June 15, 2024
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June 15, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Why do so many Jews love Chinese food? It is unclear but perhaps this phenomenon is not altogether surprising when you consider the similarities between the Chinese and the Jews. Both are extremely proud of a great wall, one of which can be seen from the Moon and other from the Aish HaTorah rooftop. Both have a significant dynastic heritage, one of which includes the Ming Dynasty and the other the Hasmonean Dynasty. Both are extremely proud of their cuisine, one which includes the egg roll and the other the hard roll. Both enjoy consuming liquids featuring the term “egg,” one of which is egg drop soup and the other is an egg cream. (For the record, an egg cream does not actually contain eggs, just like General Tso’s Chicken is not actually General Tso’s chicken.)

The similarities do not end there. Many Chinese enjoy putting noodles in their soup and many Jews do too. In fact, one could argue that Chinese noodle soup and Jewish chicken noodle soup are “brothers from another broth” and wonton soup and kreplach soup are “cousins from another consomme.” (Yes, an argument can be made that dumplings and kneidlach are “dead-ringers from another dough.”)

It is possible that Jews enjoy Chinese food because of the yin/yang balance created between proteins and vegetables. Some Jews may even delude themselves into thinking that eating beef with broccoli, veal with bamboo shoots or chicken with snow peas somehow makes the meal less unhealthy. Such delusional diners also probably believe that orange beef is a fruity dessert.

Many Jews likely appreciate the consistency, reliability and convenience of Chinese food, especially takeout. The cardboard cartons and plastic packets make for an easy dining experience, even for those who struggle with using chopsticks. As a bonus, each takeout delivery usually includes a few fortune cookies, putting the fun into your Chow Fun. Of course, not every fortune-cooking bears glad tidings. Some merely offer sage advice. For example:

(1) The early bird catches the worm but the hashkama cat catches the early bird;

(2) Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and what your parents tell you is the sincerest form of guilt; and

(3) Never forget a friend and always avoid a nudnik.

Some say that shortly after eating Chinese food, they find themselves hungry again. The average Jew, however, does not complain about such hunger. Indeed, while eating Chinese food, the average Jew likely is discussing, in disturbing detail, his or her next meal. This is not unique to Jews eating Chinese food; it can occur whenever a Jew is in the midst of a meal. Some experts refer to such Jews as “prospective eaters” while other experts simply refer to them as chazzers.

Chinese food is delicious and those who prepare and provide it deserve maximum respect and appreciation, especially given the importance of takeout during the current COVID crisis. As a tribute to them and to the Jewish love affair with Chinese food, below are some pun-infused jokes for consideration:

1. What is the perfect name for a chain of 18 kosher Chinese restaurants? Shang-Chai.

2. What is the perfect name for a hotel in Jerusalem serving only Chinese food? The Pe-King David.

3. What is the perfect name for a synagogue whose members love Chinese food? The Egg Foo Young Israel.

4. What is the perfect name for a kosher Chinese restaurant that was formerly owned by the British? The Hong Kongregation.

5. What do you call a kosher Chinese appetizer designed to ward off evil spirits? A Pu-Pu-Poo Platter

6. What is the perfect name for a kosher Chinese restaurant that caters only to students? Talmi-Dim Sum.

7. What variety of Chinese food would be enjoyed the most by a Chazzan? Cantor-nese.

8. How do you best describe a situation wherein Jews kibitz while eating Chinese food? A Kung Pao-wow.

9. When Jews are eating Chinese food, what do they call their entree? The Chow Mein dish.

10. What is the perfect name for a fusion dish combining mushrooms, bamboo shoots and breaded schnitzel? Moo Jew Gai Panko.

11. Why do Jews love Chinese food? Because they are the Cho-Zen People.

12. What do you call a kosher Chinese restaurant that has a single location and refuses to franchise? Szehaun and done.

13. What is the perfect description for someone who orders Chinese food extremely recklessly? Such a person acts with a “wonton” disregard.

Final thought: There once was a legendary kosher Chinese restaurant in Jerusalem named “Tehn Li Chow.” That might be the best (and most clever) name ever for a kosher Chinese restaurant. With that understanding, here are some potential names for a new kosher Chinese/Asian restaurant: Temple Tempura, Bamboo Jew, Thai-Thai-Yenu or SHA-LO-M-ein.

By Jon Kranz

 

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