Exploring 200 years of Jewish food in the Midwest

April 19, 2011

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

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(Flickr/Joshua Paquin)
On Monday Jewish families around the world gathered for the Passover seder.

On Monday evening Jews around the world gathered for the seder – the traditional Passover meal. A seder has two key components. One is the telling of the story of the Hebrews’ exodus from slavery in Egypt. And the other? Eating of course.

The food served is as varied as Jewish communities themselves. Until recently the meal also depended on what was available locally. That’s one of the points explored by Ellen Steinberg and Jack Prost in their new book. From The Jewish Heartland: Two Centuries of Midwest Foodways traces the development of Jewish cuisine in this region.

The two spoke to Eight Forty-Eight, and Prost began by explaining the meaning of foodways, a word he says is analogous to folkways.


Listen to Ellen and Jack discuss the history of gefilte fish in Minnesota’s Iron Range. 

Masada String Trio, "Gazriel", from the CD Azazel-Book of Angels Vol. 2, (Tzadik records)