From Time Magazine: The Kugel Conundrum
I’m not sure how to say this without offending anybody. So I’m going to just blurt it out. Jewish food is awful. I say this with all respect. I’m Jewish myself â€” Joel Stein is practically a WASP next to me. But the fact has to be faced. And the question asked, isn’t there a way out of our culinary wandering in the desert?
Blasphemy I say!
“Jewish Food” (I assume he means traditional Eastern European Jewish dishes) are far from awful. In fact it’s the complete opposite. They’re rich and wonderful!
My grandmothers, mother, aunts, siblings and cousins would all tend to disagree with the author.
Sure, maybe the traditional Jewish foods aren’t anything fancy and don’t incorporate any new culinary trends, like “fusion cusine” or “molecular gastronomy”. come to mind. But what the author is missing is that there’s more to just taste to the dishes (which still taste fabulous) there’s tradition tied to them too. There’s a reason these dishes have become the staples of Jewish cuisine. They by and large also represent many of our ancestors [Eastern European] origins.
Sure, if you buy one of those off the shelf kugel or matzo ball mixes you may be disappointed (if not shocked at the amount of sodium present)–but try a traditionally cooked meal.
American Jews of my generation grew up eating: dry and flavorless brisket, cooked in a salty fluid of Campbell’s beef broth and Lipton onion soup mix.
I had never to this point in time heard of people making Brisket (yummy!) with Lipton onion soup mix and cambell’s broth. Much to the contrary, I’ve been at meals where people were sharing their own custom brisket recipes. [Note to self: make brisket some time soon].
Has the author never had a good cholent? Tried home made Gefilta Fish or chicken soup? Some fresh chopped liver on a home baked slice of challah.
While Eastern European cuisine may not necessarily be the ‘in thing” right now–it’s still got it’s own place in the culinary cornucopia.
Perhaps I have an “unrefined palate” as I don’t dine out much (if at all)–but I for one, still find “Jewish Food” to be very tasty.