1. Matzo Ball Soup
A classic. Made from crushed up matzo (Jewish unleavened bread served on Passover) among other ingredients, matzo balls are glorious Jewish dumplings often found in chicken soup. Ranging from delicate to firm, these beauties have the power to make dreams come true.
2. Stuffed Derma
Ah, stuffed derma. Basically Jewish stuffing. Known in Yiddish as kishke, this dish consists of a stuffing enclosed in some sort of casing. In the old days, this casing was actually made of cow intestines (yum?), but now, a plastic casing is typically used instead. Phew. Stuffed derma is traditionally made with flour or matzo meal, oil, and spices. It essentially tastes like carb/fat heaven. Oh, and it’s served with gravy. The more gravy, the better.
Latkes are shredded potatoes fashioned into adorable, little disks and then fried. They are traditionally eaten on Hanukkah, but can (and should) be eaten whenever possible. Latkes can be served plain or with apple sauce, sour cream, or a little sugar sprinkled on top. No matter how you take your latkes, they are guaranteed to be magical.
OH, and there are tons of spins on the classic latke. We’re talkin sweet potato latkes, apple latkes, curried latkes, YOU NAME IT.
4. Tongue Sandwich
Tongue? You heard me. Unknown to many, tongue is the king of deli meats. A powerful, yet just ruler. Tongue has a slightly salty taste that brings you right back for more. Put it on some rye bread and you’re set.
And yes, that is stuffed derma in the background. Gimme.
Go to a Jewish deli. Prepare yourself for awesomeness.
Sugary, buttery goodness. Rugelach are Jewish pastries made with cream cheese dough wrapped around a sweet filling, like chocolate or jam. Then, these crescent shaped cookies are baked to perfection. SUCH BEAUTY.
JEWISH CREPE ALERT. Blintzes consist of a thin pancake stuffed with a savory or sweet filling and then fried. What could be bad? There are fruit blintzes, meat blintzes, potato blintzes, and the Beyoncé of blintzes, the cheese blintz. This blintz is filled with the a sweet, creamy cheese filling. Think cheese danish meets crepe meets Jewish.
7. Kasha Varnishkes
Kasha varnishkes are the ultimate side dish, made from a combination of kasha (buckwheat groats) and bow-tie noodles that is then fried and mixed with salt, pepper, and sautéed onion. It’s like pasta and rice had a baby and that baby had a bar-mitzvah.
8. Noodle Kugel
Is it a dessert? Is it a side dish? What IS it? Answer: Incredible. That’s what it is. Noodles baked with sweet cheese, rainbows, and smiles. It’s the noodle version of cheese blintzes. And there is NOTHING wrong about noodles.
Recipe here: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/makeover-sweet-kugel
9. Stuffed Cabbage
There are many types of stuffed cabbage. Polish stuffed cabbage, Hungarian stuffed cabbage, you name it. Here’s what you need to know. Imagine a sweet and sour meatball (a meatball in a tangy tomato sauce). Now imagine a GIANT sweet and sour meatball. Now wrap it in cabbage, douse it in mouth-watering sauce, and enjoy.
TIP: Get some challah bread (a subtly sweet Jewish bread) to mop up all of the extra sauce. Trust me.
10. Bagel with Cream Cheese and Lox
The holy grail of Jewish foods. Lox is another name for smoked salmon and it adds the perfect amount of saltiness to your everyday bagel and cream cheese. Add some onion or tomato if you’re daring… and some scallion cream cheese never hurt nobody.
Go to the nearest bagel shop or diner AS SOON AS YOU CAN. It’s urgent.