Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Food that Killed More Jews than Hitler

Since the pediatrician has ordered Grandson of Food, now a toddler, to keep up his calorie count, and I was just making a batch of chicken stock, the byproduct of which is a batch of schmalz (chicken fat), I thought I'd try making something so unhealthy that my uncle used to say that "it killed more Jews than Hitler": gribenes. Gribenes, or chicken cracklings, is chicken skin fried in chicken fat with onions and a little salt and pepper until it's all browned and crispy. Father and Mother of Food can remember their parents making it when they were little, but I can't remember my grandparents making it. It was just a sort of taboo food that might be mentioned at Passover, which was traditionally a time when gribenes might be made as a byproduct of the schmalz that was a byproduct of the chicken stock used in the matzo ball soup, but I'd never actually seen it served.

One reads about people eating gribenes like potato chips, which is tempting and I suppose no worse than pork rinds, but I don't eat those either, and my doctor would be horrified if I were to follow the dietary recommendations of Grandson of Food's doctor. Gribenes does make an excellent garnish, though, like those salty crispy onion rings that came in a can and that people used to put on casseroles back in the '70s, except that gribenes is a fresh homemade thing with a rich chicken flavor that you can make yourself to your own taste with fresh sweet onions.

5 comments:

Family of Food said...

I've never heard of this food. It sounds dangerous to one’s vascular health and therefore likely to be desired by Husband of Food.

Hermine said...

Gribines ... the wonderful crispy 'things" that were on the stove in my house every Friday afternoon before Shabbat. Yummy on fresh challah.
Healthy, probably not, but back then, who knew?

Father of Food said...

Growing up it was a happy day when my Bubbie called me in to her kitchen for some gribines. This was real comfort food!

Anonymous said...

When my mother speaks of gribines...she gets all doe-eyed and misty! I know my grandma made them for her every Pesach!

Husband of Food said...

Can I get it put directly into my bloodstream? Or must I wait for the body to build up the arterial blockages on its own?

Grandson of Food needs more food? That boy weighed a ton last I lifted him (January). I think your doctor has unrealistic expectations, considering the non-giant size of the parents...

Bookmark This Site