Founder of Jewish Celebration Website Says That Hanukkah Feasts are Seeing a Transition
Founder of mazelmoments.com, an online resource for planning Jewish events, says that today’s Hanukkah meals mix tradition with a wider global influence.
Goldman says that with baby boomers getting older and their children leading holiday feasts, a transition seems to have taken hold. While their parents may have favored tradition, the younger generations are introducing new twists, such as healthier ingredients and cooking styles, and the addition of multi-cultural flavor profiles.
Many Jewish and kosher holiday meals in the United States are influenced by the Ashkenazi community, with ancestry from Russia, the Ukraine, Poland, Germany and other parts of Europe,” Goldman explains. “This is why brisket and potato pancakes (latkes) are so prevalent around the holidays.” While many of these foods, including latkes and jelly doughnuts, are traditionally fried, many families are opting to tweek their recipes so that they are more healthy. For example, baking the latkes allows the outside to remain crunchy and tasty while the inside remains moist. And there is less trans-fat and calories than traditional fried latkes. An additional benefit is that the latkes can be made ahead of time, and be frozen for later use.
The culinary industry is also being influenced by global tastes and techniques. Sephardic Jewish cuisine is quite popular in the United States, and is increasingly gaining traction in the mainstream. Sephardic Jews descended from the Middle East and North Africa by way of Spain and Portugal. Instead of brisket, Goldman notes, Sephardic Jews may make a Moroccan lamb tagine with turmeric and rice during the holiday season. A Hanukkah dinner may include couscous, burekas (turnovers), or a North African-style tagine as a substitute or complement to latkes and brisket. Cookies and cheese-stuffed crepes may be served alongside jelly doughnuts. It is becoming increasingly popular for Jewish holiday foods to mix ingredients and flavors from all over the world, particularly when different backgrounds and heritages, both Jewish and non-Jewish, get together for the holiday season.
“Regardless of whether you are looking for someone to prepare a traditional Hanukkah feast this holiday season or something a little different, kosher or not, the mazelmoments website offers many options for finding a caterer or restaurant to fit your needs.” says Goldman. “We are here to help you plan the perfect Hanukkah celebration.”
Mazelmoments (http://www.mazelmoments.com), based in Manhattan, New York, is an online resource for planning Jewish events including weddings, bat-mitzvahs, bar-mitzvahs, brises, personal celebrations, corporate events and more. The mazelmoments website includes directories of synagogues, venues, caterers, kosher caterers, event planners, florists, music vendors, event photographers and videographers, Judaica vendors, rabbis, mohels and more. For more information visit their website at http://www.mazelmoments.com, write mazelmoments, P.O. Box 1188, New York, NY 10016, call (646) 669-9723 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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