The Jewish Deli Has Become a Staple of American Restaurants: Biali, Blintz, Borscht, Challah, Knish, Kreplach, Latke, Lox, Rugelach, Matzo Ball Soup

There are lots of interesting foods in the world, and some of them—you might not realize—have shared cultural legacies. Let’s look at something that’s become a staple of American restaurants, the Jewish deli. Do you know what the foods and drinks that you’ll find on a menu here is, and do you know what you’re eating (or missing out on)?

For starters, it’s helpful to know just how long the Jewish deli has been around in America—over 100 years and nearing 150; the first one opened officially in 1888. While most people could just find meat there to start with, over the years (and century) that evolved to include sandwiches and other cultural staples.

Now you’ll find breads and soups and desserts, among other delicacies. Many of them might be familiar to you, such as challah. Others? It’s worth learning about and eating, too. This graphic helps to explain them.

This graphic has been provided courtesy of ZeroCater.com.

 

Jewish Deli Delicacies Decoded Infographic

Advertisements

6 Months After Quitting My 7 Years as a Vegetarian and 5.5 Years as a Vegan: How Do I Eat Now? High Protein Kosher, Similar to Paleo

Even though I only publicly admitted it recently, it was actually 6 months ago that I decided to retire from my dedicated plant-based stage of life, which coincided with most of my 8 year-old son’s life.

After I made the announcement, one of my nieces was shocked, reaching out to me, saying, “I’m pretty sure you have been a vegan for most of the time I’ve known you, ha ha. So you eat cheese pizza now?”

My answer: Well, I could… but I don’t… not really.

(To find a funny t-shirt like this one for the lowest price on Amazon, click here.)

Here’s what I do eat now:

Certain kosher meats, but only if they are baked or broiled, never fried or processed (like in a “nugget” form).

Wild caught fish: mainly salmon, cod, mahi mahi, and even anchovies; but not tuna, which instantly causes my dyshodrotic eczema to return. And definitely never shellfish: shrimp, scallops, lobster, etc. (They are not kosher.)

Chicken, without the skin.

Turkey, but I don’t really like it.

Beef, but never with dairy, like cheese; which is part of keeping kosher.

Eggs, whey powder, and cheese, but not milk.

(To check out the whey isolate protein powder I consume on a daily basis, click here to find the best deal on Amazon.)

I see no reason to drink milk from an animal; not only because it contains more sugar than most people realize, but I attribute milk as the reason my sinuses and allergies used to be so horrible.

Vegetables, but not cooked in heavy oils.

Fruit, with no limitations.

Grains and potatoes, but only on occasion:

I am intentionally strictly avoiding flour (like wheat pasta or wheat pizza dough), hydrogenated oils, and processed sugar.

So would I eat a cheese pizza? I have; several times.

But I realized that it goes against what I am trying to accomplish; which is to have a permanent, healthy and balanced diet which will allow me to comfortably fit back into my size 32 pants again.

I have learned to appreciate grilled chicken pesto pizza on gluten-free, cauliflower crust.

Could I eat a cheeseburger? No, because it’s combining beef with dairy; which isn’t kosher.

Could I eat a hamburger? I could, but I’m not in a hurry to, since that would involve a lot of bread.

I think that ultimately, new identity as an ex-vegan consists of a dietary regiment that is still as disciplined as being a vegan, though it’s a lot less restricting.

(To check out the high protein, whey-based bars I eat on a daily basis, click here to find the best deal on Amazon.)

In the past 6 months, I have loss and kept off 5 pounds since I stopped being a vegan. And because I have been faithfully working out using Darebee.com, it is my belief that the reason I am not continuing to lose more weight right now is that the muscle I am building weights more than the fat.

I’m thinking that within another 6 months, I’ll have more confirmation and clarity for Operation: Comfortably Fit in My Size 32 Pants Again.

If not, I’ll keep being open-minded until I figure it out.

After 5 and a Half Years, I Stopped Being a Vegan in September 2018… Finally, I’m Ready to Talk about It (Ex-Vegan Back to Kosher, Still Cured of Dyshidrotic Eczema and Sinus Issues)

Don’t get your hopes up- I still wouldn’t be any fun at a BBQ or a hot dog eating contest. But it is true that back in September, I quietly retired my strict vegan lifestyle of 5 and a half years, and my vegetarian lifestyle of 7 years. But why?

Because I realized that for the last few years, I had been gaining weight as a vegan– to the point I basically weighed as much as I did before I stopped eating meat, eggs, and dairy. Here is proof of my vegan dad bod.

For the first year and a half of being a vegan, I slimmed down to 156 pounds, which at 5′ 9″, placed me perfectly in the middle range according to a BMI chart.

Not only I had a lost and kept off nearly 20 pounds, but I also was finally free of my “medically incurable” dyshidrotic eczema and my constant sinus congestion.

I was convinced I would never forsake my vegan identity.

But after spending all of 2017 and 2018 trying to still fit into my size 31 pants, and eventually my size 32 pants, I realized that even with my routine of running on the weekends, my vegan diet wasn’t enough to combat the fact that since turning age 35, my metabolism had undeniably changed.

I was open-minded by the time I accidentally (?) met Mark Glesne at a Starbucks one Sunday morning after church in September 2018. With his experience as a personal trainer, he explained to me that my body had ultimately found a way to rewire itself so that despite consuming 0% cholesterol as part of my vegan diet, I had begun storing fat for lack of complete proteins that are found in meat, eggs, and cheese.

So since September, I have bid farewell to my vegan lifestyle and switched back to simply being kosher; which I have been since Thanksgiving 2008.

I have remained committed to abiding my Jewish kosher law for over a decade now; not eating pork or shellfish, or any other bottom feeder animals.

And even though tuna and tilapia are technically kosher, my eczema did briefly return when I ate those types of fish recently; as well as salmon that was farm-raised instead of wild caught. So I have to stick with fish that are cleaner; like cod, mahi mahi, and wild caught salmon.

As far as my sinus issues, they haven’t returned since I started eating cheese again. However, I refuse to drink cow’s milk, as I believe it was causing my severe sinus and allergy issues; not to mention, it contains a lot of unnecessary sugar.

To help counteract my metabolism noticeably slowing down since I turned 35 nearly 3 years ago, my great friend Mohamad Alaw (who took the photo of me above) helped me get started on a daily work-out regimen, which I have been faithfully doing, based on a website called Darebee.com.

I went from a consistent 176 pounds as a vegan, now to a new consistent 171 pounds by remaining kosher and working out daily; as well as mostly eliminating wheat flour, added sugar, and hydrogenated oils.

Granted, I’m still not comfortably fitting in my size 32 pants, but I believe I eventually will.

I definitely do not regret the 5 and a half years I spent as a vegan, and 7 as a vegetarian. Honestly, had I not begun gaining weight to the point I had a dad bod, I would have stayed a strict vegan the rest of my life.

(Click here to find the best deal on this funny dad bod t-shirt on Amazon.)

But the fact that being a vegan wasn’t enough to prevent a dad bod, I took it as a warning from my body that I needed to change what I was eating.

I still undeniably have a very strict diet, but there’s much more grace. I feel a little bit more human in social environments now.

It’s all about doing what works for me personally. Let vegans be vegans. Let bacon lovers be bacon lovers. Let them not be in a cultural war by demonizing each other like Democrats and Republicans.

Let emotional intelligence rule and let each person find their own way to happiness and health.

(Click here to find the best deal on this cute women’s t-shirt on Amazon.)

As for me, I’ll be a kosher guy who works out in his living room every day when he gets home from work- as he pursues a goal of fitting comfortably in size 32 pants again, and continuing to remain cured of dyshidrotic ezcema and constant sinus congestion.

How I Cured Dyshidrotic Eczema in 5 Steps and Have Remained Symptom-Free for 5 Years (But No One Cares Since I’m Not a Medical Expert)

If you Google “dyshidrotic eczema” right now, you’ll learn “this condition can’t be cured”, and “it can last for years or be lifelong”, and “the cause is unknown”. Hmm. Well, let it be known that I, Nick Shell, cured this skin disease 5 years ago, and have remained free of all symptoms for 5 years now. And I even know the cause of the disease. This is my person discovery. This is what I taught myself:

Dyshidrotic eczema is caused when certain people (often with Type A blood, like myself) whose bodies can’t process added sugar (from processed foods) or heavy metals (from bottom feeder animals like pork and shellfish), have no way to naturally detox themselves quickly enough. Therefore, the toxins attempt to release themselves through the skin; often in the palms of a person’s hand. To be cured, the person must change their diet in a way that draws out the toxins and helps their body sweat at a higher rate.

Time to celebrate my cure? No, because no one cares about my discovery. Here’s why:

I am not a medical expert and my cure does not involve using doctor-prescribed Big Pharma medications. Therefore, my cure will never be taken seriously by the rest of the world.

Most people will never learn about it. I will die years from now, having discovered the cure for a disease that more 200,000 Americans suffer from every year, and yet I will not be known for proving the cure.

But I’m okay with that. Because what really matters is that I can help people anyway. I am about to share the 5 secret steps to curing dyshidrotic eczema.

This system is the result of me being in a place of extreme desperation, praying to God, “I will do anything to be cured of this. Just let me know what to do. If you need to use me as your unlikely spokesman, I’ll do it. I will tell anyone who will listen.”

He answered my prayer, not by instantly healing me like the way he did the blind man, but by guiding me through trial and error.

Each sequential step helped improve my condition more, but it wasn’t until the final step that I realized my dyshidrotic eczema was completely gone and has not resurfaced in 5 years.

Perhaps it is possible for some to only have to do the first couple of steps to be cured. But in my case, I had to do all 5, starting in this order:

Cut out all processed sugar and replace it with whole fruits.

I was addicted to sugar. I realized though, I wasn’t eating fruit. Once I started putting entire bananas in my oatmeal, and in my smoothies, and cutting up apples and oranges for snacks, I learned that I wasn’t crazing sugar anymore. Plus, the natural unprocessed sugar from the fruit wasn’t making my condition worse, as I was now adding more fiber to my diet because of the fruit.

Start eating dark green vegetables every day.

I started eating a big salad every night with dinner. But I don’t mean iceberg lettuce and some carrot shavings. I mean a mixture of dark green roughage, including spinach. I learned this was helping to detox my body, especially as it also adding more fiber to my diet.

Begin Heavy Metal Detox treatment.

At Whole Foods, I found a small bottle called “Heavy Metal Detox”. It basically just consisted of a concentrated form of chlorella and cilantro. It cost around $25 and lasted about a month. I used it for somewhere between 6 to 9 months. It helps draw out the toxins from the body.

Here is a link to Amazon, so you can find the best deal on Heavy Metal Detox.

Visit a sauna 2 to 3 times for a week.

My wife found a local place where I could go and intensely sweat for about 30 minutes, at least twice per week. I did this for about 3 months, alongside the Heavy Metal Detox treatment. I ran outside a lot that summer in the sun, but that didn’t compare to how much the sauna helped.

Cut out certain types of meat, and maybe even all animal products, from your diet. (And stop wearing jewelry that contains nickel.)

I realized that my eczema had kicked into high gear once my wife and I got back from our honeymoon in New England, where all I ate for an entire week was scallops and shrimp. That also marked for the first time I had worn metal jewelry: my Tungsten wedding ring, which contained nickel. I then taught myself, using Google, that “bottom feeder” fish contain more nickel; as does Tungsten.

It was clear: the combination of wearing jewelry containing nickel and eating an abundance of shellfish containing nickel, had propelled my eczema into its worst version I had ever experienced.

That’s when I thought back to how in the Old Testament, how the Jewish people weren’t supposed to eat “unclean” food; like pork or shellfish. (The same goes for Muslims and Seventh Day Adventists.)

So I stopped eating pork and shellfish altogether. That drastically improved my condition.

After a couple years, I sort of accidentally, by default, become a vegetarian; since at that point I was already eating so much fruit and vegetables, and had learned to live without pork and shellfish.

Then about a year later (which was almost exactly 5 years ago now), I randomly decided to go an entire weekend without eating any eggs, milk, cheese, or yogurt. During that 48 hour span, all my sinus pressure cleared up, my sinuses drained this weird red plasma stuff, and I wasn’t allergic to animals anymore.

Obviously, I have remained a vegan ever since. And all these health issues, including dyshidrotic eczema, as well as constant sinus pressure, Sinusitis, and pet allergies, having remained gone since.

Five years.

So today, my goal is to provide hope for all the other people in the world right now, suffering from dyshidrotic eczema.

You come to a point in your daily agony that you finally give up on those lotions and creams from the doctor, which only temporarily help the condition.

You come to the point where you’re finally desperate enough to try anything.

Fortunately, my 5 step cure could be a lot worse.

I am Nick Shell. I discovered the cure for dyshidrotic eczema 5 years ago and have remained symptom free ever since; as I also cured my sinus issues and pet allergies.

But remember, I will never be famous for this. I will never even be invited on a talk show, to share my cure with the world. The medical community will never acknowledge me, as my cure does not involve a prescription drug created by Big Pharma.

I am just a crazy guy on the Internet, who served as my own human Guinea pig until I was cured. No one cares.

No one cares except for those who will read this and realize my cure is true.

MyHeritage DNA Test Results of Both Parents: How Dark Featured Parents Have Light Featured Kids (Like on Full House)

It always bothered me on Full House, how the Tanner girls all had blonde hair and blue eyes, yet their dad, played by Jewish-American actor Bob Saget, had dark hair and eyes. The girls’ mother was of Greek descent; we know this because of their uncle Jesse Katsopolis.

Then, to further this unlikely concept, when Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky had twins, their boys had light skin along with blonde hair and blue eyes. One fan theory on the Internet speculates that it was Uncle Joey who was the true father of all 5 kids.

And while that is funny to think about, I now have come to a full understanding of how dark featured parents (like my wife and myself) have children with noticeably lighter features (like our kids).

We have to keep in mind that we adopt half of our DNA from our father and half from our mother, but in the 50% from each parent, it’s a random amount from each.

So it’s this simple, even if there is less “blonde hair, blue eye” genes in the parents, their own children may feature that “hidden” DNA. This also explains how different siblings can look from each other.

To help bring this story to life, below is a breakdown of my own DNA, according to MyHeritage. My maternal grandmother was Mexican and my maternal grandfather was Italian. My mom’s DNA test results showed only 2% Italian, but 15.2% Sephardic Jewish and 14% Middle Eastern. While I definitely received a large amount of DNA from the Mexican side, I adopted absolutely no DNA from the Italian side; which now we realize was a Jewish-Middle Eastern mix.

My DNA:

37.4% North and Western Europe (Germany, France, The Netherlands)

31.8% Iberian (Spain, Portugal)

21.6% Native Central American (Mayan, Aztec, etc.)

6.1% East Europe

2.3% Balkan

0.8% Middle East

Now let’s take a look at my wife’s DNA. Her mother, like mine, is also half Italian. From my wife’s DNA test, we learned that in addition to being Italian, my wife is a decent amount Greek.

My Wife’s DNA:

31.8% England

23.9% Scandinavia

20.1% Greece

7.8% Balkan

5.8% Italy

3.9% Finland

2.7% Ireland, Scotland, Wales

1.9% North Africa

1.4% Ashkenazi Jewish

0.7% Nigeria

But when you break down the most abundant DNA showing up, you’ll see how our kids ending up getting the lighter features. Below are the results of me adding together the DNA from both my wife and me, then dividing it by two. I have ranked the results beginning with the most prominent. The DNA in italics are from my side, the DNA from my wife is in bold font.

Our Children:

18.7% North and Western Europe (Germany, France, The Netherlands)

15.9% Iberian (Spain, Portugal)

15.9% England

11.95% Scandinavia

10.8% Central American-Mexican

10.05% Greek

5.05% Balkan (3.9% Balkan + 1.15% Balkan)

3.05% East Europe

2.9% Italian

1.95% Finland

1.35% Ireland, Scotland, Wales

0.95% North Africa

0.7% Ashkenazi Jewish

0.4% Middle East

So in theory, our kids largely show the German-Dutch-English-Scandinavian genes, while the Spanish-Central American-Greek-Sephardic Jewish-Middle Eastern are more hidden.

Even still, I won’t be surprised, as our kids get older, that they will begin showing more of the rest of their unseen DNA.

I now have peace with why the kids of Full House look the way they do. If you’re curious about your own DNA, you can do like my wife and I did and purchase a kit from MyHeritage.

Disclaimer:

“Family Friendly Daddy Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”

MyHeritage DNA Test: Is This a Middle Eastern Suit and Pocket Decoration? Maybe Egyptian? Or Lebanese? Or Jewish?

By taking a closer look at this man standing behind my great-grandmother, in the wedding photo of my mother’s grandparents’ wedding photo from 1919, it appears we truly are seeing my Middle Eastern, or Jewish, ancestors; which up until this year, we assumed were Italian.

My mom’s MyHeritage DNA test, as well as mine, indicate that my mom’s grandparents on her father’s side consisted of a Middle Eastern man and a Sephardic Jewish woman, from southern Italy.

Overnight, I began receiving several comments from different subscribers across the world, on the YouTube version of yesterday’s blog post. Here are the 3 that stood out the most to me:

“[The groom] does look Middle Eastern. But also Egyptian.”

“[The groom] looks Half Lebanese, Half Egyptian.”

“That man at 3:12 with something in his left shirt pocket, looks 100% middle eastern to me.”

So now I’m really curious… With the help of the Internet, I wonder if anyone would be able to help me pinpoint what native county my Middle Eastern grandfather’s side came from?

I zoomed in on the man who is seen at the 3:12 mark of the video I made. He is the one standing directly behind my Sephardic Jewish great-grandmother.  I had never noticed before how his suit and jacket and noticeably different that the other men. And yes, what exactly is that decoration on his left shirt pocket?

Whose side of the family is he from, anyway? Is he from the Jewish side or the Middle Eastern side? If all the men in the photo are with the groom’s side, then he is Middle Eastern. But if this photo shows the family member’s of each side of the wedding party, then maybe he’s on the Jewish side, which explains why he’s standing behind my great-grandmother?

What exactly can we learn about my ancestors from this man’s suit? Does anyone out there know? Can anyone help me? Please leave a comment below if you have any intuition on the subject.

I am grateful!

Also, if you’re interested in taking a DNA test like my mom and I did, here’s the link to MyHeritage.

MyHeritage DNA Test: Photos of My Great-Grandparents’ Jewish-Middle Eastern Wedding from 1919- Giuseppe Metallo and Maria “Mary” Vite

Last week at work, my wife was explaining to a coworker how our family is vegetarian and that it all started a few months after we were married in 2008, when I went kosher; meaning I stopped eating pork and shellfish.

The natural follow-up question from her coworker was logical: “Is your husband Jewish or something?”

My wife replied, “Actually, he is. He just took a DNA test and found that out!”

(This is funny because my going kosher had nothing to do with my ethnic background; I simply had to in order to cure my eczema dyshidrosis, severe sinus infections, and allergies. In the end, it worked, by the time I eventually became a vegan in 2013.)

Despite my mom thinking her whole life that she was half Mexican and half Italian, her own DNA test through MyHeritage told a much different story:

True, her mother truly was Mexican; but on her father’s side, her Italian grandfather was mostly Middle Eastern and her Italian grandmother was Sephardic Jewish.

My mom’s mother’s side:

32.9% Central American (Mayan/Aztec)

22% Iberian (Spanish/Portuguese)

My mom’s father’s side:

15.2% Sephardic Jewish

14% Middle East/West Asia (Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Palestine and Georgia)

7.8% Greek

4.5% Italian

2.6% Baltic (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia)

2.0% West African (Benin, Burkina Faso, the island nation of Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, the island of Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Príncipe and Togo)

These wedding photos are from my mom’s paternal grandparents’ wedding in 1919. This is Giuseppe Metallo (age 28 and a half) with his bride Maria “Mary” Vite (age 19). I speculate this was an arranged marriage, but I have no proof; only speculation, based on their age difference and the fact they were recent immigrants to America from Italy.

They both moved here from Italy, spoke only Italian, and had Italian names… yet ethnically, they were barely Italian at all. My theory is that their own ancestors had settled in Italy a few generations prior but had culturally become Italian by the time they got to America.

I’m guessing their families had both converted to Catholicism by the time they had left Italy.

This stuff is purely fascinating to me!

But what do you think? Are we truly looking at a mainly Middle Eastern groom and a Sephardic Jewish bride, who were known to me up until this year as my Italian great-grandparents?

I would love for you to leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

And if you’re interested in taking a DNA test like I did, here’s the link to MyHeritage.