Sushi? Gefilte Is Hottest Kosher Fish


gefilte-fishSushi may have taken the kosher world by storm, especially since 2000, and many prophesized that it would replace the traditional Gefilte Fish, but retailers say its predicted demise was premature. While sushi is most definitely here to stay and has become commonplace in most kosher restaurants and at catering events, Gefilte Fish is making a comeback, especially with younger consumers. Gefilte Fish is a basic staple in Ashkenazic (Jews from Eastern Europe) homes on the Shabbat and holidays. While Sefardim (Jews from Middle Eastern countries) did not adopt Gefilte Fish, there were some varieties such as Moroccan Gefilte Fish, in recent years produced by Manischewitz.

Made from a poached mixture of ground boned fish, such as carp, whitefish or pike, the fish dish first became popular in poverty-stricken Eastern Europe, where the ‘economic’ recipe may have included extra ground and soaked matzo meal or bread crumbs creating many more “spare” fish balls. While some housewives still make the Gefilte Fish from scratch, most today either buy the jarred version with its iconic gel or the frozen loaves, made popular by such bands as Benz’s, Ungar’s, A&B, Freund’s, Ossies and others. Freund’s in recent years specialized in home delivery with a fleet of blue vehicles made to look like taxis.

At the recent Fancy Food Show, a relatively new brand Gefilteria raised some eyebrows. Launched by Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz, both 28 in 2012, the Gefilte Fish is already precooked and requires only thawing and draining of the water. To enhance the new gourmet gefilte fish, Gefilteria, manufactured in a facility in Northern New Jersey also developed Horseradish Carrot Citrus and Horseradish Sweet Beet. The two foodies who conceived of the “upscale” gefilte fish met at an event that featured noted cookbook author and New York Times writer, Joan Nathan, where Liz served as Joan’s assistant. Jeffrey, a pickler by trade immediately found that he and Liz shared a passion for the new product. As a startup, they began by producing the Gefilte Fish in their kitchens and delivering the product to select customers. Today, the product is widely available in many chains. Jeffrey plans to use his background as a salt-water pickler, including working at the Adamah organic farm, to introduce many new products. Gefilteria Gefilte Fish products are certified by the Orthodox Union.

One Brooklyn retailer when told about the product said: “Yes, Gefilte Fish is definitely in; first it was cholent, then herring, and now Gefilte Fish that is making a major comeback.”

Source: Kosher Today

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  1. slightly irrelevant but especially because its the summer, please be careful where you buy your sushi and how fresh it is……….there can be parasitic worms in the fish and if raw they are harmful…..check for sushi places that have a lot of customers and darker colored fish is better (if the tuna looks like salmon dont eat it!)

  2. and don’t forget to check for bugs in the suschi – for some reason no one cares – or maybe the reason is that who cares – it tastes good and probably close to impossible to really check

  3. I would love to eat sushi every Friday night instead of gefilte fish, but there’s one big problem. Gefilte fish costs about $5 for a loaf, and it can feed my entire family plus a few guests. Sushi would cost more than that for a single roll, which can barely feed one person! To feed sushi to my family plus a few guests, I’d have to spend over $40!

    If the price was comparable, I’d definitely choose sushi over gefilte fish most weeks.

  4. Sushi’s parasite issues don’t change with the weather. Stay far away from the raw stuff and enjoy the veggie type. Many people are suffering from the affects and are not even aware of them.

  5. I lived in Japan many, many years ago. Now, I do not eat sushi in the USA (or elsewhere). We have our own traditions. We got caught up in pizza. It has enough shailas. Leave sushi alone for Torah health reasons.

  6. Nori with a hashgacha does not require additional checking. If you accept the hashgacha, enjoy the sushi. No one in the belt is eating sushi without a hashgacha so I’m not getting the point of the above commenters about bugs.

    Raw fish is 100% safe for days. If the place is clean and has good turnover, enjoy. If its a tiny place with no turnover or dirty conditions, ask when they got the fish in. I have never gotten sick from sushi.