Jewish Food Tourney: #4 Latkes vs #8 Brisket

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Live from Madison Square Garden, welcome to the Final Four! Two big matches left, only one food will survive.

I’m not going to spend much time discussing latkes. I think they have proven themselves enough and they will get the votes they deserve.

I’m reserving this space to make the case AGAINST #8 Brisket.

In terms of taste alone, Brisket is clearly a #1-3 seed. But that isn’t the point. This is not purely a “What food tastes the best” tournament. The real question you should be asking is what is the best JEWISH food.

Now, this might partially be my own fault. The question I pose in the poll is “Which food do you like more?” I might have to change it to “What is the better Jewish food?”

When it comes to being the most Jewish food, brisket just doesn’t cut it. When Meredith was explaining to me her ideal brisket meal, it sounded (and she agreed) like a Southern soul food meal, not a Jewish one. And that is exactly my point. A brisket sandwich covered in BBQ sauce is not Jewish. Delicious? Yes. An appropriate meal for a Passover seder? Absolutely not.

Vote, however you like though. Just remember, I will judge you negatively if you disagree with me. It’s my tournament and I can do whatever I want.


Posted on January 28, 2009

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10 thoughts on “Jewish Food Tourney: #4 Latkes vs #8 Brisket

  1. josh_goldberg

    Screw your definitions of Jewish food. I love brisket and latkes and I’m Jewish. Look at my name for some proof. Plus, who decided that potatoes and onions is a Jewish food. Chanukah isn’t eve a real holiday. I’ll take the warm shabbat lunch table in my house with my family over a delicious latke that commemorates a ridiculous and over-emphasized holiday.
    By the way, can you do a Jewish name final four. Imagine ‘Jacob Cohen’ and ‘Jonathan Horowitz’ in a battle for Jewish supremacy.

  2. Pingback: The Jew and the Carrot » Blog Archive » Jewish Food Tourney—Which is More Jewish, Latkes or Brisket?

  3. The Doctor

    [josh_goldberg] I love brisket and latkes and I’m Jewish. Look at my name for some proof. …

    By the way, can you do a Jewish name final four. Imagine ’Jacob Cohen’ and ’Jonathan Horowitz’ in a battle for Jewish supremacy.

    I know it’s off topic but this bothers me. Given that my grandfather had his name changed at Ellis Island by a guard, and that another grandfather changed the name from Horowitz to something anglo-saxon in an effort to beat college quotas, and that I know of dozens of Jews named Brown, and that I know more than a few Catholics named Rubin [not to mention the prominent catholic George M. Cohan], and that in particular I know a Goldberg who converted to christianity, perhaps we should not make claims that there is such thing as a “Jewish” name.

    Anyone else remember the Archie Bunker monologue about how you could always tell a Jew by his first name? “Isaac White, Jacob Jones,” he recited. Son-in-law then inserted “Abraham Lincoln.”

    By the way, would your “Cohen vs Horowitz” contest include sephardic and yemenite names, not to mention Jewish names like “Cheng” [from the Kaifeng community of great antiquity], or is your Jewish world defined as Ashkenazic only?

    And brisket is a dish enjoyed by many cultures, whereas latkes are a germanic food not commonly found on German menus but very strongly associated with European Jews. Sounds like a Jewish food to me…

  4. Pingback: The Jew and the Carrot » Blog Archive » War of the Carbs: Lox and Bagels Takes on Challah

  5. SephardDOC

    Totally agree with my fellow doctor colleague… Its funny how people in the US (especially North East) cling to their Ashkenaz names to “prove” a point. I am a Venezuelan Jew of converso/marrano background and I have a Spanish last name…I married my nice Jewish boy from NY and when I go to the butcher shop in Brookline, the clerks just look at me as his latino wife and not a Sephardic Jew! just want to vent because it is annoying…

  6. josh_goldberg

    I didn’t realize some people would take my comment so seriously. If you’re going to criticize my ashkenazi bias in my “Jewish name final four”, why not criticize the whole Jewish food final four. How many sephardi dishes were there? Some of the staples such as couscous, malawach, kubbeh, and schug. (Even I, an Ashkenazi Jew, love to making a mean batch of schug for Shabbat)
    All I am saying is that there is simply an Ashkeazi bias everywhere in Jewish articles, magazines, and the Israeli government itself. Don’t take it out on me because of an innocent joke. Thank you. And I’m sorry if I offended anyone.

  7. Ezekah

    This was a tough one. What made up my mind was Jeremy’s comment that this contest is about the food most identified as being Jewish, not which one tastes better. Bagel & Lox is served at many bagel places around the nation. While it may have once been solely a Jewish food, I don’t believe that it remains one. However, as far as I know, Challah isn’t widely known to non-Jews. Also Challah plays a central role in our religious observances. On this basis, I voted for Challah.

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