The Science of Fressing

[The Amateur Gourmet is on vacation and, while he’s gone, he’s asked his friends to cover for him. Now comes a post from not just a friend of Adam’s, but a colleague: the director and producer of The FN Dish, Matthew Horovitz. Here Matthew shares with us his knowledge of all things Jewish, fishy and preserved–you’re about to get schooled in the science of fressing.]

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When Adam asked me to guest blog for him, his only mandate was to “write about something that excites you,” so, naturally, my thoughts turned to lox. I recently attended a seminar at New York’s Astor Center at which the Don Corleone of smoked salmon, Mark Russ Federman, broke down all the possible science in the world of Jewish sushi. Federman is the owner and third-generation “Russ” of New York’s fabled Russ & Daughters, a mecca for fressers known far and wide.

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Chocolate Covered Matzos

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Passover is over, but I’d like to belatedly submit my review of the Dark Chocolate Egg Matzos I bought at Citarella a few weeks ago. Here’s my review: I didn’t really like it. Sometimes the combination of dry, crackly, salty bread-like substance (pretzels, for example) with creamy, bitter, unctuous chocolate is a winner, but not so with matzoh. Whereas pretzels have that salty edge, matzoh is pretty bland and chocolate can’t redeem it. It’s like on American Idol when Randy says, “If you can sing, you can sing anything.” Matzoh can’t really sing–it’s just a nice vehicle for other foods like that apple stuff I really like. Haroset. Give me matzoh and haroset any day, but keep the chocolate away.

Whitefish Salad

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Bagels are my madeline; one bite and a lifetime’s worth of poppy seeds and bad breath spill forth. I’ve written much about bagels on the web–this tribute to Bagelworks in Boca Raton, a bagel love letter for Serious Eats–but I’ve written very little about a bagel topping that’s been a constant in my life and in the lives of many Jews who I hold near and dear: whitefish salad. What’s whitefish salad? Let me tell you all about it.

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