Growing up in a Jewish household, I was blessed to indulge in delicious foods at every holiday. Whether it was my dad's delicious homemade hummus on Passover or my grandmother's brisket on Hanukkah, my tummy has been satisfied as long as I can remember. Many people know about the traditional Jewish foods like Matzah Ball soup, but there are way more dishes that everyone should know about. Here are just 15 Jewish eats you should try at least once in your life.

1. Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a staple cuisine traditionally served in a cast iron pan with bread to mop up the tomato sauce. The dish contains poached or baked eggs in a sauce with tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, cumin, and whatever else your heart desires.

Shakshuka was brought to Israel by the Tunisian and Libyan Jews as part of the Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim lands, where it became part of the culture due to Israel's African Jew population. 

2. Latkes

Often served on Hanukkah, latkes are essentially fried potato pancakes topped with anything from sour cream to applesauce. The tradition of the latke is focused on the oil rather than the potato. It symbolizes the miracle of Hanukkah when one night's oil lasted for eight nights thousands of years ago.

3. Bagels and Lox

It doesn't get much better than waking up on a Sunday morning or breaking a long Yom Kippur fast with lox piled high on a bagel. Traditionally, lox is served with cream cheese and garnished with tomato, red onion, cucumbers, and capers. 

4. Gefilte Fish

Passover Seder 5771 - Gefilte Fish

Edsel L on Flickr

Gefilte fish is one of those foods that your cousin dares you to try every year on Passover. Although I'm not too fond of this traditional Jewish food, white fish lovers can rejoice while noshing on this appetizer.

In the Torah, it uses the word "blessing" three times with the first regarding the creation of fish. When a person eats fish on Shabbat, he or she is the beneficiary of a triple blessing.

5. Matzah Brei

Matzah Brei is eaten during Passover, a time when Jews aren't supposed to eat leavened bread. It's a good substitute for those who enjoy their eggs paired with toast for breakfast. The dry matzah is broken into pieces, softened in water or milk, mixed with eggs, and fried. 

6. Babka

The sweet cake known as Babka is made from a dough that is doubled and twisted, and typically rises pretty high thanks to yeast. Babka is filled with cinnamon and/or chocolate, which makes a marble pattern when sliced. Although originally from eastern Europe, you may remember the dessert on Seinfeld's "The Dinner Party" episode. 

7. Knish

What's better than baked or fried dough stuffed with your choice of potato, meat, or cheese? Not much. If you haven't tried this dish already, I recommend sinking your teeth into this treat from either Katz's Deli or Ben's Deli in NYC. 

Eastern European immigrants who arrived around 1900 brought knishes to America. In the 2000s, the United States underwent a knish renaissance driven by specialty stores such as the Knish Shop in Baltimore, Maryland and My Mother's Knish in Westlake Village, California.

8. Kugel

The traditional Jewish food called Kugel is baked as a casserole or pudding with its main ingredients, noodles and potato. Kugel is served as part of festive meals in Ashkenazi Jewish homes. In particular, it's eaten on the Shabbat and other holidays. 

While noodle kugel and potato kugel dishes are served at holiday meals, matzo kugel is a common alternative served at Passover seders. 

9. Matzah Ball Soup

Matzah Ball Soup: the cure to almost any sickness. It includes fluffy dumpling-like balls in a chicken or vegetable broth. Often, there are some added veggies for maximum flavor. In 2010, the world's largest matzah ball was made by Chef Jon Wirtis of Shlomo and Vito’s New York Delicatessen, weighing in at 426 pounds. I'm pretty confident I could eat at least half of it, you?

10. Jewish-Style Fried Artichoke

My experience with Jewish-style fried artichoke started during my trip to the Jewish quarter in Rome, the city where it originated. Since then, I've been obsessed. 

The artichokes are seasoned with lemon juice, salt, and pepper and deep fried in olive oil. The finishing touch is the sprinkling of a little cold water on the artichokes to crisp them up. The finished product is a little golden sunflower with leaves of crunchiness. 

11. Hamantaschen

Along with the Jewish holiday Purim comes a delicious cookie filled with a jelly center. The triangular shape symbolizes a hat that belonged to the villain Haman in the story of Purim.  

12. Pastrami Sandwich

Although I'm not a fan of pastrami, I hear my fellow Jews raving about the meat when talking about our favorite traditional Jewish foods. Pastrami sandwiches have been around as long as Jewish immigrants came to the US but were made famous by Katz's Deli.

13. Challah


grongar on Flickr

Challah is a special Jewish bread that's usually braided and eaten on occasions such as Shabbat and other major Jewish holidays. Many college campuses have a student organization called "Challah for Hunger" where volunteers and members bake challah and give it to those in need. 

14. Blintz

Blintzes are basically everything yummy rolled up in a flat pancake. The Jewish version of blintzes are filled with chocolate, mushrooms, meat, rice, or mashed potatoes and cheese.

Although they're not part of any specific religious event in the Jewish religion, blintzes that are stuffed with a cheese filling and fried in oil are served on holidays such as Hanukkah in order to symbolize the story.

15. Pita and Hummus

Chickpeas are blended to a creamy consistency to create one of the tastiest dips on earth—hummus. There's just really nothing like hummus on a warm pita as a snack or small meal. The food is eaten almost everywhere throughout the Middle East and became extremely popular in America during the new millennium. 

So if you don't know, now you know. Go ahead and try and of these traditional Jewish foods. Whether it be fried artichoke, kugel, or babka, you can't go wrong.