Due to Jewish people’s extensive history and diaspora from Israel, Jewish food has become an odd collection of dishes ranging from unique forms of meat to creative desserts. And yet when one pictures Jewish food, one usually just thinks about bagels and lox.
Jewish food typically is represented by holiday meals, such as Passover and Hanukkah, which observe particular rules of the Torah. Here are some of the more traditional dishes:
Gefilte Fish [Ga-fil-ta Fish]
Gefilte fish was created to obey the laws of the Sabbath which states that no bones may be broken or removed. These pale blobs are the equivalent of fish meatballs and taste similar to how they appear. However, some people have an acquired taste for gefilte and can especially enjoy them when served with some fresh vegetables. If you are curious, you should try one of these at the next Jewish holiday.
Kugel is a paradoxical dish somewhere between mac ‘n cheese and dessert. It can be translated as “bread pudding,” but it’s more of a layered pasta dish that contains lots of butter, cheese and cinnamon. In general, people are divided on whether they like this food. Some people think it is one of the best baked pasta dishes, and others are just confused when they taste this unique creation.
Matzah Ball Soup
Matzah ball soup saves Jewish food’s reputation. It can be described as the ultimate comfort food. The silky soft balls soak up the hearty chicken broth and the result is magical. You may not think that you would normally crave a big sponge like ball soaking up broth, but you will.
Liver is indeed a classic Jewish food. But for those who did not grow up on it, it seems to be a very hard taste to acquire. Liver is difficult to describe, but it is generally very bold and bitter. Liver is usually cooked with some schmaltz (chicken fat) and some egg to make it richer and creamier.
These Jewish cookies come in all sorts of shapes and sizes but usually contain different nuts, fruits or chocolate. They are the perfect crescent rolled pastries that are super easy to personalize to your liking. Be sure to end any Jewish meal with some of these.
Ultimately, Jewish food is a unique experience, and there will be always be a mix of comforting and discomforting foods. In Israel, there is a middle eastern twist including foods such as falafels, hummus, and eggplants, while in the United States, items like brisket and roasted chicken are often served at holiday meals. Unlike other ethnic and regional cuisines, each Jewish family has their own traditions and defines Jewish food in an individualized way.