Hebrew School

The lake, the pork, the North

This post is a follow-up to this one.

A Jewish gentleman stood before a delicatessen display counter and pointed to a tray. “I’ll have a pound of that salmon,” he said.

“That’s not salmon,” the clerk said. “It’s ham.”

“Mister,” the customer snapped, “in case nobody ever told you, you got a big mouth.”

So yeah: Jews like to dig on the swine. And while I’m admittedly the worst possible spokesperson for American (let alone world) Jewry, I can safely declare that most Jews do not observe the laws of kashrut, nor do they shy away from pig partaking. No guilt, no sense of over-indulgence, just eating. This may seem obvious to Jewish readers, but I’m often bemused by non-Jews who are shocked that I (or you, or you) eat pork.

The whole thing only became enigmatic this past weekend when a group of us, embarking on a trip to enjoy New Hampshire’s beautiful nature and lakes, rolled up to the Yankee Smokehouse on Route 16 in West Ossipee. Boasts of the “largest open-pit this side of the Mason Dixon line” along with claims of Southern authenticity piqued our interest. (Also, we were very hungry.) And since our party happened to contain four Jews, two of whom were from the South (Atlanta and Tennessee), we were intent on setting the record straight.

In addition to it being the Shabbos, we also forgot that it was motorcycle weekend.

Fortunately the bikers mostly wanted to sit outside which meant there was still space for us.

The Friday night spread: pork ribs, baby-back ribs, beans, cole slaw, corn on the cob, a whole chicken, sliced beef, sliced pork,…

… really good sauce (I thought).

But without further ado, the judges weigh in. Continue reading


Tri: Sloveniating at the mouth

A tempting schmear of things consumed and imbibed while in Slovenia and surroundings…

A glass of Puro Rose, along with the spiritual conviction of its creator, is enough to command the attention of everyone in the room.


Tagliata di manzo in Brda


Fresh salami in Movia’s kitchen

Razor clams, obtainable only by saying the shema at an Adriatic coral reef ; tagliatelle al tartufo

 Hearty digestifs, not for the faint of stomach

Carpaccio on a bed of arugula in Ljubljana. We later had a chance to try the original carpaccio preparation– as well as the original freshly-puréed bellini– at the famed Harry’s Bar in Venice.

Ljubljana.  Student discounts available


Potato purée topped with bacon

Sgroppino: lemon gelato mixed with Prosecco and a little vodka

A walk through Brooklyn’s Chinatown
March 18, 2008, 6:25 am
Filed under: brooklyn, sunset park | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

This past Saturday was sunny and mild. We went for a walk in Brooklyn’s Chinatown in Sunset Park. Centered along Eighth Avenue, roughly between 40th and 60th streets, it’s home to a bustling community that had its start in the ’80s, becoming New York’s “third Chinatown” along with lower Manhattan and Flushing, Queens. According to what I read, Chinese-Americans may have been attracted to 8th Avenue in Brooklyn because the number eight is similar to a word in Chinese for prosperity (發, fā), making it an auspicious number in Chinese culture. Or, it could have been that it’s a direct ride from the city on the N train, providing an express link to Manhattan’s Chinatown (much as the D train links Boro Park with the Diamond District, but that’s the subject of another post).

Me, I’ve always found it interesting that there are several Chinese neighborhoods around the world with sunny names: There’s the Sunset District in San Francisco (which seems to have followed a similar pattern in its formation as an alternate Chinatown), and Sunnybank, Brisbane in Australia, yet another offshoot to a larger Chinatown community.


Live frogs are $3.99 a pound at this seafood shop.






More Sunset Park:   donuts  *  pork  *  beer