Blond and rather slender for its type, a pickle barrel stands by the takeout counter of the famous Washington, DC delicatessen Wagshal’s. Lined with plastic, it may satisfy a certain nostalgia but amounts to no more than a storage unit on the bulk-bin grocery aisle—a pale iteration of the big-bellied, oak casks I remember from my childhood.
Not all Jewish food is the heavy, hearty fare meant to sustain Eastern European ancestors through dark, cold winters. But Jews, of course, don’t come from just Eastern Europe—many come from hot-weather climates and have a culinary canon that suits the heat. Here are some of the best Jewish foods to indulge in when the temperature soars.
Like much of the Jewish culinary canon, modern Jewish pastries were influenced by the world around them. The familiar cookies we see now in Jewish-style delicatessens were, in many cases, riffs on the desserts of various immigrant groups comingling with Jews in America…
The Passover seder is one of Judaism’s most simultaneously stable and mutable traditions: There are universally agreed-upon aspects of the ritual (the four questions, the bitter herb, the four cups of wine), and yet there are many variations
Ethiopian food, famous for its spicy stews and the spongy flatbread called injera, burst onto the international food scene—especially in the United States—in the 1970s and 1980s, when thousands of Ethiopians fled political turmoil in their home country.
For years, falafel was Israel’s iconic food, its global culinary ambassador. But in recent years, another Israeli dish with working-class roots has become a major player in the game of street-food diplomacy: the savory tomato and egg mixture called shakshuka.
Sodom and Gomorrah are burning, and the people are fleeing. Amidst the chaos, one disobedient refugee makes a fatal mistake. Lot’s wife turns back to gaze upon the ruins of her city—and meets swift retribution. In an instant, she is turned into a pillar of salt.