About this Site

Matzah Brei with onions, tomatoes and cheese

This site grew out of a much broader research, which will culminate in the publication of a book about Jewish Food.

Most people recognize that food is an expression of culture. I believe that, if so, then we should be able to use the food as a mirror to see the culture reflected back at us. My book, and this site, will use Jewish Food as a window onto Jewish cultural history.

I use the term “Jewish Food” both broadly and narrowly.

Broadly, in that for me Jewish Food means a lot more than the typical Ashkenazic fare that many people (Americans in particular) associate with the term. I explore Jewish foods from around the world, from communities that are massive and well-known, as well as those that are more obscure and disconnected from the mainstream.

I also use the term narrowly in that I do have some fairly strict criteria as to what defines a food as a “Jewish Food.” Firstly, there are foods which are uniquely Jewish. A prime example would be matzah. If any non-Jew is eating matzah for pleasure, I’ll tell you they are nuts.

A second category of Jewish foods are those that are not unique to our community, but that differ in our version. For example, a food that the Jewish version adheres to the traditional laws of kashrut (permissible to eat) while the non-Jewish version does not.

But lastly, there are foods that are not specific to the Jewish community, are not distinctly different in their Jewish versions, but that society strongly associates with Jews. Bagels, cream cheese and lox would be a perfect example of this.

Some posts may not stick exclusively to foods that meet these criteria, but most do. And all posts look at the Jewish angle or connection in these foods.

Since this site is connected to the overall book project, the posts here tend to be shorter, highlighting interesting information I’ve come across during my research. The broader writing, making connections and developing themes, I’ll leave for the book, and/or articles I will write on the subject.

I hope you will enjoy the site, and come back frequently, sign up for updates in the sidebar, and participate in the conversation via comments. I love discussing food, almost as much as I love eating it. So pleaseĀ email me with questions, comments or any interesting information you think I’d like to hear.

Thanks for your interest in Jewish Food!

(FYI, many of the links on this site contain affiliate links. That means that if you purchase by clicking through from here, you pay the same amount, but I get a small commission from Amazon.)