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What’s Treifer than Treif?

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

There’s treif and then there is treif.

You know what I mean.

The Torah, and later interpretations and clarifications by the Rabbis, lay down the Law when it comes to what is kosher and what is not kosher.

Horse? Not kosher. Does not possess a cloven hoof. Nor does it chew its cud. (See Lev. 11:3 or Deut. 14:6)
Horseraddish? Kosher. And necessary to chase down the gefilte fish.

Oysters? Not kosher. Possesses neither the requisite fins nor scales. (See Lev. 11:9 or Deut. 14:9)
Oyster Mushrooms? Kosher. But a rather confusing name, don’t you think?

Calves? Kosher. Technically. Though there are some who regard veal as unkosher on ethical grounds.
Calf’s Foot Jelly? You bet. Strange as though it may sound, jellied calves feet was a common Ashkenazic food. Great source of protein without all the fat!

Mayonnaise? Kosher. In-and-of-itself, there is nothing unkosher about a condiment made of eggs, oil, and vinegar.
Mayonnaise in the relative proximity of anything other than egg salad or tuna salad? Still kosher. But it shouldn’t be.

Matzo balls? What could be more kosher than matzo balls…

Matzo balls wrapped in bacon?


Yep. It is the gastronomical invention of one Ilan Hall. You may remember him as the winner of the second season of Top Chef. Where he certainly cooked his share of treif.

Now I certainly know that not all Jews keep kosher. And not all Jewish chefs keep kosher. What really galls me is his irreverent, and very public, approach to Jewish food. As though he is purposefully flaunting the forbidden mixture of foods. Not to mention the baggage he is still shlepping from his bad Hebrew school experience.

His restaurant, and “global” approach to cooking, was recently highlighted in the Los Angeles Times. Where the journalist, after acknowledging the lack of kashrut, made the following declaration:

and when he does use bacon, it makes sense, as in his fluffy matzo balls wrapped in bacon

Um…on what planet does this combination make sense???


The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. Presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) since 1968, the Award encourages the publication and widespread use of quality Judaic literature. Gold medals are presented in three categories: Younger Readers, Older Readers, and Teen Readers. Honor Books are awarded silver medals, and Notable Books are named in each category. Thirty-three outstanding books were selected from among the over one hundred and twenty titles evaluated by the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee during 2009. The Committee recommends them for library, classroom, and home use. List of all 2010 Award, Honor, and Notable Books.

You won’t want to miss one moment of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour 2010! Check out the Association of Jewish Libraries for up-to-date tour info.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Robin Friedman, author of The Importance of Wings
Sydney Taylor Book Award winner in the Older Readers Category
at Little Willow’s Bildungsroman

Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Jacqueline Davies, author of Lost
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Teen Readers Category
at Biblio File

Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Jonah Winter, author of You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Younger Readers Category
at Get in the Game: Read! and cross-posted at

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Tuesday, 2 February 2010 6:39 am

    It’s kind of funny 🙂

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 2 February 2010 12:01 pm

      Funny in a “Be happy, it’s Adar” kind of way.

      Otherwise…not so much.

      • Saturday, 6 February 2010 8:39 pm

        C’mon, it’s kinda funny 🙂 and I would eat a GLT in a heartbeat (although I might not have a heartbeat after eating one). I’m addicted to gribines. I only make shmaltz once a year, but sooooo worth it.

  2. Tuesday, 2 February 2010 8:33 am

    hilarious. (and disgusting)

    don’t like mayo, frumesarah? i got that impression:-)

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 2 February 2010 12:04 pm

      For the record, I LOVE mayo. I just feel as though I am a traitor to my people whenever I indulge…

  3. Tuesday, 2 February 2010 8:11 pm

    I read that article about Ilan Hall and I had the same reaction that you had.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 4 February 2010 11:37 am

      It just really got up my rankles. I know you know what I mean.

  4. Thursday, 4 February 2010 6:14 am


    not even the least bit appealing

    (as opposed to BLT sandwiches, which I have never had, but sound yummy….0

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 4 February 2010 11:40 am

      I kid you not…this guy makes a GLT. The G is for…wait for it…gribenes.

      Oy va voy!!

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