The debate over the smoked meat of Montreal and the pastrami of New York continues to elicit strong opinions, with ardent supporters on each side. A quick search on Google reveals numerous magazine articles and blog posts comparing the two. However, I should mention from the outset that I’m not here to do that or say which one is better. I’ve never eaten pastrami (I do intend to rectify that on my next visit to New York) so a comparison of the two isn’t possible.
When you choose to purchase a jar of peanut butter with a hecksher on it or kosher chicken, you become one of the final elements in the long journey that the particular foodstuff undertook in order to be certified as kosher. It can be easy to take this process for granted when you are receiving these things in their final form, yet Kosher Nation by Sue Fishkoff highlights this process and provides an in depth look at the modern kosher food industry in the United States.
My inspiration for the dishes I write about on Eating Jewish come from a variety of places that range from the numerous cookbooks that I have around my apartment, articles concerning Jewish food in newspapers and magazines, or simply the ingredients that I happen to have on hand at the moment. However, for this dish my inspiration came from my own academic work concerning the Moroccan Jewish community of Montreal.
If I had to choose one word to describe the last few weeks it would, without a doubt, be indulgence. Between my birthday celebrations and holiday celebrations, I’ve done quite a lot of feasting. Friends and family have fed me delicious meals and I’ve also had the opportunity to cook some fabulous food as well. Yet, as good as it all was, when thinking about what to make for dinner one night last week all I wanted was something healthy (some vegetables, please) but that was also hearty.
A quick read through the food sections of many newspapers and you’ll find a multitude of articles suggesting what to make for holiday (read, Christmas) meals. On the other hand, a read through Jewish newspapers, magazines and blogs leads one to find articles discussing the relationship between Jews and Chinese food that has long defined Christmas for many in the community.
I’ve never been particularly offended by the various cultural stereotypes of Jewish women that portray us being zaftig, food-loving mamalehs-in-the-making; as someone who falls perfectly within the parameters of this description, I tend to favor anything that lends legitimacy to my, uh, lovely lady lumps. But when it comes to Jewish women’s body image, there may be a darker reality lurking out of the sight of stereotypes.
I can’t cook much beyond macaroni and cheese (I’m learning!), but I love a good cooking show. In fact, on nights that aren’t Wednesdays, it’s likely I’ll mention at least once that I wish “Top Chef” were on every evening; I love all iterations of it, including “Just Desserts,” “All-Stars,” and even the subpar “Masters.”
Once you’ve read this post, get to the kitchen and make this recipe because these leek patties are delicious. I even think that these might be one of my favorite recipes I’ve made for the blog so far. They’re satisfying and comforting, in the way that dishes with potatoes in them usually are, and the perfect thing to eat at his time of year when it’s getting colder outside. They are ideal Hanukkah fare but I also know that this recipe will make a recurring appearance in my kitchen throughout the rest of the year as well.
Any excuse to eat fried foods is a good thing in my books. Fried foods are my weakness, something I just can’t help myself from eating despite knowing that the outcome will usually involve an unhappy stomach and a lot of sparkling water to try to make myself feel better. If there’s anything fried on a restaurant menu, you can almost be certain that I’ll order it and I’m of the opinion that most things taste better after having been cooked in some hot oil until they are golden and crisp.