You’re not just imagining it–Jewish food is really popular right now. And this trend will only grow, according to the world’s top restaurant consultants, Baum + Whiteman, in their annual 11 Hottest Food & Beverage Dining Trends report. “There’s a resurgence of Jew-ish food,” they say.
Last year they predicted “ugly root vegetables,” never-ending variations on hummus, savory ice creams and yogurts, and “more attempts at Jewish mashups.” Sound familiar?
This year, there’s even more to look forward to: falafel in fancy restaurants, everything bagel seasoning (on everything!), and, in big bold letters, the rise of “New-ish Jew-ish Cuisine.”
Now that’s a forecast we’re prepared for.
What exactly is “New-ish Jew-ish”? According to Baum and Whiteman, it’s “chef-driven modern Jewish cookery” that celebrates the foods and flavors of the past while using modern culinary approaches and presentation. We’re seeing it now in new Jewish restaurants–like the new Russ & Daughters Cafe in New York, and in recent cookbooks, including Zahav and Modern Israeli Cooking, to name a few.
This new-ish approach appeals to the next generation of Jews and non-Jews alike, who want to know more about the stories behind their food. In other words, don’t expect to see your typical bagel and schmear on the menu. Hand-rolled, with house-cured salmon? That’s more like it.
Why now? The report explains that chefs and home cooks everywhere are exploring their heritage and choosing to cook the foods that have stories behind them. In the case of Jewish food right now,“we’re looking at grandchildren and great-grandchildren reinventing dishes and foodways that second-generation immigrants turned their backs on … except at holidays.”
Here at The Nosher, we breathe new life into our favorite Jewish foods all the time! Here are some of our recent favorites: