• Jodi Samuels

Jews and Food



We all know Jews love food. In the last year, since doing jdeal, we have seen this over and over again: Offer a food deal and it sells like crazy. Just before Rosh Hashana, I was at the checkout in Costco with two full carts. A lady in front of me could not believe how much I was buying. I explained that it was a three-day holiday, that we eat big meals and that I was hosting so many people for meals. She exclaimed, “It is true– Jews love food!”


Yesterday, I went to Kosherfest, the world’s largest food trade show. There were thousands of Jews in one convention center doing what they do best – eating!!!


Tastings included “sushi ice cream”, chocolate coated potato chips, award-winning sausages, zucchini flavored kids’ snacks and the newest alcoholic beverages. Every other item claimed to be gluten free. There cannot be that many people requiring gluten free food but, somehow, “gluten free” has a marketing perception of “healthy”. I picked up a yogurt. It said gluten free but it had 45 grams of sugar. Help!


Most people who attend come to EAT. Where else can you get an unlimited meat and dairy buffet for two days for just $30 that’s kosher?


Of course, you have the usual crush of humanity all vying for a cracker with hummus or a falafel ball. You also hear many conversations like, “Shaya, do you know how many times I called you erev Sukkus?” In a way, it feels like Friday night at the Kotel, with a cross section of the Jewish people who otherwise don’t mix. Secular Israeli’s were selling their wares to every variation of the religious spectrum. There were people from all over the Jewish world. It is certainly a social event to shmooze with so many familiar faces. Instead of chatting over loud music at a bar, the discussion is more like, “Did you try those mini kreplach?”


It’s also fascinating how many social media players, bloggers, kosher magazines and cook book authors were there. It was a great networking opportunity with Bitayavon, Joy of Kosher, Levana Kirschenbaum, Cookkosher, Kosher Street, Kosher Shop-a-holic, Dinner in Venice, Kosher Eye, Kosher Like Me, Kosher Inspired, The Kosher Baker, and the list goes on. And I thought Jewish daily deal sites, like jdeal, and Jewish moms’ sites, like Metroimma, were cluttered spaces.


They have Kosherfest, Tribe Fest, Kosher Food and Wine Fest. It makes we wonder if I shouldn’t organize a festival of my own. Anyone up for Samuels Fest?


Originally published: November 10, 2011


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