Martha Stewart Does Jewish Food
A pancake-like structure not to be confused with anything the House of
Pancakes would put out. In a latka, the oil is in the pancake. It is made
with potatoes, onions, eggs and matzo meal. Latkas can be eatenwith apple
sauce but NEVER with maple syrup. There is a rumor that in the time of the
Maccabees they lit a latka by mistake and it burned for eight days. What is
certain is you will have heart burn for the same amount of time.
The Egyptians' revenge for leaving slavery. It consists of a simple mix
of flour and water - no eggs or flavor at all. When made well, it could
actually taste like cardboard. Its redeeming value is that it does fill you
up and stays with you for a long time. However, it is recommended that you
eat a few prunes soon after.
One of the little-known delicacies which is even more difficult to
pronounce than to cook. It has nothing to do with Varnish, but is basically
a mixture of buckwheat and bow-tie macaroni (noodles). Why a bow-tie? Many
sages discussed this and agreed that some Jewish mother decided that "You
can't come to the table without a tie" or, God forbid "An elbow on my table?"
Not to be confused with the German war machine. Can you imagine the N.J.
Post 1939 headlines: "Germans drop tons of cheese and blueberry blintzes
over Poland - shortage of sour cream expected." Basically this is the
Jewish answer to crepe Suzette.
You know from Haggis? Well, this ain't it . In the old days they would
take an intestine and stuff it . Today we use parchment paper or plastic.
And what do you stuff it with? Carrots, celery, onions, flour, and spices.
But the trick is not to cook it alone but to add it to the cholent (see
below) and let it cook for 24 hours until there is no chance whatsoever
that there is any nutritional value left.
It sounds worse than it tastes. There is a Rabbinical debate on its origins:
One Rabbi claims it began when a fortune cookie fell into his chicken soup.
The other claims it started in an Italian restaurant. Either way it can be
soft, hard, or soggy and the amount of meat inside depends on whether it is
your mother or your mother-in-law who cooked it.
This combination of noxious gases had been the secret weapon of Jews for
centuries. The unique combination of beans, barley, potatoes, and bones or
meat is meant to stick to your ribs and anything else it comes into contact
with. At a fancy Mexican restaurant (kosher of course) I once heard this
comment from a youngster who had just had his first taste of Mexican fried
beans: "What! Do they serve leftover cholent here too?!" My wife once tried
something unusual for guests: She made cholent burgers for Sunday night
supper. The guests never came back.
A few years ago, I had problems with my filter in my fish pond and a few
of them got rather stuck and mangled. My son (5 years old) looked at them
and commented "Is that why we call it 'Ge Filtered Fish'?" Originally, it
was a carp stuffed with a minced fish and vegetable mixture. Today it
usually comprises of small fish balls eaten with horse radish ("chrain")
which is judged on its relative strength in bringing tears to your eyes at
How can we finish without the quintessential Jewish Food, the bagel?
Like most foods, there are legends surrounding the bagel although I don't
know any. There have been persistent rumors that the inventors of the bagel
were the Norwegians who couldn't get anyone to buy smoked lox. Think about
it: Can you picture yourself eating lox on white bread? Rye? A cracker?
Naaa. They looked for something hard and almost indigestible which could
take the spread of cream cheese and which doesn't take up too much room on
the plate. And why the hole? The truth is that many philosophers believe
the hole is the essence and the dough is only there for emphasis.