How Do You Say “Cooking Show” in Yiddish?


Julia Child had her glass of wine, Emeril famously “kicks it up a notch,” and viewers across Britain wish Jamie Oliver actually was a naked chef. Every great cooking show has a hook, and Est Gezunterheyt! (“Eat in Good Health!”) is no exception. The brainchild of Rukhl Schaechter and Eve Jochnowitz, and produced by the Yiddish Daily ForvertsEst Gezunterheyt is a cooking show like no other. Mainly because, minus the subtitles, it’s all in mame-loshn.

Schaechter, an editor and writer, hails from a prominent family of Yiddish linguists, musicians, dramatists, and educators. Jochnowitz, a food ethnographer and blogger is more of a Yiddishist by choice.

In each episode, the co-hosts cook a traditional Jewish meal while serving up basic cooking tips (How should one cut an onion?), cultural context, and the occasional Yiddish song. Kasha varnishkes, sorrel soup, and potato kugel are all on the menu, and in one particularly delightful episode the duo make a Romanian cornmeal mush called mamelige and ultimately demonstrate a popcorn-and-milk parlor trick that defies the laws of fluid dynamics, and would make a perfect afternoon snack for any good farm girl, from Old World to New.

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