The Jew And The Carrot

The Independence Day Barbecue, More Than an American Tradition

By Katherine Martinelli

Elion Paz

In the U.S., the Fourth of July signals the start of grilling season and means beer, barbecue, and fireworks. Although it’s celebrated two months earlier and halfway around the world, Israeli Independence Day, or Yom Ha’atzmaut, which starts tonight at sunset, is commemorated in much the same way but with its own Israeli spin. In Israel, summer begins in May, and barbecue, or mangal, is the national culinary and even cultural obsession.

The word mangal derives from Arabic slang meaning ‘grill,’ and the concept was probably brought to Israel by the Turks during the Ottoman Empire. Israeli food writer and editor Janna Gur notes that grilled meat, kebabs, and fish were popular in Arab restaurants in the 1960s, and soon Israel’s earliest five-star hotels were opening grillrooms to serve the country’s elite.

Since then, the idea of mangal has become democratized, and practically every Israeli irrespective of cultural background, religion, or ethnicity loves a good barbecue. “What Israelis love most is to make their own barbecues… they have become the country’s leading participant sport, taking place in the backyard, on the balcony, on the beach or on a picnic,” writes Gur in her seminal “The Book of New Israeli Food”.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Mangal, Janna Gur, Israel Independence Day, Elion Paz, Chicken Wings, Barbeque, Yom Ha'atzmaut

From BBQ to Latkes, Jews Cook-Off at Shuls Across the Country

By Renee Ghert-Zand

Amy Eichenwald Golding
Winner of this year’s junior category at the New Shul’s Golden Schmaltz Award.

It’s not uncommon, while hanging out by the food table at a synagogue Kiddush, to overhear one member boasting to another about the superiority of a particular family recipe — brisket, apple cake, or other. But at some congregations, this culinary kvelling is taken to a whole other level in the form of competitive cook-offs and bake-offs, in which shul-goers cum amateur chefs vie for the top prize (and recipe bragging rights).

In the case of Manhattan’s The New Shul, that prize is the Golden Schmaltz Award. The independent congregation held the fourth round of its annual cook-off this past weekend. This year’s theme, “Sweets to the Sweetest,” focused on desserts, but the cook-off tradition began with the “Battle of the Briskets” in 2007, after one member got tired of hearing another constantly lauding his brisket recipe and was confident that his own was tastier. “Basically, he told him — in a good natured way — to ‘put your money where your mouth is,’” executive director Amy Eichenwald Golding recounted humorously.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: The New Shul, Souper Bowl, Shul Cookoff, Kosher, Golden Schmaltz Award, Chili, Barbeque




Find us on Facebook!
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • 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.