Posts Tagged: food history Results 3
There was a time when to any Jew in the know, “the mountains” meant the Catskills, and “the Catskills” meant the Borscht Belt, the site of orgiastic meals, frenzied sexual activity and cutting edge comedy. (A sampling: “Did you hear about the bum who walked up to a Jewish mother on the street and said, ‘Lady, I haven’t eaten in three days.’ ’ ‘Force yourself,’ she replied.” And yes, Woody Allen, Jerry Lewis and Jerry Seinfeld all performed there.)
“Crisco Recipes For The Jewish Housewife” was a slim, 77-paged piece of marketing material slash cookbook, manufactured by Proctor and Gamble and copyrighted in 1933. Crisco, the first brand of shortening to be made entirely of vegetable oil, happened to be neither dairy nor meat, making it the perfect product to hawk to Yiddish speaking immigrant mothers and their more assimilated daughters wanting to cook with more advanced, processed American items like Crisco. An alternate title for the cookbook? “Ḳrisḳo resepies far der idisher balebosṭe.” The cookbook was printed back to back in both Yiddish and English, and it, along with Proctor and Gamble, was responsible for ending the use of schmaltz in America.