I think it’s safe to say that most of us are pretty sick of winter at this point and if you’re lucky enough to live in a place where you don’t really experience winter, I envy you. This time of year is the one I like the least because despite knowing that spring is almost here, it just can’t come soon enough. We got a small taste of spring in Montreal last week but that was just a tease and we have since fallen back into cold winter weather. Yet, the one good thing about this time of year is the abundance of citrus that’s available.
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.