My favorite food of 2014 is, as the picture might suggest, challah. The sweet, braided bread that Jews eat on Shabbat (and throughout the year including the High Holy Days) to symbolize the manna G-d gave the wandering children of Israel during the exodus.
Think only Jews enjoy challah. Think again. And again. And again. This sweet bread is popular among and can/should be enjoyed by all of G-d's people. It is great for tearing and eating between services and oneg, it is great, sliced, as toast, it is splendid with a touch of honey on it, you can use it for bread pudding, and it, with some preserves, makes a great host(ess) gift (that you can secretly hope will be served with the meal being host(ess)ed.
There are dozens of ways to make a challah. Three-strand, six-strand, with seeds, without. You can put fruit in it. Fruit on it. Chocolate in it. mini-candy bars on it. You can make rainbow challah. You can make loaves, rounds, circles, or buns. Challah is your bread, people.
So why is this the food of the year for me? Because this, the year that I officially joined The Tribe, is a good time to acknowledge that one of the first things I loved about the Jewish faith is the culture - specifically the food - specifically the challah my college roommate's parents would bring him from a Jewish bakery in the Boston suburbs
A few honorable mentions for other foods I ate entirely too much of this last year . . .
- Hummus - the best thing I've ever had in my life. Truly. It will always be in the conversation.
- Mozzarella Sticks - Cuhhbawwwwn, son. Come. On.
- LARABARs - The Peanut Butter & Jelly is still the BEST but the Snickerdoodle (seasonal flavor -get them while they are at room temperature) are pretty delicious, too.
- Rotisserie Chicken - Like Brittany Murphy in Girl, Interrupted . . . I'm CRAZY for the bird. I'll buy one on a Monday and eat it, in all sort of ways and varieties and recipes, throughout the week. Or Monday. Whenever I run out.