Whether it be eating bagels, lox and cream cheese every Sunday morning, or feeling like a celebrity bringing your chocolate covered matzah to school during Passover, all Jews can bond over certain foods that made us who we are today. Here’s eleven foods that defined your Jewish childhood.
1. Bagels and Lox
You weren’t a true Jew unless you ate bagels and lox for every weekend breakfast (and at least one week night for dinner, if we’re being honest). Instead of eating Cocoa Puffs like a normal child, you were already choosing between ten different schmears displayed across your kitchen table.
No, I’m not talking about those French macaroons you dream about buying in a cute Parisian cafe. These are the OG macaroons (at least to us). Even though you hated cutting out flour for ten days during Passover, this sophisticated dessert beat out your friends’ fruit roll-ups and dunkaroos.
Instead of eating Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes, you dreamed about the taste of warm latkes. You were topping your latkes with a spoonful of applesauce instead of that sugary syrup you heard your friends talking about.
No Hanukkah was complete without receiving a ton of chocolate coins from your grandma. Gelt was literal gold to you. Except you were never willing to give up your gelt when playing dreidel.
5. Matzo ball soup
No list would be complete without a classic Matzo ball soup. Whenever you felt sick as a child, Matzo ball soup always seemed to be there. You never questioned it.
It’s about time matzah made it onto the list. You were so determined to beat your cousins in finding the afikomen that you momentarily forgot the prize was basically a big square of cardboard and maybe a few dollars from your uncle.
7. Gefilte Fish
We all had a love-hate relationship with gefilte fish. Well, mostly hate. But for some reason, whenever it was around you felt the urge to eat a piece. Maybe it was because all the adults seemed to enjoy it so much. Either way, you never really knew exactly what gefilte fish was. But maybe it’s best to leave that as a mystery.
Hamantaschen takes you back to the days of yelling “Boo Haman!” and waving around those obnoxious noisemakers. As a child, you didn’t really know what was going on. You just thought Purim was a Jewish Halloween, dressing up and eating sweets.
Just thinking of the smells of brisket cooking in your kitchen for four hours hits you with a waft of nostalgia. But let’s not forget, brisket is all fun and games until it’s three weeks later, and your mom is still forcing you to take leftover brisket to school when everyone else had lunchables.
As a kid, challah was basically the ruler of all breads. There was just something about that fluffy bread from your favorite Jewish bakery that got you more excited than chocolate cereal for breakfast.
11. Apples and Honey
We can all vividly remember sitting in services, counting down the minutes until we could go home and have spoonfuls of honey without getting yelled at. Apples and honey took the new year to a whole new level.