July 23, 2024
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July 23, 2024
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What Happened to the Sweetbreads?

I am not a fan of many of the delicacies of the past. People drooled over sweetbreads (organ meat from the thymus and pancreas??) and others could not get enough of kishke, derma, ptcha (jellied calves feet), gribenes (fried chicken skin with onions) and chicken feet in their chicken soup. Just writing about these charming royal treats makes my stomach queasy. Somehow liver in many different forms has survived the years as a mainstay in Jewish homes.

What will our children think back to as they age? “Remember that sushi that our mom used to buy for us?” Years from now it will probably be decreed that raw fish caused hyperactivity in children. “We had so much fun eating those onion rings.” Fried onion will be passe. In fact we all already know that food that is fried is definitely not healthy. Many, including those visiting the Trader Joe’s kosher consumer chatroom, recommend using coconut oil. It definitely does not seem tempting to fry potatoes or onions in coconut.

Everything organic is already being questioned by many skeptics. Dr Joe Schwarcz, Director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society, spends many hours on his weekly radio program debunking the use of natural remedies and organic products. “Dr Joe,” as he is known, is a professor of chemistry, and does endless hours of research looking into the benefits and deterrents of eating certain types of food items.

Those of us who are feeding our children “naturally grown organic items” are basically, according to Dr Joe, spending dollars that could be used for other purposes, as he believes that it is all a waste.

Will our children feed their children quinoa, wheat germ, flax seed and other “healthy” current items? As the years move on, changes will once again take place. We all remember ice cream before the craze of frozen yogurt entered our lives. Is there a difference in their nutritional values?

I wonder, just as we see in the course of years how the fashion world repeats itself over and over again, will we not see the same trends in Jewish food? Ties go from very wide to slightly less wide to slim to pencil slim. Obviously, the next step is to go wide again. Skirt lengths move from maxi to midi to below the knee to much higher than that. Once they have reached the top of the leg there is no other place to go but down again. Christian Louboutin will have to find red soles for flats in the future. How much longer can women walk on those skyscrapers? Eventually they will all fall on their faces.

If this is really the case there might still be hope for those who still savor the morsels of sweetbreads that they relished each time they put the fork into their mouth. There might still be hope for gribenes.

All that I ask is that no one take away my Diet Coke and piece of danish from a favorite Montreal bakery. Unhealthy I am sure, but so delicious. It puts a smile on my face each time I think of it. Isn’t that worth more than worrying about what will be off the charts to eat in the not-too-distant future?

By Nina Glick

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