Robin of Loxley and Marion Bagelle.
When I was in high school Rosh Chodesh breakfasts were the worst. Tables filled with nothing but bagels, lox and cream cheese. I prefer plain bread to bagels and I detest lox and cream cheese. I really want to know when lox and cream cheese became Jewish foods, sanctioned as the highest level of frumkeit to the point where they’re reserved for minor yom tovim such as Rosh Chodesh and Bris Millahs. Basically, any Jewish event that takes place in the morning will consist of lox and cream cheese bagels, unless the host is rich and/or conservative when they’ll actually have breakfast food such as omelettes. By 9th grade I was bringing my own breakfast to Rosh Chodesh breakfasts, until I got hold of a toaster and brought my own cheese and ketchup to make pizza bagels.
I also don’t like cholent. I understand every cholent is different and it seems to be just me, but food cooked for two days in a slow cooker seems to make the meat chewy and the whole thing somehow less than the sum of its parts. Meat is good. Potatoes are good. Barley and lentils are good. Put them all together and you get brown goop. What started off as a way for Eastern-European Jews to eat hot food on shabbos morning has become a mitzvah in of itself, cholent is a standard of frumkeit. Non-religious people just don’t get it, and for some reason, neither do I.
To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, whats the deal with gefilte fish? Why is a bunch of fish bits minced together better than a delicious piece of haddock, halibut or salmon? I don’t even mind gefilite fish, unlike cream cheese I can quite happily eat it provided it’s slathered with enough mayonnaise. It’s the chrain that gets me. I will never understand the appeal of chrain. I hate the sight of it and people eating it getting purple on their lips makes me feel sick. The absolute worst are the mixers. They take my mayonnaise and mix it with the chrain, but they always take the chrain first then take the mayo with the same spoon before passing it to me. Then I have to try and scrape the bits of mayo that aren’t suddenly purple, hoping not to get any on my fish. And who on earth is buying that traditional “Gefilte Fish in Gelled Broth” stuff? How is this still being made? Just the sight of the jelly dripping makes me feel nauseous.
I love pasta dishes. So why do I hate yerushalmi kugel so much? Maybe it’s the seasoning? The raisins? Whatever it is, I can’t stand the stuff.
Israeli dishes fare little better with me. First time I had a schwarma I was in 12th grade. I found it disgusting. Later on I discovered I hate chumus and tachina. Today I quite happily eat shwarma with just Israeli salad and fries. When I was in Israel I would always have to repeat lo chumus lo tachina because those Israelis, bless em, just didn’t believe me. Falafel sucks, but I can digest it, again only without chumus or tachina. It’s not the worse food in the world, but what’s so great about it? Give me a piece of schnitzel anyday.
I’ll eat hamentashen, but only without poppyseeds. I like them on challah, but that many poppyseeds together does nothing for me except make my employer think I’m an addict.
All of which reminds me: Moshe, if you still read my blog, I’ll be in New York end of August and I’m holding you to that meal. What part of New York is Woodmere in?
On an non-food note: My friend went on a few shidduch dates with this girl recently. This morning she told him she didn’t want to pursue it anymore… by text message. Is this a new thing? I thought proper etiquette was through a call or have the shadchun relay it.