39 Comments

Wonderful writing Ruth, I appreciate you sharing your personal experience with kosher and the focus on curiousity and inspiration, that's very much how I approach food, too.

Expand full comment
author

Thanks so much, Sinù! It’s nice to know we share these traits, which I also recognize in your writing and choice of subjects. I find your neesletter a source of delight and a spur to further exploration myself!

Expand full comment

I'm honored, and likewise ❤️😘

Expand full comment
Aug 1, 2022Liked by Ruth Stroud

Always a delightful read with your newsletters and appetite inspirations! TY Ruth ❤️

Gonna have us some deli food in NY soon!

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Mindy! Can’t beat deli food in NYC (or any other food for that matter!). 💕

Expand full comment

Another beautifully written, delicious and informative post, Ruth! Thank you!

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Jolene! 🤗

Expand full comment
Jul 28, 2022Liked by Ruth Stroud

Thank you, Ruth. What a fun newsletter! I do remember when Fairfax was a heavily Jewish district. When I attended Camp Ramah in the 1950s, a healthy percentage of the campers were from there.

Dan

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Dan! I remember meeting many Ramah folks from there also as well as from the San Fernando Valley.

Expand full comment
Jul 28, 2022Liked by Ruth Stroud

That would be great. I spent 30 ish

Wonderful years there.❤

Expand full comment
Jul 28, 2022Liked by Ruth Stroud

Great article, Ruth! Yvonne made us kuku sabzi when we met at her house recently!

Expand full comment
author

Thanks so much, Moira! Now I realize I should consult Yvonne when I get around to making my version of kuku sabzi! I'm so sorry I haven't seen you guys recently but hope to start attending again soon.

Expand full comment
Jul 28, 2022Liked by Ruth Stroud

Looking forward to reading about your kuku sabzi creations if you try and make it…or holler and I’ll come over and help you chop herbs

Expand full comment
author

What a great offer, Ellen! I have a mountain of herbs in my fridge, so I will definitely be attempting this asap! My cousin gave me an interesting multi blade scissor contraption for herbs that I will apply to the task. I've already cut myself on it, so hopefully no blood will end up in the kuku. That would definitely NOT be kosher! 😉 I'll let you know how it turns out--and maybe share some if it's a success!

Expand full comment

Fascinating Ruth. It makes me sad that there is not more variety in food shopping where I live! In college I visited a classmate's family on Long Island that kept a kosher kitchen, my first and only experience with keeping kosher. I do have fond memories of challah bread at the B&H Dairy on 2nd Ave in NYC that is still open today.

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Vicki! We’re lucky here because there’s still a sizable observant Jewish community, which guaratees these markets, delis and bakeries will be around for a while—at least I hope so!

I’ve never visited B&H Dairy. Obviously I need to visit NYC! 🤗

Expand full comment
Jul 28, 2022Liked by Ruth Stroud

I've driven past for years. Now I want to stop in to try some of the products you describe. Thanks for another delicious and informative article

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Judy! Love to go with you sometime. It’s really a lot of fun—and there’s so many interesting products!

Expand full comment
Jul 28, 2022·edited Jul 28, 2022Liked by Ruth Stroud

Ruth, if you're ever in Atlanta, there's an area in the near suburbs, Toco Hills, that's home to a large Orthodox population. It's also home to a Kroger supermarket fondly known as Kosher Kroger: it's an Atlanta tradition to nickname Kroger branches (Baby Kroger is small, Disco Kroger was next to a dance hall, and Murder Kroger was... you can guess). A few years ago, I popped into Kosher Kroger to have a look and in search of acceptable bagels. Most of the goods aren't kosher, but, sure enough, there's a separate kosher butcher counter, a selection of wrapped kosher baked goods, and a kosher Chinese takeaway. The bagels were ok, but I found better at Atlanta's only (and tiny) dedicated kosher store nearby. Keeping kosher in Atlanta requires elaborate arrangements, to say the least! Btw, it's a bit naughty of bakeries to point to their kosher ingredients, and imply they don't get a hechsher only because they open on the Sabbath. As you know, without rabbinical supervision, it ain't kosher. 😀 How does a Christian know all this stuff? Long story. 😀

Expand full comment
author

Wonderful find, Annette! I will have to ask my Atlanta relatives if they’ve heard of Kosher Kroger!

You’re probably right to point out that it’s somewhat “naughty” to note that a place didn’t get its kosher hechsher because it basically didn’t meet the standards, which included staying closed on Shabbat. Undoubtedly, there’s a lot more to kosher standards that I don’t know or didn’t include—maybe fodder for a future post.

But, yes, you DO seem to be very well informed on the subject, Annette. I’d LOVE to hear the story of how you came to know so much sometime!

Expand full comment

I plead utter ignorance to most things, Ruth (including the virtual entirety of science) but I can be an insufferable know-it-all, so thank you for putting up with me so cheerfully! :) Love your explorations of Jewish culture. I'm fascinated by the growing diversity of Jewish food in America. Thanks for the grocery tours!

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Annette. You do know a lot, but are far from insufferable. I learn an enormous amount from you and have even started spending more time in museums on our travels, spurred by your posts. I'm glad you enjoy my explorations of Jewish culture. It's interesting that it only convinces me how much more there is to learn, which is wonderful but also humbling at times.

Expand full comment

😍 Ruth, I'm flattered! Realizing how little we know is a sign that we know a lot! Which I know makes no sense, but let's roll with it. One of these days, I need definitive advice on not getting bitterness into chopped liver. 😬 (and I'm thrilled to know NBH is helpful!)

Expand full comment
author

I remember a wonderful teacher I had in junior high (middle school these days!) telling us that he loved teaching younger kids because they didn't think they knew everything, so your point makes some sense.

As for bitter chopped liver, I just googled it and here's a link with tips, including avoiding overcooking the livers, soaking them in buttermilk, and/or adding vinegar. Since I more often make mock chicken liver with lentils and nuts, I'm not an expert on the real thing, though I do remember enjoying eating it as a child! Here's the link: https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-cooking-techniques-we-can-use-to-reduce-the-bitter-taste-of-chicken-liver

Expand full comment
Jul 29, 2022·edited Jul 29, 2022Liked by Ruth Stroud

Thanks, Ruth! I more often make pate (and what is that, but fancy French chopped liver?) I'll give these a try. Mock chicken liver? Oy. But since mock haggis can be really good (had it in Glasgow, years ago, at the fine dining palace called, tongue in cheek, The Ubiquitous Chip) I'm open to that! Please consider writing about vegetarian Jewish food! :) BTW, I love talking in schools, because kids are smarter than adults. Your teacher was right.

Expand full comment
Jul 28, 2022Liked by Ruth Stroud

Just another wonderful article!! I’m not Jewish but just love the food and that neighborhood.Last Sunday 6 of us had a long brunch at Running Goose in Hollywood starting with a appetizer the owner called Ugly carrots, if you don’t like carrots these will change your mind. One of many amazing tastes after another, a vacation out of the South Bay which you only have to forget the traffic, what’s new.

Expand full comment
author

Thanks so much, Maggie! I also appreciate the recommendation of Running Goose (love the name!) and will have to check it out with friends, the best way to sample a new place! Sometimes its hard to rouse yourself to “leave the bubble,” but we’re almost always grateful for the experiences that happen when we do!

Expand full comment

Wow...3 year koshering process? That's crazy! Do you have any other examples of other companies who had to go through the same process?

Expand full comment
author

Sorry, Hoang, I didn't see your first question, only the second. It might sound crazy that the koshering process should take so long, but I assume the issue here was more difficult to resolve because you can't simply change the formulation of a product to get the kosher certification; you have to also "kasher" (make kosher) the oven or ovens in which it is cooked to make sure nothing "tref" (forbidden) comes in contact with the food. This apparently involved using caustic cleaning products and heating Nabisco's 100 ovens to a certain level, plus cleaning or replacing plastic belts, as described in the article. I assume Nabisco must have thought it worth the investment and the time. I'm not sure which other companies would have done such a thing, but I will let you know if I find out! Thanks again for a great question.

Expand full comment

Yes, please! This is all new to me.

Expand full comment

Whoops...follow up question: the other companies listed in the Orthodox Union--did they have to go through a 3 year process too?

Expand full comment
author

Good question, Hoang. I will have to check on that and see what I can find out. I imagine it may take longer for some products than others, depending on the ingredients. Obviously I need to do a deeper dive into the process of kosher certification! 😊

Expand full comment

Sorry Ruth, one more question: do you have any ADDITIONAL links or literature about how to keep a kosher home? I know you covered a little bit at the end but I'm curious as to what you'd do IF you were to go the kosher route.

Expand full comment
author
Jul 29, 2022·edited Aug 12, 2022Author

Hoang, these are all great questions. There really is a lot of info online, but, as I said in the article, I don't have a kosher kitchen and am not an expert. That being said, here's a link that sounds promising: https://www.ok.org/consumers/your-kosher-kitchen/. And I know there are many others if you do a search. It's definitely another very interesting rabbit hole. And your questions are making me realize I need to write more about this!

Expand full comment

I will check it out. Thank you!!!

Expand full comment

I would LOVE to learn more about this.

Expand full comment
Jul 28, 2022Liked by Ruth Stroud

Drooling and longing for the wonderful food available in LA. I miss Canters and the Diamond Bakery that were both within walking distance from my home. Thanks for another informative read and the delicious visuals.

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Leslie! I’d love to learn more about your time in LA. We’ll have to talk sometime!

Expand full comment