Opening Night for Book & Food Lovers
Schmaltz It Up! Yiddish Food Then and Now
Saturday, October 1, 2016
by M Groogan

Opening Night for Book & Food Lovers

Houston, TX – You don’t have to be Jewish to have heard about gefilte. The stuffed fish delicacy is the subject of a new book and making its way to the top of the food chain or at least giving the slimy little fish of Yiddish descent a makeover with new recipes. There are not many places in Houston that serve up Gefilte, but it’s on the menu and made fresh daily at Kenny & Ziggy’s two Houston locations..Photo of books

“Gefilte fish gets a bad rap, but when you make it fresh, it’s very tasty,” said Ziggy Gruber, owner of Kenny & Ziggy’s. “In my store, I try to be as authentic and traditional as can be. Sometimes people can get a little cute, but if its good and it gets people excited to try Jewish food, then I’m all for it.”

And Ziggy is schmaltzing it up as much as he can. He will be moderating Opening Night of the Ann and Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Fair Saturday, October 29 at 8:00 p.m. This literary and culinary feast brings authors Michael Wex (Rhapsody in Shmaltz: Yiddish Food and Why We Can’t Stop Eating It) and Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz (The Gefilte Manifesto) together on stage for a live dialogue about Yiddish Food- then and now.

“These books are trying to engage a new generation of Jewish youngsters who are not use to eating traditional Jewish food. This foodie generation is bringing back great food. I know, because they are doing what I love to do… preserve Jewish heritage through food.”

In his book, Rhapsody in Schmaltz, Michael Wex traces the history and impact of the cuisine that Yiddish-speaking Jews from Central andphoto of Michael Wex Eastern Europe brought to North America. Foods like bagels, kugel, cholent and kosher dills.

In their book, The Gefilte Manifesto, Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz are on a mission to revitalize Ashkenazi cuisine with recipes that draw inspiration from Jewish bakeries, neighborhood delis, old-fashioned pickle shops and their own childhood kitchens.

Doors open at 7:30 pm with noshes and pre-show music provided by members of the Houston Symphony.

The Ann and Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Fair runs two weeks October 29 – November 13, 2016. Underwritten by The Eleanor and Frank Freed Foundation, the Fair has brought 44 years of authors, music, theatre and films to Houston. Go to for a full schedule of events, tickets and season pass information or call 713-551-7255. Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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