Category Archives: The Jewish Omnivore

The Jewish Omnivore – Gefilte Fish

gefilte-fish

Yep, we’re talkin’ the dreaded Gefilte fish.  Perhaps the most disgusting thing on the entire Jewish Omnivore list.  It’s such a staple though that you simply must try it, even just once.

Chabad.org describes it as “fish prepared in a certain manner, a dish traditionally enjoyed by Ashkenazi Jews on Shabbat and Jewish holidays”. The word “enjoyed” is used extremely loosely here, as I have yet to meet a single person who has ever said “man, I could really go for some Gefilte fish!”.

Basically what you have is ground up fish (usually pike, carp or whitefish) mixed with spices, carrots, onions and some egg (to hold it all together). Most people don’t bother with cooking it, since it’s a serious pain in the ass to prepare. Instead they go for one of the lovely bottles pictured above. Ground up fish in “jelled broth”. Tastes about as good as it sounds.

Don’t forget to get (or make) some strong horseradish to go with it because 1) it masks the disgustingness and 2) horseradish is awesome.  Feel free to wash it down with some awful Manischweitz too complete this culinary nightmare.

If you’re up for a challenge, here’s a solid recipe put together by Wolfgang Puck:

1 head (about 2 1/2 pounds) green cabbage
1/2 cup matzoh meal
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium (5 ounces) onion, minced
2 pounds whitefish fillets, such as pike, carp, or whitefish, cut into chunks
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons (6 or 7 sprigs) chopped fresh tarragon leaves
2 to 3 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 quart fish stock
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into julienne
1 medium leek, white part only, cut into julienne

Recipe props: Food Channel

Posted in Food, The Jewish Omnivore.

The Jewish Omnivore – Manischewitz Kosher Wine

Manischewitz-Kosher-Wine

When it comes to Jewish food, it can’t all be good. Such is the case with our Passover Seder staple – Manischewitz Kosher Wine.  I’d love to say that this is “the good stuff”, but that’d be a big ol’ fib.

Here’s the thing.  I drink a lot of wine.  I’ve tried hundreds of different vineyards over the years and there’s just nothing good to say about Manischewitz.  It’s like drinking grape juice that has somehow gone months past its “sell by” date.  It manages to be head snappingly sweet with a mouth puckering aftertaste that makes you want to knock old ladies over to get to a glass of water.

So if it’s really that awful, why does it make on the list?  Because it is an absolute staple.  For most Jewish kids, their first taste of wine is at the Passover Seder, where you drink four glasses over the course of the meal (most people just take sips when the Haggadah instructs them to do so, but I do love my wine).  As such, it was the first booze that ever put me under the table.  Dad, who always led the Seder, seemed to find it far less humorous than the rest of the family.  Let’s just say that asking a kid who’s hopped up on kosher wine to open the door for Elijah can have some unpredictable results and leave it at that.

So yes, it makes the list.

Posted in The Jewish Omnivore.