If I were to go to a Jewish food festival, what would I expect?

I’m just spitballing here, and don’t really know what I’m talking about, so forgive any broad generalizations/cultural insensitivities/moronic questions, please.

A fellow Doper emailed me today about a Jewish food festival coming up in our hometown. It sounds interesting, but it got me thinking: what kind of food would I expect to be served there?

Oh, I know it’ll be kosher. Given. But is there really a “Jewish cuisine” that sort of cuts across all Jewish populations?

My ignorance of this subject is staggering.

I guess what I’m asking is, would I expect what I assume is European-derived kosher food (matzoh, challah, gefilte, etc.)? Or might I expect more Middle-Eastern-derived kosher food? Or something else?

Would it really depend on where the folks who are throwing the shindig are from? Are there any bog-standard dishes I would expect, no matter where they’re from?

The “festival” tag means you will probably be treated to a wide variety of ethnic food from around the world. Jews have settled everywhere, and they have adapted their dietary restrictions to fit local conditions and foods. You are right in thinking that the only thing you can be sure of is that there won’t be any bacon cheeseburgers served!

Unless the cheese is this and the “bacon” is “breakfast beef” a.k.a. “Beef Frye”.

(Don’t know if they make it anymore, but best name for a soy cheese product ever: Pareve-cheesi)

Not necessarily. It might just be kosher style.

In other words, don’t expect to find pork or shrimp cocktail there (though some kosher style places have added pork or bacon to their menus, so who knows), but the meat might not all be kosher.

I’d expect a bit of both.

Yes, it would depend on where the folks throwing it are from.

I’d be surprised to go to a Jewish food festival anywhere in the US and not find bagels of some sort.

Or the patty could be a veggie burger and the bacon could be Morningstar Farms. I’ve made veggie bacon cheeseburgers that way before.

True, but given the choice of real-cheese/fake-meat and real-meat/fake-cheese, I know which one I’d prefer personally. :slight_smile:

If it really is a kosher event, it will either be all meat or all dairy.

I’m whitebread Ashkenazi myself, but IMO Sepharadim have the best foods. Especially Persians. If there’s Persian food, you’re in luck.

I went to one of the Jewish Food Festivals in Little Rock.
Falafel, humus and cabbage stuffed with ground beef in a tomato sweet and sour sauce.
There was brisket. Lox and cream cheese on bagels. They had to order more bagels a couple of times. :slight_smile:
Beef and dairy at the same place, but not sold from the same stall.
One of the guys who was apparently very Orthodox insisted on having his falafel right out of the pot. Mrs. Plant and I wondered if he believed it kept it Kosher under the circumstances.

No, just fresher. You should always prefer falafel that’s fried on the spot.

It’s possible that they were setting it next to something that wasn’t kosher, and that was his concern. I think fresher is the more likely explanation, though.

It was three feet from the pot to the serving area. We couldn’t cook it fast enough. Perhaps he didn’t realize that, though.

We were serving it with Jerusalem salad. Think I’ll make some tonight. Cucumbers chopped up with tomatoes and parsley, a little mint. Yum.

The ones in my town typically have on the menu: brisket, chopped liver, pastrami, latkes, knishes, kishkes, chicken soup. Maybe some others, but those are the things I typically buy.

Another place in town recently did a sampler with a much larger selection of goodies, too many to name. Their setup was a little different, though. You paid for your ticket, and you were entitled to get a small sampling of about five different entries for each course, after which you would vote on your favorite. I hope they do it again this year.

If they have desserts try the hamantashen (thick pastry with jam), babka (a sort of cake with chocolate) and rugalach (pastry with chocolate, nuts or jam).


If I were to go to a Jewish food festival, what would I expect?

A lot of kvetching?

Technically, most cultures have a meat-and-potatoes or protein/starch combo

[foodie digression on:

Burritos = Blintzes = Crepes = Pierogis = Gyoza = Egg Roll = Wrap

foodie digression off:]

so you wouldn’t see a lot of differences IMHO…but…you cannot, I mean cannot beat
REAL Kosher Pastrami served on rye with just a shmear of mustard.

Wait…There IS Gefilte Fish. I can only take it and chopped liver during Passover. Otherwise, I just pass it by on the shelves.


Dear G-d I hate gefilte fish. It is literally yht cheapest fish at the market.

Ah, but latkes!

He was funny, sure, but I really liked Reverend Jim.

You lost me on that one, NoClue.

TV show Taxi. Character Latka (Andy Kaufman)

Saw you in the thread and just had to pop in!

What are the vegetable things, carrot and potato I believe, stuffed into lamb intestines at Reuben’s and what is that wonderful sauce that goes with them?