Posts Tagged: borscht Results 13
I recently stood in line with more than a thousand Russian Jews, waiting for sushi — the highlight of Saturday night’s dinner at the Limmud FSU conference, which is the largest gathering of Russian-speaking Jews in North America. It was kosher sushi, of course. The other meals at the event, held at a Hilton Hotel in Westchester, which is about half an hour from New York City, were all Israeli–style: hummus, baba ghanoush and challah.
There I was, like a character out of a Nora Ephron film, standing in the middle of Zabar’s, asking anyone within earshot the difference between their two beet soups. The bustling Manhattan store’s two versions of borscht boast the same color, almost the same ingredients. Scrutinizing the two containers, I hold them up to the sage pastrami-slicer behind the deli counter, asking him how the two vary. Can I eat either cold? He shrugs, smiles and nods.
If your bubbe or your great-bubbe or even your great-great-great-bubbe came from Eastern Europe, she probably crossed the Atlantic with a borscht recipe memorized. The soup is served from Russia to Ukraine to the Czech Republic, with each region and cook putting their own spin on it.
In New York, there’s perhaps no better place to tuck into a bowl of deep ruby red borscht than Ukrainian restaurant Veselka. According to the New Yorker, for the past 30 years, “there’s been just one woman behind Veselka’s renowned borscht: Malgorcata Sibilski. Five thousand gallons are served to customers annually, and Sibilski makes her borscht in enormous batches, twice a week.”
“Would You Make This?” is a sporadic column where personal chef Alix Wall evaluates a cookbook by making some of its recipes, sharing them with friends and asking what they think of the results.
“Balaboosta: Bold Mediterranean Recipes to Feed the People You Love” is a funny name for a cookbook from a chef who is 100 % Sephardic, but never mind (it means the perfect housewife in Yiddish). Written by Einat Admony, the Israeli-transplant chef who owns a restaurant and two falafel bars in New York, learned how to cook by standing at the elbow of her Persian mother. She defines the modern-day Balaboosta as follows: “She can be anyone — young or old, male or female, religious or not — who lives life with gusto, shuns fear, and relies on instinct over precision” and one who expresses “emotion… through food. Not exactly my great-grandmother’s definition of a perfect housewife, but a balaboosta all the same.”