Food – Jewish

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Jewish-American
Age: 25
Occupation: Business Banking Officer
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: March 2007
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish, Yiddish

Elie’s Noodle Kugel

My informant first heard of this dish approximately ten years ago (circa 1997) when he was at a dinner to celebrate Yom Kippur.  The dish was served at my best friend’s grandmother’s house (Elie), and my brother, Adam, was the first from our family to taste it.  My informant was someone that loved almost every kind of food, so when he ate it and said it was “delicious,” it came of no surprise.  This dish is one that consists of cottage cheese, noodles, frosted flakes, and other small ingredients. The reason why it is so important to talk about is because it is a very famous Jewish dish.  While it has been eaten in our family for quite some time, this particular kugel had never been eaten.

My informant’s first reaction upon seeing and eating the dish is that “it was one of the best things I had ever eaten.  Seriously, I would eat it every single day if I was given the opportunity.  This is definitely worth the calories.”  This is now a dish that my informant’s family makes ever Yom Kippur.  Yom Kippur is a holiday when everyone fasts the whole day, so a great meal is what everyone expects at night.  This is a dish that my brother hopes will continue to be eaten at every Yom Kippur from now until he dies.

The reason why this dish is so important in my informant’s life is because it is a dish that has been passed down by a great family friend.  Ten years ago, my brother experienced Elie’s kugel for the first time, and for the next six years when he went to her house, he had this same kugel.  After Elie got cancer, Yom Kippur could no longer be celebrated at her house, so the dish had to be made in the Marcus household.  The cooking duties were handed over to my informant’s mother, and ever since she has started making the kugel, my informant has helped her make it every year.  The reason he does this is because it is in honor of his great family friend who he hopes to honor every Yom Kippur.

My reaction to this dish consists of two parts: the actual taste of the dish and the cultural/family aspect of the dish.  The noodle kugel is one of the best dishes I have ever had and I would become a Jew just to eat this kugel (even though you don’t need to be Jewish to have kugel).  I think this dish is important because it shows how a dish can be carried down from generation to generation.  It has been carried down from my informant’s family friend to his mother, and he and I both say that we will continue to carry down the dish to our children and their children.  This shows how the dish is more than “just some noodles:” it is a dish that shows family values and how something can be shared to all.