The Quinoa Controversy

Sometimes it seems that a food is added to and then removed from the Passover menu in the blink of an eye. I remember when peanut oil was the standard available cooking oil for Pesach,  but that is long gone.  And here’s another food–quinoa–adopted by American Jews with enthusiasm, that may have an even shorter Passover shelf life. Unless, of course, the rabbis finally resolve the kitniyot question by declaring the Sephardic tradition appropriate for all Jews (I’ve heard rumors of this possibility–but really, they are just rumors!). What have you seen come and go from your seder table? Where do you stand on quinoa: do you love it enough to demand it remain on the menu, or will you shrug and move on?

The article below, written by Leah Koenig and published by Tablet Magazine, clearly explains the brewing quinoa controversy. Let us know what you think!


“After a kosher-certifying agency deemed quinoa, the South American grain-like seed, Passover-compliant, it’s become a darling of the Passover table. But now rabbis are having doubts…”


April 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm Leave a comment

A Photo Feast!

Not too long ago we sent our resident photographer and food blogger, Elena Rosemond-Hoerr (of fame) to capture some of our favorite (and most Baltimorean) Jewish foods!

Elena is very hands-on with food styling! (I was very mouth-on with eating the leftovers)

What you can't tell here is how uncooperative the wind was!


March 28, 2011 at 8:13 pm Leave a comment

Tuesday Tidbit (belated): Welcome Louis!

Intern Louis joins the team!

Louis has joined the Chosen Food team as the official Chosen Food blogger! Check out his bio at the “About the Team” tab and expect to hear a lot from him in the coming weeks! We’re excited to have him on board.

January 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm Leave a comment

Tuesday Tidbit: Rugelach Ice Cream?!?

“Move over Soy Vay sauces! Chozen is a new kosher ice cream with mix-ins that would make Tevye happy. Rugelach, coconut-almond macaroon and chocolate matzo are the flavors, all swirled in a fine vanilla ice cream base with no gums or stabilizers.”

Get the full story of Chozen All Natural Ice Cream here at the company website. And it’s Star K kosher! Now only in New York, but they are planning mail order soon. Can’t wait!

January 12, 2011 at 12:10 am Leave a comment

Tuesday Tidbit: Favorite Food Videos!

A link to an Alla Axelrod song on youtube came across my computer last night, all about deli food! You can imagine why it piqued my interest.  But it also got me thinking about my own favorite “food” videos, like Food Fight, “an abridged history of American-centric warfare, from WWII to present day, told through the foods of the countries in conflict.” Or the Julia Child skit on Saturday Night Live! And really, any video featuring Julia herself cooking and living it up!

Do you have any favorite food videos? Please share your picks in the comments!

January 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm Leave a comment

Tuesday Tidbit: The REAL American Pie?

Some interesting reading for your Tuesday afternoon!

Mince pie was once inextricable from our national identity. Blamed for bad health, murderous dreams, the downfall of Prohibition, and the decline of the white race, it nonetheless persisted as an American staple through the 1940s. So what happened? By Cliff Doerksen.

December 21, 2010 at 8:01 pm Leave a comment

What’s a “Refrigerator Portrait?”

It didn’t take us long to recognize a brilliant idea when we saw it. Texas photographer Mark Menjivar took pictures of the contents of the refrigerators of a fascinating variety of individuals. He appends captions that tell us just the barest facts about the fridge owners, allowing the images to help us imagine what their lives are like.  Here’s one of my favorites:

Image of a fridge packed with takeout boxes

Bar Tender | San Antonio, TX | 1-Person Household | Goes to sleep at 8AM and wakes up at 4PM daily.

This person is living a take-out life. And what is that flag doing there?

Interior of curator Karen Falk's fridge

My own refrigerator, shown in a previous post, could be captioned, “Empty-nester/Pototmac, MD/2-person household/Commutes to work three hours each day; husband does all grocery shopping and cooking.”

Menjivar explains, “An intense curiosity about the foods we consume and the effects they have on us as individuals and communities led me to begin to make these unconventional portraits. A refrigerator is both a private and a shared space.  One person likened the question, “May I photograph the interior of your fridge?” to asking someone to pose nude for the camera.”

He’s right: these refrigerator portraits can be remarkably revealing. So we determined to ask American Jews to send us portraits of their refrigerators. Some of the pictures we’ve received, showing refrigerators or freezers packed to the gills, bear out the stereotype that we are a food-obsessed people. Others, such as my own, could lead someone to ask (as our friends have teased), “Are you sure you’re Jewish?”
Giving credit where due, we are not alone in collecting these images. There are several Flickr groups that specialize in refrigerator images. Fridge Portraits-Fridge Fever (“This group is dedicated to pictures which show how your fridge sees you. Not how you see your fridge.”) has almost 300 members and 340 images. What’s That in Your Fridge? has 675 members. Even NPR got into the act when, after a short piece on photographer Mark Menjivar, listeners were encouraged to post their fridges to the NPR Flickr site.
We have just begun to collect refrigerator portraits, and invite you to send us a photo of your own refrigerator and/or freezer – you can upload a photo to our flickr group: or email it to  Write a brief caption similar to those above that tells us what you do, where you live, how many people live in your household, and one or two important facts that affect the way you eat. Several of the photos we receive will be selected for display in the Chosen Food exhibit, all will be made available on the Chosen Food website (still under construction), and we will comment on them in future posts on this blog.
The images we are collecting reveal a community of great diversity, but there are issues and concerns that continue to connect us. We thank you for helping us to explore 21st century American Judaism in this unique way!

December 21, 2010 at 3:11 pm Leave a comment

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