Before we begin today’s Tumblr, I issue an important reminder that I am not Jewish, but I love latkes. And since I’m Italian-Catholic, this means I have to live with an agonizing lack of latkes in my world. Therefore, I will gladly take all charitable donations of latkes, so if you have any lying around feel free to bring them to me in Union Square. Booth C34 people. You know how to find us.
I have a well documented love affair with Jewish food: from my childhood noshing on corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, to the years I spent working in kosher kitchens, to our family’s annual Jewish deli crawl for Matt’s birthday (Three delis! Four hours! Five days of recovery!). What I love more than the meats, more than the schmaltz, is the stories. Nearly EVERYTHING on the Jewish table is filled with rich tradition and passionate storytelling. Why this is not seen as one of the worlds most exciting cuisines, I’ll never understand.
The food of Hannukah has two major elements: oil, and dairy. Oil is obvious- we all know the story of the Macabees and the miracle of the oil in the lamp lasting eight nights. This is why fried foods like latkes are so popular, and on the dessert end sufganiyot- jelly donuts.
Dairy dishes, such as blintzes and cheesecake, are eaten to celebrate the story of Judith. As the legend goes, thousands of years ago the Babylonian army was destroying her village, and as a woman of legendary beauty, she was able to seduce her way into their camp and into the tent of their leader, bringing with her baskets of salty cheese to eat and wine to quench his thirst. And when he finally consumed so much wine that he passed out, Judith picked up his sword and chopped his freaking head off.
Eff YEAH Cheesecake!!!!
We’ve got two special Hanukkah inspired sweets to celebrate the Festival of Lights. First is a cupcake filled with jelly, topped with cheesecake buttercream and more jelly, then sprinkled with fried cookie dough bits. Then at Union Square and DeKalb, we’ve got our first ever Hannukah whoopie pie, filled with blueberry cheesecake buttercream. Because in my opinion, blueberries are the most superior of all the blintz fruits, and it’s damn tasty sandwiched between two chocolate ca-ookies.
And don’t forget- we’ve got lovely blue and silver boxes at Union Square and DeKalb that fit three festive whoopies for only ten bucks, so if you’re looking for a nice gift, there you go!
Now let’s all enjoy this lovely photo taken by our good friend Eric Isaac of the Snap Food blog- we’re today’s features photo essay!
Clockwise from front: Port Poached Pear, The Hansel, Eggnog, The Blatt
The Blatt: Vanilla cake filled with raspberry jam, cheesecake buttercream, jam topping, fried cookie bits, powdered sugar
Port Poached Pear: Pear cake, vanilla buttercream, port poached pear, port reduction
The Hansel: Gingerbread cake, white chocolate pudding, speculoos buttercream, white chocolate dipped gingerbread cookie
Eggnog: Eggnog cake and buttercream, freshly grated nutmeg
Robicelli’s at Union Square Holiday Market: Booth C34
Robicelli’s at DeKalb Market: Flatbush Ave Ext and Willoughby, Downtown Brooklyn
Cafe at Sam’s Bakery: 94th off 3rd, Bay Ridge
Aloha Grinds: 77th and 3rd, Bay Ridge
Bagel Schmagel: 76th and 3rd, Bay Ridge
Crespella: 7th Ave off 9th Street, Park Slope
Tazza Cafes: Clark off Henry AND Henry off Atlantic, Brooklyn Heights
Cake Shop: Ludlow btwn Stanton & Rivington, LES
Joe Columbia University: W 120th btwn Broadway & Amsterdam, Morningside Heights
Jem: Broadway off Franklin, Tribeca
Queen City Cupcakes: West Main Street, Patchogue, Long Island
Red Hook Lobster Pound Classic Whoopie Pies Only