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Jewish Journal

Gefilte Fish Season

by Rob Eshman

March 13, 2012 | 1:50 pm

Elle MacPherson

How do you know it’s Spring?  The gefilte fish are running.  The news is full of stories, references and recipes to the iconic Passover food.

This morning on the Howard Stern Show, supermodel Elle MacPherson weighed in by recounting how she hand-fed her first boyfriend gefilte fish, he threw up, and she’s a had a thing for “Jewish boys” ever since.  (Her first husband Gilles Bensimon is one of them and her last husband Arpad Busson may well be, but who can untwist his uber-complicated Hungarian bloodlines and, really, who cares?). 

In today’s Haaretz.com, there’s a report on a new food cart in Brooklyn called, Gefilteria, which offers gourmet, homemade takes on classic Ashkenazic food like kvass and of course gefilte fish.

As to what inspired them to choose these specific hard-core Ashkenazi staples, Liz said: “The pushcart was one of our earliest inspirations. We loved the image of Jewish street food and the community interactions that surround it. That said, we also feel connected to foods with a purpose- foods that are served at the holidays, foods that are labor intensive and symbolic. The Gefilteria is a combination of both of those sources of inspiration -  and it isn’t so different than the deli revival that is going on now.”

“We want people to feel empowered to reclaim their holiday table and to serve things that they can be proud of,” she said.

The three plan to sell their boutique gefilte fish loaves around New York City for Passover, together with two horseradish relishes, beets and carrots. They will also sell DIY kits for making gefilte fish in your own kitchen “urging all of us to bring back the home preparation of these critical foods.” Later in the spring they plan to sell their foods in festivals around NYC.

The Gefilteria’s gefilte fish loaves are made with whitefish, pike and salmon. And, in keeping with current food ideals of their prospect clientele and their own, all fish are sustainably sourced.

I’ve made gefilte fish a couple times using Joan Nathan’s classic gefilte fish recipe, but I’ve long ago moved on to more crowd-friendly Passover fish dishes, like ceviche and crudo.  If Elle MacPherson had spoon fed her boyfriend my ceviche, I promise he wouldn’t have done a Rick Santorum on her.

Elle: here’s my Ceviche-Stuffed “Gefilte” Lettuce recipe.  Enjoy.

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