the spirit of the holiday. Argan nuts, which produce a very rich oil with the flavor of roasted almond, sesame and walnut, are indigenous to Morocco and widely used in the country’s cuisine. Though in recent years — after some experimentation at Kibbutz Ketura — argan trees now also growing in Israel’s desert.
I first discovered argan oil about eight years ago in London in the Borough Market where I met Ruth Gurdjieff. She had helped start a collective of Berber women in Morocco who might otherwise have no income; they were hired to do the difficult work of extracting the argan nuts from their shells. Gurdjieff was trying to spread the word about this miraculous oil, that not only tastes delicious but is also rich in antioxidants and vitamin E — and is as useful in cooking as it is in cosmetics. I left her stall with a jar of amlou, a wonderful almond, honey and argan oil nut butter, a bottle of oil to drizzle on vegetables, and another — of the same oil (but made with unroasted nuts) to use as a skin moisturizer or hair treatment. (You can sample Josie Maran argan oil cosmetics at Sephora.)
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