Jewish Food Tourney: #2 Lox & Bagel vs #10 Gefilte Fish

This entry was posted in Culture on by .

That’s right! An all fish matchup.

But before we get to it, I can’t write a post without mentioning that #8 Brisket defeated the #1 seed, Matzah Ball Soup. I’ll have more to say on it during the Final Four, but needless to say, it’s a pretty big deal.

Today’s match features the only food to sport an upset in the 1st round, when #10 Gefilte Fish narrowly defeated #7 Hamentashen.

I personally don’t agree with the low ranking for Gefilte Fish. But then again, more often than not, when I’m at a Shabbat dinner, someone always asks not to have it. Beats me why, but to each their own.

I mentioned previously that the one bad part of gefilte fish is its jarred evil twin brother. But I have thought of another. When in loaf form, the end piece of gefilte fish is gross. I can’t explain why. Because the end piece of hard salami is amazing. But go to my house on Friday night. If I recieve an end piece, you can bet your sweet ass that I’m changing plates with the person next to me when he isn’t looking. loxandbagels.jpg

Of course, at #2, we have Lox and Bagels. The bread and butter of the Secular Jewish World. Lox and Bagels almost lost to #15 Kugel in the first round. I highly underestimated the power of Kugel. Or did I overestimate Lox and Bagels? It can be too salty for people. But besides that, I find very little fault. And don’t give me that “I don’t like fish” excuse. No one buys it.

Voting will end tomorrow evening.

Posted on January 14, 2009

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

25 thoughts on “Jewish Food Tourney: #2 Lox & Bagel vs #10 Gefilte Fish

  1. Jeremy Moses Post author

    It’s like the BCS. There is a computer ranking system. Obama has already come out against it.

  2. Meredith Kesner Lewis

    Second problem, you mention lox and bagels without cream cheese. This is like playing a football game with no quarterback. If there’s no cream cheese, I can’t in good conscience vote for it.

  3. Jnas08

    Gefilte Fish is gross. Anyone who voted for it over Hamentashen should be banned from this competition. The winner of this round is irrelevant as it will clearly get demolished eventually by the superior meat dishes on the other side of the bracket: Cholent and Brisket.

  4. The Doctor

    Tough room…that one killed when it opened my Pesach d’var.

    America’s tastes are changing and more white horseradish [and even fresh-ground] is appearing on our tables; and the combination of good gefilte fish [the sweet loaf, not the cheap jarred stuff from the discount shelf] and NRC-rated glow-in-the-dark horseradish that melts strong bodies 12 ways will transport you to gan aden faster than any humentash ever made. In more than one sense, too!

  5. The Doctor

    Here’s why gefilte fish will beat hamentashen every time: you can’t put horseradish on a hamentash. The sephardim learned the importance of horseradish in the Golden Age, when high consumption amped up their intellectual power and produced some of the greatest Jewish scholars of all time. It comes down to the special horseradish grown only in the Iberian peninsula.

    Because we all know that the chrain in Spain goes mainly to the brain.

  6. Jeremy Moses Post author

    Thank you Doctor. Always words of wisdom.

    I can assure you that Jnas08’s dissent has been dealt with swiftly and harshly.

    Gefilte Fish. Is it in you?

  7. Jnas08

    Excellent point Doctor. A few problems with the argument though:

    First, the competition is about gefilte fish, not horseradish. While horseradish may be a common topping, gefilte fish is the one in the competition.

    Second, the average American Jew is not eating some special chrain from the Iberian peninsula, they’re eating run of the mill purple horseradish out of the jar. It’s not gonna sway me. Any one of these 16 foods could be spectacular in perfect conditions, but we’re dealing with averages, and on average gefilte fish (even with horseradish) is just not that good.

    Third, as with Iron Chef judging, taste counts the most. The affect on intellectual power is a compelling argument, but if it doesn’t stand up in a taste test, it doesn’t deserve to win.

    I appreciate the counter to my dissent, but I’m not backing down on this one. The sooner gefilte fish is out of this competition the better.

  8. The Doctor


    The same argument says that if the Paper Chase was a good TV show it would have had better ratings. Popularity and quality don’t equate, as anyone who sat at the nerd table in high school can attest…

  9. The Doctor


    Aside from the basic principle that someone who has never heard of the Paper Chase is just sad on so many levels, I must ask if your researche involved the movie or the TV show? It makes a difference. Also whether it was the critically acclaimed CBS series that was cancelled due to low ratings or the 3 seasons on Showtime which picked it up when CBS refused to carry quality unless it was popular.

    Also, what percentage of Jews get quality gefilte fish, either home made or the sweet loaf, as opposed to the moldy jars on the discount and remnant shelf that are covered in the fish goo?

    It’s like saying how popular is “car” vs “truck” without specifying what car…

    Perhaps Professor Kingsfield [the best part of the Paper Chase]should intervene here:

    “You come in here with a mind full of hamentaschen, and if you survive you leave thinking of gefilte fish.”

  10. clara1


    I remember the ’Paper Chase’. for those who don’t know paper chase is a term that refers to law school–it’s a paper chase.


  11. Jeremy Moses Post author


    I think our arguments have hit a wall because there is nothing else to argue. Maybe we should go to closing arguments:

    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,

    JNas loves to throw out a lot of numbers and facts at you. He thinks that will legitimize his case. His favorite statistic is the current vote between Lox/Bagels and Gefilte Fish. He is correct. Gefilte Fish is polling poorly. But these are not anti-Gefilte Fish votes. Gefilte Fish has already proven that people like it. It pulled out a 1st round win against a popular dessert from a very popular holiday.

    More important than that, though, is that I like it. And I started the tournament. So I know these things. Believe me. I know.

    Plus the Doctor loves it. And he’s a doctor.

    Gefilte Fish is good. Democracy has proven that it is not as good as lox and bagels. But gross? That is just the figment of a lost soul’s imagination.

  12. Jeremy Moses Post author

    From Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

    vic·to·ry Listen to the pronunciation of victory
    Inflected Form(s):
    plural vic·to·ries
    Middle English victorie, from Anglo-French, from Latin victoria, from victor
    14th century

    1 : the overcoming of an enemy or antagonist 2 : achievement of mastery or success in a struggle or endeavor against odds or difficulties

  13. Jnas08

    Hamentashen? A stale sugar cookie. Ha. You totally neglect the jelly filling which brings the entire taste together in one delicious bite of jelly and cookie. Have you even had a Hamentashen?

  14. Jnas08

    That may be true if gefilte fish were some obscure food that none of the voting population had tasted. It is a staple Jewish food that nearly all have tried on many occasions. Those who voted against Gefilte Fish knew what they were voting against, and they made a wise decision.

    I will admit that I had no clue what the Paper Chase is, but when I looked it up online I was pleased to see that its user rating on IMDb was 8.5/10. Clearly, quality can translate into popularity in internet polling.

  15. Jnas08

    Have people lost such faith in gefilte fish that they are resorting to discussion of 1970’s TV shows?

    Gefilte Fish, in general, is terrible. The fact that someone, somewhere makes a delicious homemade or sweet loaf of gefilte fish does not change that. This competition doesn’t give us headings more specific than “gefilte fish.” Yes, one could argue that these headings are too broad (like “car” or “truck”), but that’s what Jeremy Moses has given us.

    I’m very glad that “Paper Chase” was such a great TV show, but it doesn’t make Gefilte Fish taste better.

Comments are closed.