I went through a period of my life when I hated all things Heimishe, my conclusion was that if it said Heimishe before whatever it was describing (food, hotel, car service) it meant that it was of a lesser quality and that was ok for folks wishing to relive their shtetl ancestry. Only recently, after almost 5 years of living on the west coast, did I begun to crave Heimishe food and music ironically. It seemed that the only way to get a good piece of kugel, some kishke in my cholent, or some homemade gefilte fish, was to get a rare invite to one of the few yeshivish families in the area. Luckily, this happened about the same time I started working for Epic Bites.
One of the joys of working with Chef Yitzchok is that he’s from the same back round as I am. We both grew up frum, hated the yeshiva world, and eventually hearkened back to our roots. We’re constantly reminiscing about growing up on Marvelous Middos Machine and P’tcha. One of our visions is to create and offer full on Heimishe Food. We recently made Duck P’tcha at an event and in order to get people to eat it, we didn’t really tell them what it was. Still, most of the folks were scared of our take on the shtetl love of jellied calves feet.
We recently purchased a smoker for the kitchen and that has allowed us to make a vegetarian version of Yapchik (overnight potato kugel with flanken for those who didn’t grow up with uncle moishy) Our smoked onion potato kugel is 100% parve, but everyone thinks it’s fleishig. It’s good enough to be sold out every week and just this past week we decided to up the Bay Area Heimishe ante and make broccoli kugel and yerushalmi kugel. We decided against salt and pepper kugel because it’s a little too obscure.
This coming week, we decided to pay homage to the deli roll, which we both love. What’s not to love about massive amounts of deli, a lot of yummy sauces, rolled up in puff pastry. In my opinion, deli roll is one of the best frum food inventions ever. Although chopped liver (something we make as well out of chicken and duck livers) comes in a close second, just as long as I have some leibers crackers to go with it.
Picture: Duck liver mouse, with a nice hunk of fried chicken skin (griven)