The Fresser

Salad shmalad - is there really such a thing as a Jewish salad?

An article yesterday claimed the next big thing in salads is Jewish. I may be a pedant but I'm not so sure...

June 22, 2017 17:48

Hannah Betts recently wrote in theTimes about how British salads are a much-changed dish.

A pull-quote (a quote pulled out of main text and flagged up in bigger text) declared that: "fashion forecasters predict Jewish salads will be autumn's big hit".

The idea of a pull-quote is to draw you into the article. It worked. My first thought - "What on earth is a Jewish salad?".

Ashkenazi Jews are hardly trail blazers when it comes to healthy salads. A few lettuce leaves, cucumber slices and a hard-boiled egg drizzled with salad cream were about as good as it got at my Grandma's when I was growing up. 

Could you construe chopped herring as a salad - in the same way Babar Ghanoush and similar Mediterranean dips can sit in that category? 

So Jewish salad as a fashion forecast doesn't sit well with me.

Was she referring to Israeli salad perhaps?

I was sufficiently intrigued to read the entire feature - hunting for an explanation. Yotam Ottolenghi gets a name check for his revolutionisation of our salad plates - piling them with roasted veggies, grains, spices and other interesting combinations? 

Josh Katz's whole roast cauliflower shawarma also gets a shout out. Both Sephardi but not so much 'Jewish' - more Israeli...

In the last quarter of the article the light dawns. She's talking about NY Ashkenazi Jewish... Those famous salad-eaters. At Monty's Deli - one of London's recent non-kosher New York-style delis described in this article as a "Jewish soul food emporium" is apparently dishing up 'contemporary takes on the traditional smoked turkey and smoked salmon salads, laden with house pickles, avocado and a tangy dressing passed down by Monty himself.' I'm just hoping the turkey and salmon are in different bowls...

Whichever way you sex it up. Jewish salad is just not a thing. It's Israeli/Sephardi. End of.  

June 22, 2017 17:48

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