Jewish Soul

November 16th, 2013 § 2 comments

Is there any dish more soulfully Jewish than kasha varnishkes? Don’t think so. For the unenlightened, permit HG to do some deconstruction: Kasha is another name (derived from the Yiddish Kashi literally translated as porridge) for buckwheat groats and is available in most supermarkets (Wolff’s is the outstanding brand). Varnishkes derive from the Russian pasta-like dish, vareniki. The approximation is butterfly shaped Italian pasta called “farfalle.” Thus, kasha varnishkes is a dish of kasha mixed with farfalle. An aside: There is a Jewish pasta product called egg barley or “farvel.” The name was possibly derived from “farfalle.” “Little Farvel” was a violent Jewish gangster (in the 30’s/40′) from the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. HG has always enjoyed that nickname. Back to kasha varnishkes. You will find an excellent recipe for KV on Top your KV with loads of fried onions and mushrooms. Stir in an abundance of chicken fat or butter. Eat with a big bowl of sour cream. Drink icy vodka with beer chasers. Play Mandy Patinkin’s wonderful CD, “Mamalushen” or, if unavailable, hum a few bars of “My Yiddishe Momma.”


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