Every culture in our world has its own set of unique foods and dishes that everyone should try. Jewish cuisine is full of exhilarating dishes that are bound to make you want more.
But waxing lyrical about it isn’t doing it any favors; we need to tell you what these foods and recipes are. So, if you happened to be looking for something out of the ordinary, here are our 9 traditional Jewish foods and recipes that you should try.
1. Matzoh Ball Soup
Very few things are as tasty in Jewish cuisine as Matzoh ball soup. The contents of this dish are purely chick, with a delicious addition of carbohydrate balls.
Lovers of this dish cannot stress the importance of chicken fat, and very few expert cooks will disagree on that. Luckily for the vegan or gluten-free lover, this dish comes with a variation of both. However, one rookie mistake that every person should avoid is to buy it straight from a jar or can in the supermarket.
2. Challah Bread
One thing is to go to the supermarket and buy challah, but another thing is to make it at home. Commonly referred to as egg bread, making challah isn’t easy on your first try.
Sometimes, it can take up to four hours to make challah, and only the experts can shorten it to three. But what would be the perfect outcome?
Well, anything but crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside will be a failure. Although there is nothing wrong if you fail to do so, it would be a failure in the eyes of the Jewish chefs.
Making challah takes a lot of time to perfect, and you can even try it out with chocolate chips or raisins to change things up.
Yet another pastry food that goes brilliantly with a variety of fillings such as cheese, potato, or spinach, borekas dates back to the 16th century and the Spanish, Iberian, Jewish cultures that populated Europe.
The most basic variation of these pastries is to fill up with cheese or potato, while spinach can be quite hit or miss for some people. However, you’d be surprised at the amount of variations borekas comes in.
For example, one less popular filling is onion and eggs, lentil, and beef.
One dish that is best eaten after the main course, kugel is made with sugar noodles that will make you drown in delight.
Kugel is mostly served during the holidays; during Shabbat to be more precise. Although there is nothing wrong with making kugel on an ordinary day, do know that the amount of sugar can really make you go overboard.
As a general bonus, you can add lots of cinnamon and raisins to give the dish an entirely new taste. Furthermore, a very popular variation of filling is to use sweet potato, which adds nicely to the sweetness.
One dish that originates from North Africa is shakshuka. Shakshuka is a dish that Tunisia or Libya Jews are all to thank for; thank you, really.
Making the dish does take some experience, but the effort will be more than worth it at the end. To make shakshuka you’ll need eggs. The eggs are poached into a delicious mixture of tomato sauce with lots of extra ingredients to give it a rich taste.
As with any Jewish food, there are tons of variations of this dish. But if you want to eat the perfect shakshuka, then you’ll need to make a trip to Egypt, Algeria, Iraq, and even Libya as they make the best one.
6. Potato Latkes
Regularly served at Hanukkahs, potato latkes are every adult’s wet dream. Potato latkes are essentially deep-fried potato pancakes; this gives them a unique taste.
There is also a legend surrounding this dish and the reason why Jews deep fry the potato in oil. However, the only thing you should know is that this dish was made to honor god.
And another thing you should know is that this food is regularly served at Hanukkah. As tradition goes, gifts are exchanged during this 8-day celebration.
So, if you need gifts to give the people you love the most, then make sure to visit jewish.shop.
Yet another sweet pastry on our list, sufganiyot isn’t a dish that you’d call exclusive to Jewish cuisine.
Sufganiyot is essentially a donut; a jelly-filled donut. Although this donut isn’t circle-shaped, it’s still a donut. Do you know how donuts are made? You deep fry them.
This means that Jews make sufganiyot to honor god, much like the previous potato latkes. Although it takes a lot of effort to make sufganiyot, do believe us that it’s all worth it in the end.
While traditional sufganiyot are made with a jelly filling, some choose to use chocolate filling instead.
Bazargan is a type of salad that experiences both sweet and spicy flavors that are best served when the flavors blend in. Naturally, bazargan is made in advanced and left for these flavors to nicely mellow with the rest of the contents.
Other contents of bazargan include walnuts, pomegranate molasses, and dozens of spices to give it the unique taste.
Yet another pastry food on our list, rugelach is chocolate filled making it an instant hit with the kids.
One of the places where you can buy this pastry is at any Marzipan bakery in Jerusalem or any other Jewish city. Trust us when we say this, rugelach is THE pastry to try.
But if you don’t happen to be anywhere near Israel in the coming months, then you can make rugelach at home. The key ingredient to focus on is the dough itself.
The dough isn’t your ordinary pastry dough; it has cream cheese or yogurt filling that gives it the extra touch. After you’ve made the dough, you need to put chocolate followed by even more filling to make it that much juicy.
As with anything, you could always experiment with flavors but this is something that is rarely done with rugelach.