Tzimmes? Kugel? Kreplach? What are all these dishes and treats you’re seeing in our store this weekend with names you can’t decipher?
Some of them look inviting, while others can hardly be identified, even upon closer inspection. Then, you find the name of the dish and you’re truly stumped.
The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, begins Sunday evening, and all of these foods are traditional for of the holiday.
Here is Roche Bros. primer on what these traditional dishes are all about and why you should try them, whether you celebrate the holiday or not:
From Our Kitchen:
Tzimmes – This sweet, stew-like mixture of slightly mashed carrots, sweet & white potatoes, dried apricots and prunes is served as a side dish. Tzimmes is cooked slowly over low heat and flavored with honey. The name comes from the Yiddish words that mean “for” (tzim) and “eating” (esn).
Kasha Varnishkas – Kasha is buckwheat groats, which are cooked like a grain and mixed with bow tie pasta. It’s mixed with slow-cooked onions.
Potato Kugel – Kugel is a baked sweet or savory pudding made with eggs and a starch, such as potato or noodles. Potato kugel is offered as a side dish at Rosh Hashanah. Sweet noodle kugel is typically served when breaking the Yom Kippur fast. The word kugel, from Middle High German times, means sphere, globe or ball. It’s likely that the Yiddish name referred to the round, puffed-up way that the dish was formerly served. It’s now more common to make them in square or rectangular pans.
Gefilte Fish – Gefilte fish, derived from the Yiddish word for “stuffed fish,” is made from mixture of poached white fishes that are ground, mixed with a variety of spices and boiled. It’s served cold, as an appetizer, with horseradish. It’s popular not only for the Jewish New Year, but also during other holidays.
Matzo Balls (a.k.a. Knaidlach) – The Yiddish word for dumpling is Knaidlach, but in the store, you’ll see the more common name, “Matzo balls.” These dumplings made with matzo meal and eggs are formed into balls and cooked in boiling water. You’ll find them in chicken soup with, or in place of, noodles.
From Our Deli
Knishes – A snack or side of Eastern European origin, knishes are made of puff pastry dough filled with beef or potato.
Kreplach – Dropped in soup or pan-fried, kreplach are the Jewish take on a wonton or ravioli. These small dumplings consist of pasta filled with ground meat, mashed potato or other filling.
From Our Bakery
Mandel Bread – Meaning literally “almond bread,” this crunchy almond cookie is basically the Jewish version of biscotti. You’ll sometimes find them with chocolate chips.
Rugelach – These baked treats, usually filled with fruit preserves and nuts, are made in a crescent shape, with a triangle of dough wrapped around the filling. The name comes from a Yiddish root word related to “twist” so Rugelach is defined, essentially, as “little twists,” based on their shape.
Kichel – This light airy cookie is made with egg and sugar. One cookie is a Kichel, and the plural is Kichlach. They are made by rolling out the dough into a flat, cracker-like thickness, and cutting it into diamond shapes.
Taiglach – Knotted nuggets of dough boiled in honey, Taiglach is the plural for the Yiddish word “teigel,” which means “little dough.”
If you celebrate Rosh Hashanah, we wish you happy new year filled with wonderful flavors and food. If not, we hope you take this opportunity to try something new!