A Day of Atonement; A Night of Binge Eating


Like some Jews, I struggle with religion in a Christian country.  And for the most part, I’ve given up, well, in believing, not feasting.  So if there’s food and family involved, I manage to find a way to participate.  And write about it.

I didn’t really know how to go about pitching a food story for Yom Kippur – the Jewish holiday of FASTING.  But after I googled some, I found The Jew and the Carrot.  It’s a really interesting, funny and culturally aware site about Jews and food; it’s a lot more than lox and begals, covering issues from sustainability to kosher law – and kick ass recipes.

And because those observing, end the day of Yom Kippur in a big, fat feast – I found my food angle.

Due to word count, I had to cut out this section of the interview, but here’s an ES deleted scenes special.

Express 5 Foods that will help you atone for your sins/get you into the Book of Life

I personally think that as a culture we spend too much time obsessing over which foods are “good” and “bad”for us.  Instead of demonizing and idolizing certain foods, we should spend that same amount of time and energy learning to prepare the simple recipes that satisfy us, body and soul.  Any food made from real ingredients (no, Nutrasweet and other “good” replacements are not real ingredients) and prepared with care, will get one into the Book of Life.  That said, three of my favorite foods are:

1. Kale – absolutely.  Despite my best intentions, whenever I go away on vacation, I end up eating foods that I would not normally choose to eat (heavily processed snacks, soda, and other things you find along the way at rest stops), and I eat them in larger quantities than I might like to admit.

On the journey home, I invariably find myself craving kale – sauteed with garlic and tamari until its warm and fragrant.  It’s so wholesome and satisfying, that it rights any culinary sin I might have committed during my trip.  And if kale isn’t your thing, any braising green will do the trick (spinach, collards, mustard greens, Swiss chard…)

2. Fresh baked bread.  There’s something iconic about a loaf of fresh bread from the oven.  More than other foods, the work and care that has gone into kneading and baking bread seems visible in the final loaf.

3. Really good chocolate cake.  Who says chocolate automatically has to be sinful?  I think a chocolate
cake – made with dark cocoa – can be absolutely transcendent.

Express 5 Yom Kippur, Food & Fasting [Express]

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One comment

  • Maidelitala October 8, 2008  

    tamari is just soy sauce right?

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