POCANTICO, NY - SEPTEMBER 27:  Michael W. Twitty attends the New York Times Food For Tomorrow Conference 2016 on September 27, 2016 in Pocantico, New York.  (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Times)
Why This Jewish Dish Is One Of Michael Twitty's Favorite Foods
By Chandler Phillips
Chef, food writer, and culinary historian Michael Twitty helps rediscover the origins of modern American cuisine, preserving and venerating the legacy of enslaved cooks and immigrants that history has often overlooked. Knowing about the history of the dishes we're consuming allows us to have a much deeper appreciation for the ingredients, cultures, and people who brought them together, and through this lens, he's found one Jewish dish that stands out from the rest.
For Twitty, the elegance of the Ashkenazi comfort food kasha varnishkes comes from its simplicity, which lets the quality of the ingredients shine through. Kasha varnishkes is an Ashkenazi noodle dish made of buckwheat groats, bow-tie noodles, and sauteed onions that arose when Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe met and adapted alongside Italian pasta makers living in New York City, according to Aish.
"I think sometimes people don't take the time with these middle-of-the-road, classic Ashkenazi dishes," explained Twitty to The Nosher, "You've got to use fresh herbs and real schmaltz." In doing so, we honor the history and culture of the people who preserve traditional foodways and learn to understand ourselves in relation to history, consumption, and cultural identity.