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Elegy for Chopped Liver

This is an elegy for chopped liver, a common appetizer with a distinguished pedigree. Its origins have been traced to 11th-century Alsace-Lorraine, where it was foie gras, made from the livers and fat of force-fed geese, plus a dash of Armagnac or Madeira, to add moisture as well as flavor, and salt. In France to this day, foie gras is officially a part of the “protected cultural and gastronomical heritage” of the nation.

Chopped Liver, The Taste Test

The Evaluations

Archetypal Ashkenazi Chopped Liver

You’ve read the chopped liver elegy and cringed over the results of the taste test. Isn’t it time you made your own? Here’s how.

My Go-To Hungarian Roast Chicken — With a Side of Memories

I had a beautiful Hungarian grandmother, born Erzsébet Weisz and redubbed Elizabeth Weiss when she and her parents and brother and sister moved to New York from Miskolcz in the 1920s. I called her Nana and she called me darling. (It sounded like dahhrrlink, as if spoken by a brainiac Zsa Zsa Gabor.) Nana said her Ws like Vs and her Vs like Ws, so as she told it, proudly, I vent to Wassar. She had gone to another of the seven sisters, Barnard, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1926, a brand new immigrant who had enrolled only two years earlier, no less. She went on to get a Master’s at Columbia; then taught at Hunter College and later — after being denied tenure for marrying my grandfather — at Horace Mann. She spoke five languages, had perfect skin, and made splendid baby lamb chops and a mean chicken-in-the-pot.

Roast Chicken Paprikash Recipe

Food editor Liza Schoenfein was pleased to discover this deeply flavorful chicken dish in “The Community Table: Recipes & Stories from the Jewish Community Center & Beyond” by Katja Goldman, Judy Bernstein Bunzl and Lisa Rotmil. (Click here to find out why.) Photograph by John Tavares

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