Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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Kugel a term often met in jewish cookery, meaning pudding. It may be either sweet or savoury.

Lokshen kugel, one of the most popular, itself exhibits this ambivalence; there is a savoury version made with noodles, curd cheese or sour cream, and a pinch of nutmeg, and a sweet one without the nutmeg but with the addition of sugar, lemon or orange zest, and raisins.

Best known of all is potato kugel. Claudia Roden (1996) introduces this with a quotation from the German poet Heinrich Heine, who addressed the editor of a Jewish magazine in what must have seemed like discouraging terms: ‘Kugel, this holy national dish, has done more for the preservation of Judaism than all three issues of the magazine.’ He meant potato kugel, no doubt made in the traditional way with eggs, chicken fat, onion, and grated potato.