Ethnic Foods

But Is It Food For the Jews?

The king of pork.
The king of pork. Photo: Galdones Photography

Just in time for Hanukkah to be almost over, two interesting dispatches from the small world of Jewish food in Chicago. (If you need three for a trend, the third is our interview with the proprietor of Kaufman’s Deli, we guess.) At Time Out Chicago, Carly Fisher talks to the Talmudic chef Jason Vincent of Nightwood, as he explores bringing the flavors of traditional Jewish comfort foods into his menu:

There’s housemade matzo for the matzo-meal pancakes with “gelt butter” (melted Hanukkah chocolate coins mixed with butter); brisket latkes; and the very unkosher McMatzo Cubano: a breakfast sandwich with ham, pork, cheese, pickles and mustard wedged between matzo brei. “We start with an idea and find out what makes it interesting,” Vincent says (though he admits no amount of experimentation could make Manischewitz palatable).

McMatzo Cubano? Well, the guy did win the pork competition Cochon 555.

Meanwhile, at Gapers Block, Clarissa Ramirez checks out Hamachi Sushi Bar, a sushi bar with a difference— it’s kosher. It takes a bit of thinking to even figure out why a sushi bar wouldn’t be kosher— okay lobster and other trayf, but we’re pretty sure we have never had sashimi in its mother’s milk. We assume there are things going on in how the kitchen is run that count as kosher, but in any case, Ramirez finds, for now, things being served with too heavy a hand on the sauces— not a flaw limited to Israeli sushi by any means. [Gapers Block]

But Is It Food For the Jews?