January 23, 2017

FEATURE: From Lox to Chocolate Babka, Traditional Kosher Jewish Cuisine to Make a Splash in 2017

New York - Newish-Jewish foods. Jewish mashups. Modern kosher. These were the words on every foodie’s lips in 2016, and as 2017 arrived, the popularity of traditional kosher Jewish foods shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, many of the predicted food trends for 2017 can be traced back to Eastern European Jewry. The Food Network Magazine named lox as a ‘hot’ ingredient for 2017. The word lox is an Americanized version of the Yiddish word for salmon, laks, a traditional Ashkenazi food. In fact, it has gained so much popularity that The Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan recently named their new café LOX, where the food served is a “fresh take on of an old world favorites with a menu that features in-house cured salmon in a variety of ways…”. Certified under the Orthodox Union, the café’s menu includes Lox Five Ways, ruggelach, and blintzes, as well as sweet and savory babka. According to the late kosher food cookbook author and kosher historian Gil Marks (The Encyclopedia of Jewish Foods), babka, a sweet yeast cake, originated in Poland or Ukraine. It was named after the matriarch of the family, the grandmother, baba (similar to the Yiddish word, bobbe), who probably used their extra challah dough to create a Shabbat delicacy, now known as babka. Chocolate babka, which can be attributed to the chocolate-making Spanish Jews who fled the Inquisition, was also included in The Food Network’s ‘hot’ food items for 2017. The growing ‘Babka Revolution’ over the past few years has seen chain stores such as Whole Foods and Fairway also getting in on the babka action, with many carrying the popular Green’s Bakery brand. Initially launching in a small basement in Brooklyn, Green’s babka recipe originates from the owner’s Hungarian mother-in-law, Mrs. Chana Green, who is considered  New York’s primary babka wholesaler. Certified under the Orthodox Union and CRC, Green’s’ baked-goods can be found in stores across New York and can also be ordered directly from their website www.greensbabka.com.