Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Knew There Was Something Missing

When did chulent or potato kugel worm its way into fine cuisine? Have our standards for wedding food been diminished?

I enjoy the visual feast presented at an elegant wedding. The newest (observed at August and September weddings) is individual porcelain bowls (yes, they resemble the more familiar porcelain bowls) filled with a controlled portion of vegetables.

The creative wooden Viking ship with sushi.

A forbidden red meat in glutinous sweet sauce.

The inimitable carving station, with too many overweight men standing on line for pastrami.

And the crème de la crème, the ultimate crowning glory of every Jewish food fest, the pinnacle of culinary delights, the nocturnal dreams of yeshiva bochrim globally, POTATO KUGEL.

Potato kugel was probably a staple of European diets. Potatoes are cheap, mix with flour or any grain meal, and you have a warm and filling food. It was looked forward to on Erev Shabbos, was baked through overnight in a chulent, and possibly warmed up for Melave Malka or Sunday eve leftovers. Who was the caterer who thought that it was missing from wedding and bar mitzvah smorgasbords?

It's like wearing a tichel with a satin gown.

or putting hot dogs on fine china.

fill in your own analogy.

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