When my mom questioned my decision for choosing food science as my major, I told her there would always be jobs in the food industry, since people will always have to eat.
I have always loved food and coming to college has expanded my love and made me want to pass it on to others.
This time of the year is an especially fun one for me, since it’s time for the Jewish high holidays, some of the holiest days of the year. While not all of my columns will focus on Jewish cooking, this time of year provides an opportunity to talk about how Judaism intersects with food.
“Fill up my cup, drink, Mazel Tov, lechaim”, and happy belated New Years!! The Black Eyed Peas say it best, for the small percentage of Jewish students at Cal Poly, New Years has been celebrated and these next ten days (since Saturday) are the Days of Awe waiting for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). Not only are these the two most important Jewish holidays they oppose one another in the sense that one promotes eating, the other fasting.
Since Rosh Hashanah is the New Years, people enjoy eating something sweet in order to have a sweet New Year; a personal and traditional favorite is apples dipped in honey.
I know it sounds unusual but I suggest you try this simple delicacy because it will satisfy your sweet tooth and give you a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. For the bakers at Poly, who want to do more than dip apples into honey, I suggest you try making rugelach. Rugelach is a traditional Jewish American dessert that is made year round but is eaten more regularly during Rosh Hashanah.
It is easy to make, tastes delicious, and definitely grants you a sweet New Year.
I recommend trying a simple recipe that breaks the task down into simple steps.There are several variations you can use when making rugelach, so look for a recipe that allows for that, too. For students who don’t eat cheese, substitute more butter or margarine for the cream cheese. I enjoy the cinnamon and sugar filling the best because it adds a nice sweetness to the pastry but does not mask the flavor of the dough as much as the other fillings. Rugelach can also be found in your local grocery store if you don’t bake or do not have time to make it.
While Rosh Hashanah encourages eating sweets, Yom Kippur calls for fasting from sundown the previous night to sun down the next day.
This is in order to atone your sins between you and Go-d. Being a food science major as well as a foodie (“someone who has an ardent or refined interest in food.”), I tend to dread this day.
One of my favorite ways to break the fast is to head over to Firestone Grill for a delicious tri-tip sandwich with extra barbeque sauce. It makes the countless hours of stomach growling and dizziness worth it.
It’s funny that the act of eating, an ordinary daily activity for most, is very significant to the two holiest days of the Jewish year. Every time Rosh Hashanah comes around, I stalk up on sweets in order to show my respect for the Holiday.
When Yom Kippur arrives, I try to come up with ways to distract myself during the day because a good part of my day usually revolves around food.
Bethany Abelson is a food science senior and Mustang Daily food columnist. Her column, “Kosher in the Kitchen” is a weekly column that will appear on Thursdays.