A pancake-like structure not to be confused with anything the
House of Pancakes would put out. In a Latka, the oil is in the
pancake. It is made with potatoes, onions, eggs and matzo meal.
Latkas can be eaten with apple sauce but NEVER with maple syrup.
There is a rumor that in the time of the Maccabees they lit a
Latka by mistake and it burned for eight days. What is certain
is you will have heartburn for the same amount of time.
The Egyptians' revenge for leaving slavery. It consists of a
simple mix of flour and water - no eggs or flavor at all. When
made well, it could actually taste like cardboard. Its redeeming
value is that it does fill you up and stays with you for a long
time. However, it is recommended that you eat a few prunes soon
This is one of the little-known delicacies, which is even more
difficult to pronounce than to cook. It has nothing to do with
varnish, but is basically a mixture of buckwheat and bow tie
macaroni (noodles). Why a bow tie? Many sages discussed this and
agreed that some Jewish mother decided that, "You can't come to
the table without a tie'' or, 'Heaven forbid,' an elbow on my
It sounds worse than it tastes. There is a rabbinical debate on
its origins: One Rabbi claims it began when a fortune cookie
fell into his chicken soup. The other claims it started in an
Italian restaurant. Either way it can be soft, hard, or soggy
and the amount of meat inside depends on whether it is your
mother or your mother-in-law who cooked it.
This combination of noxious gases had been the secret weapon of
Jews for centuries. The unique combination of beans, barley,
potatoes, and bones or meat is meant to stick to your ribs and
anything else it comes into contact with. At a fancy Mexican
restaurant (kosher, of course) I once heard this comment from a
youngster who had just had his first taste of Mexican fried
beans: ''What! Do they serve leftover cholent here too?" My wife
once tried something unusual for guests: She made cholent
burgers for Sunday night supper. The guests never came back.
A few years ago, I had problems with my filter in my fishpond
and a few of them got rather stuck and mangled. My son looked at
them and commented ''Is that why we call it 'Ge Filtered
Fish'?'' Originally, it was a carp stuffed with a minced fish
and vegetable mixture. Today it usually comprises of small fish
balls eaten with horseradish which is judged on its relative
strength in bringing tears to your eye at 100 paces.
How can we finish without the quintessential Jewish Food, the
bagel? Like most foods, there are legends surrounding the bagel
although I don't know any. There have been persistent rumors
that the inventors of the bagel were the Norwegians who couldn't
get anyone to buy smoked lox. Think about it: Can you picture
yourself eating lox on white bread? Rye? A cracker? Naaa. They
looked for something hard and almost indigestible which could
take the spread of cream cheese and which doesn't take up too
much room on the plate.
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