Our favorite three stories from this week’s crop:
• Emily Nunn runs down the traditions of Rosh Hashanah — the Jewish new year celebration. Like many Jewish holidays, it’s very food-centric and very traditional (brisket, kugel, et al), and much of the food is symbolic. We already knew about honey for a sweet year and apples and round bread loaves for continuity, but now we know to eat fish for … fertility? Hrm.
• We’ve always found the best accompaniment to a riotous bowl of gumbo is an alcoholic beverage, and Bill Daley suggests, specifically, that it should be wine. Weirdly enough, the dish works with such disparate varietals as Gewurtraminer (a sweet white) and Pinot Noir (a peppery deep red). We are calling up some flavor-memories right now and we agree: it totally works.
• Everything you ever wanted to know about making cheesecake, including a long list of alternatives to plain ol’ Philadelphia. Among them, tantalizingly: goat cheese, quark, and mascarpone.