“So how do you Jew?” begins this article on Jewish identity through food.
I am from a Jewish family but I… don’t. I don’t do any of it. I don’t keep kosher or Shabbos or go to shul, ever. I don’t believe in any god… not that THAT is required to be a proper Jew. But being a practitioner of a religious ritual regimen makes even less sense than otherwise, as an atheist.
All that said, from time to time, I get to jonesing for some of the food. And I must be specific: the Jewish food I crave is the food of my own family’s ancestry. Eastern European and Russian. There’s plenty of “Jewish food” from North Africa, or South Asia, or Spain, that my bubbie would not have recognized as Jewish. She might not even have recognized it as food. So that’s not what we’re talking about here. What, then, are we talking about?
Chocolate babka. Honeycake. Bagels with cream cheese and lox. Apple struedel. Challah. Potato latkes. Pickled herring in cream sauce. Chopped liver. Kasha varnishkes. Hot pastrami on rye bread. Borscht with sour cream.
Boiled chicken with red horseradish. That’s what we’re talking about.
I had the craving this past weekend and we went a little nuts at the local kosher bakery, then again at Wegmans.
If any of this has your interest piqued, hit me up; we’ll swap recipes.