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200px-Challah_Bread_Six_Braid_1.JPG Braided Loaf of Bread called Challah; eaten on Sabbath

150px-Jachnun.jpg Good food is an important part of the mitzvah of "oneg Shabbat" ("enjoying Shabbat"). Hence much of Jewish cuisine revolves around Shabbat.

As observant Jews do not cook on Shabbat, various techniques were developed to provide for a hot meal on Shabbat day. One such dish is "cholent" or "chamin," a slow-cooked stew of meat, potatoes, beans and barley (although there are many other variations). The ingredients are placed in a pot and put up to boil before lighting the candles on Friday night. Then the pot is placed on a hotplate, traditional "blech" (thin tin sheet used to cover the flames, and on which the pot is placed), or in a slow oven and left to simmer until the following day.

A prominent feature of Shabbat cookery is the preparation of twists of bread, known as "challahs" or—in southern Germany, Austria and Hungary -- "barches." They are often covered with seeds to represent manna, which fell in a double portion on the sixth day.

Another Shabbat dish is calf's foot jelly, called p'tsha in Lithuania and galarita, galer, galleh,or fisnoge in Poland. Beef or calf bones are put up to boil with water, seasonings, garlic and onions for a long time. It is then allowed to cool. The broth then jells into a semi-solid mass, which is served in cubes. Drelies, a similar dish originating in south Russia and Galicia is mixed with soft-boiled eggs and vinegar when removed from the oven, and served hot. In Romania is called piftie, and served cold, with garlic, hard boiled eggs and vinegar sauce or mustard creme and it's a traditional dish in winter season.

Kugel is another Shabbat favorite, particularly lokshen kugel, a sweet baked noodle pudding, often with raisins and spices. Non-sweet kugels may be made of potatoes, carrots or a combination of vegetables.

Traditional noodles - lokshen - are made from a dough of flour and eggs rolled into sheets and then cut into long strips. If the dough is cut into small squares, it becomes farfel. Both lokshen and farfel are usually boiled and served with soup.


200px-Ukrainian_potato_pancakes.jpg Potato Pancakes as eaten by Ukranian Jews

It is customary to eat foods fried in oil to celebrate Chanukkah. Eating dairy products was a custom in medieval times.

  • Latkes - Potato pancakes (may be topped with sour cream or applesauce) (Ashkenazi food)
  • Sufganiya - Jelly doughnuts (in Israel)

Passover Seder plateEdit

  • Maror bitter herbs -- horseradish or Romaine lettuce leaves.
  • Beitzah -- hard-boiled or roasted egg
  • Karpas -- usually celery, parsley, or lettuce
  • Brine -- water with salt.
  • Z'roa -- lamb shankbone or roast chicken wing
  • Charoset -- a mixture of apples, nuts, wine and cinammon is traditional among Ashkenazi families; Sephardi charoset contains dates and nuts
  • Chazeret


Dairy foods are traditionally eaten on Shavuot.

  • Blintzes
  • Cheesecake
  • Kreplach

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