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Jews and Chinese Food


Gary Soup
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First, I'd get a really big grant.

Next, I'd pick a sample population. It wouldn't have to be particularly large. Maybe 50 Jews and 50 non-Jews, in matched pairs (similar geography, income, family structure, etc.).

Then I'd figure out a way to track their Chinese-food consumption for a few months. I wouldn't tell them that's what I was doing. I'd probably just try to get a log of every meal and how much was spent on it for how many people.

Then I'd find someone who knows how to use Anova or whatever software you use for this, and we'd crunch all the data.

The rest of the grant money would go to buy me a new car.

For what you're proposing, I'm guessing Excel would be all the software you needed....

Spotted on a bulletin board at work today... volunteers needed for a study of equestrian safety or some such thing, they wanted to track the injury records of people who worked at rodeos and belonged to horse clubs. I was just thinking "sheesh, the things MDs come up with to study" but now I think the object of my bemusement has been replaced by the sociologists.

regards,

trillium

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For what you're proposing, I'm guessing Excel would be all the software you needed....

Yes but that's just the first set of data. Later results could require some heavy number crunching. For example, we'd be looking not only at absolute numbers but also at Chinese food expenditures as a percentage of overall expenditures. And we'd be looking at overall number of meals out. The combined data become difficult to interpret when for example they indicate that:

- Jews dine out more times per week than similarly situated non-Jews

- but the Jews spend less on dining out per week

- but the Jews spend more on Chinese food

- but the non-Jews eat Chinese food more times per week

Etc.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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But I think Chinese food got to be popular with all New Yorkers-- in the 60s and 70s, Chinese food was just about the only ethnic food available-- it used to be considered exotic.

I'm not so sure about this. When my parents were courting in the early 50s, they went to Greek restaurants and an Indian restaurant. And there were plenty of Italian restaurants, German restaurants, etc.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Certainly there are quite a few Italian restaurants in New York that are in the neighborhood of 100 years old: Rao's, Veniero's, Ferra, Barbetta, Bamonte's . . . Italian food may very well be more popular than Chinese, especially if you count pizza.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Ongoing, the lack of dairy used in Chinese cuisine probably also helped Jews keep kosher.

I completely disagree with this thought. Sure, Chinese food has no dairy, but unless you're eating at a kosher Chinese restaurant, we're talking serious treyf -- the beef and chicken are improperly slaughtered and the not kashered (blood drawn out with salt). Plus, you have an abundance of pork, shrimp, and other seafood. None of this remotely assists in the keeping of kashrus.

since i barely understand the concept of what you've said here,

and have no semblance of understanding the rest, i'll just assume you're correct on that point.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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Ongoing, the lack of dairy used in Chinese cuisine probably also helped Jews keep kosher.

I completely disagree with this thought. Sure, Chinese food has no dairy, but unless you're eating at a kosher Chinese restaurant, we're talking serious treyf -- the beef and chicken are improperly slaughtered and the not kashered (blood drawn out with salt). Plus, you have an abundance of pork, shrimp, and other seafood. None of this remotely assists in the keeping of kashrus.

since i barely understand the concept of what you've said here,

and have no semblance of understanding the rest, i'll just assume you're correct on that point.

Herb --

If I wasn't clear, I apologize. Sometimes I forget that there are people who aren't familiar with kashrus so I write with an assumed familiarity. Mea culpa.

Kashrus is more than eating meat separately from dairy. For an animal to be kosher, it must have split hooves and chew its cud. Then it must have been slaughtered a certain way, had it's internal organs checked, and finally, the meat must be salted in order to draw off the blood. Not all birds are kosher. And fish must have fins and scales. Furthermore, they can't be scavengers. Any animal that isn't kosher is considered trayf (non-kosher). If a kosher animal is slaughtered or prepared in a manner not in accordance with Jewish law, that too becomes trayf.

So, what I was trying to say, is that unless it's kosher chinese food (which does exist) there's no way Chinese cuisine assists in keeping kosher.

If I'm still not being clear, let me know.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Fat Guy:

"Do Jews as a group eat more Chinese food than similarly situated non-Jews?"

The responses you have gotten show a wide variety of opinions. One reason for 'science' is to have a relatively objective way to test different conjectures.

Yes, for the parts of sociology -- e.g., the J. Coleman 'school' -- to be regarded as 'science', your question would be one of the first 'hypotheses' that would be 'tested'.

We should not pass up the related question: "Do Jews as a group eat more Chinese food than non-Jews?" That is, leaving off "similarly situated" can yield a possibly important question. For an example, if we were allocating advertising resources for, say, soy sauce, should we seek to aim the advertising at Jews? That is, suppose we have two magazines, 'Good Housekeeping' and a similar magazine for mostly Jews. If we knew that Jews ate more Chinese food than non-Jews and knew little else, then we might aim the advertising at the magazine for Jews. To be more clear, we could agree that the whole 'market' was the US adult population; take a 'simple random sample'; for each person, determine Jew or not and amount of Chinese food eaten, and get two averages: (1) Amount of Chinese food for Jews and (2) similarly for non-Jews. Looking at these two numbers, we might then make our advertising decision. Here we would not much care about "similarly situated".

So, why would we not do this? Or, why would we pursue "similarly situated"?

Well, without "similarly situated", we would not be making much progress on 'causes'. One of the goals of scientific sociology was to identify causes and, then, move on to exploiting the causes to build predictive models. It is fair to say that here sociology had 'physics envy'.

You mentioned one way to proceed: analysis of variance.

For your question, however, a more likely path would be 'linear regression analysis'. There are close connections, but regression does better with variables that can take on many values.

So, to proceed, we should identify some variables that characterize your "situated". The usual suspects are age, education, and income. Since fat guys may eat more than others, we might also include weight. Since we can't tell much about weight without height, we should include that, too. I would suggest including the population of the city in which the person lives.

We are in the context of 'probability'. Since 1933 with A. Kolmogorov's work, the more serious work in probability goes roughly as: We imagine that we are performing an experiment. A 'trial' is performing this experiment once. Some sets of trials are of interest to us, and these we call 'events'. Given an event A, we believe that it has a 'probability' which we denote by P(A), a number between 0 and 1. Our probability P acts like a definition of geometric area. During the experiment we take measurements. Each measurement is called a 'random variable'. Actually a random variable is a function: Its domain is the set of trials, and its range is the set of real numbers. We can move on to define independence for events and random variables, distributions and expectations of random variables, etc. One point: If our experiment is to flip a coin 5 times, then that is just one trial, not 5, and the results are data on 5 random variables, not the values of one random variable on 5 trials. Indeed, with Kolmogorov's work, all we need see from all we do in this universe is just one trial of one really big experiment. For the coin flipping, typically we would assume that the five random variables were independent and had the same distribution.

Again, suppose for our experiment we are interested in the population of the US and Canada.

So, we can let random variable Y be the amount of Chinese food eaten (say, in the past year) by one person.

We can let random variable X(1) be 1 if the person is Jewish and 0 otherwise. For some positive integer n, we can let random variables X(2), X(3), ..., X(n) be the values of the other variables we use, e.g., age, education, income, weight, height, and city population.

Well, if each of Y and the X(j), j = 1, 2, ..., n, has an expectation, that expectation is finite, and the variance is finite (none of which have to hold in principle but all of which are quite reasonable in practice), then we can ask for constants a and b(j), j = 1, 2, ..., n so that

Y = a + b(1)X(1) + b(2)X(2) + ... + b(n)X(n) + Z

and where the expectation (mean value) of Z exists and is 0 and the variance of Z is as small as possible. Note: Sometimes constant a is written as b(0); the only difference is notation.

So, with just these meager assumptions, the constants and Z will exist. The proof is short. The proof follows from a projection result in Hilbert space, and that result follows quickly from the parallelogram inequality. Projection is intuitive: If we pick a point in a room and want the point on the floor that is closest, then we drop a weighted string and see where it touches the floor. That point is the closest to our finger and is the projection onto the floor. If we pick a point on the floor in the corner, we now have three points and a right triangle and can apply the Pythagorean theorem, and the result is the usual 'sums of squares' quantities in the 'analysis of variance' table in regression.

In

Y = a + b(1)X(1) + b(2)X(2) + ... + b(n)X(n) + Z

we have a 'linear model'. It may be that reality is quite different. That is, it may be that the X(j) really do determine Y but the equation is quite different from our linear one. Still, the constants for this linear model will exist as claimed. Thus, having these constants exist does not really mean that we have identified reality.

In particular, neither can we conclude that we have found just the 'right' variables that 'drive' or determine Y. Instead, what we have said works for any variables X(j) at all (with the meager assumptions we listed).

There is a sense in which a linear model is reasonable: Effects tend to be fairly 'smooth'. Commonly functional relations are differentiable, including in the stronger sense of Frechet in which case there is an excellent local linear approximation.

Another view is: "I don't know about 'reality', and I don't much care. I just go searching. If I get a really good fit, then I figure I may have found something. Maybe I can take it to the bank. Or, sometimes linear models are the right ones. So, I will fit linear models. When there really is a good linear model, then I should get a good fit. So, a good fit is a necessary condition; it's not a sufficient condition, but it tosses out a lot that is not linear and is a good step toward the bank."

Constant b(1) is what we want: It is the extra amount of Chinese food eaten due to a person being Jewish, imagining that everything else held constant. So, if we think of being Jewish being a 'cause' of eating Chinese food, then b(1) is the numerical measurement of this cause.

Does this b(1) connect with the simpler measurement above, the two averages? Well, if X(1) is independent of each of X(2), X(3), ..., X(n), then yes, there is a connection (I omit the simple algebra). Otherwise, in general, no. In particular, it may be that changing from non-Jewish to Jewish and holding everything else constant cannot work in this problem; that is, in principle, the distributions may be that there are no such Jewish people. The mathematics is capturing this possibility correctly.

For application to allocating advertising, b(1) may be less useful than the simpler analysis above.

However, suppose X(2) is income. Some people might look at b(2) and see what one more dollar of income (everything else held constant) does to Chinese food eaten. If this number is large, then they might advertise soy sauce in 'Town and Country' or some such, especially if the woman on the cover that month is the daughter of a wealthy entrepreneur in China!

In

Y = a + b(1)X(1) + b(2)X(2) + ... + b(n)X(n) + Z

can we regard b(j)X(j) as the 'unique' contribution to Y from our variable X(j)? If so, then we could drop some of our variables and the other b(j) would not change. If we were working with overtones in music, then that would be the situation because these overtones are 'orthogonal' and act like the three usual orthogonal axes in 3-space. Here, however, if we drop some of the variables, typically the remaining b(j) will change. When we are working with variables with discrete values, orthogonally can be fairly common.

The above is all in terms of random variables directly. We have not mentioned data collection at all. Our results are a bit abstract but are important because they say that the relevant quantities do exist. One application is that we are now well on the way to showing that the most important of the usual assumptions in 'regression analysis' really will be satisfied. Sadly, this argument is rarely included in treatments of this subject. Mostly people are left wondering "How do I know I am satisfying the assumptions?" or take a macho approach "I will just push through, have the software do the arithmetic anyway, get something that 'fits', and to heck with the eggheads".

We should note that we have assumed nothing about distributions except for means existing and finite and variance finite. We are not assuming that the expectation of Z is zero; instead we can prove that we can select the constants so that the expectation will be zero. We are not assuming that the distribution of Z is Gaussian; for the most important parts of the work, we do not need a Gaussian assumption.

We might note that, while we said that the constants a and b(j) exist, we did not say that they were unique. To see that they need not be unique, just include some one variable twice; then we need only have the two new coefficients add to the one old one -- QED.

In practice these constants typically are unique; sometimes in practice, especially with discrete data, they are not unique. This point alone is commonly misunderstood. That we have outlined how to show that the constants exist without assumptions needed to show that they are unique is elementary for people that work with Kolmogorov's foundations and Hilbert space and unusual otherwise. In particular, in principle we can get an equation that fits and predicts well but where the constants are not unique. This point is commonly missed in applied work.

To continue, suppose for some positive integer m we survey m people. We assume that these people are independent and that the data we collect on them has the same distribution (we explain more clearly below).

So, we survey people i = 1, 2, ..., m. On person i, we measure amount of Chinese food eaten Y(i). We regard Y(i) as a random variable; we will have a numerical value for it for person i in our trial. Similarly, we let X(i,j) be the random variable for variable j for person i.

We are assuming that the joint distribution of Y(i), X(i,j), j = 1, 2, ..., n, is the same for all i. This assumption is fully reasonable. To see this intuitively, for the US, imagine selecting the people by throwing darts at a big list of US Social Security Numbers.

Then we will have

Y(i) = a + b(1)X(i,1) + b(2)X(i,2) + ... + b(n)X(i,n) + Z(i)

with the expectation of Z(i) zero.

Further, essentially because the people are 'independent', the random variables

Y(i), X(i,1), X(i,2), ..., X(i,n), Z(i)

will be independent of

Y(k), X(k,1), X(k,2), ..., X(k,n), Z(k)

The easy way to show this is from part of Kolmogorov's foundations. The intuitive view is important: What 'independence' means is, we are given the distributions and asked to guess the values

Y(k), X(k,1), X(k,2), ..., X(k,n), Z(k)

If knowing the values of

Y(i), X(i,1), X(i,2), ..., X(i,n), Z(i)

and being able to process those values in any tricky ways we want helps us, then there is some dependency; else we have independence. More specifically, let V(k) be the first list above of n + 2 random variables, and let V(i) be the second list. Then the list (V(k),V(i)) is independent. From the way we threw darts, independence is intuitively clear. Moreover, such intuitive arguments are the most important ones we have for establishing independence in practice.

Independence is a powerful assumption and implies the weaker 'uncorrelated', and that is often enough for applications.

To continue, we have argued that the constants a and b(j) exist. Good to know that there is a specific place we are going. Alas, likely in practice we cannot find the values of these constants exactly. But, with a large number of people m, we should be able to get some accurate estimates of these values.

For the usual ways of getting estimates, we do meet the usual assumptions. In particular, the Z(i), i = 1, 2, ..., m are independent, have the same distribution, and have expectation zero. We know these things from what we have done.

The derivations for the estimates are not difficult, but the notation is a bit much for this simple typing.

Continuing, suppose we drop our data into some software (which does not have to be advanced, complicated, or expensive) and get our estimates.

We will likely learn that our estimates are unique.

Then we will look at the estimate we get for b(1). We can ask, if b(1) = 0 (that is, all other things being equal, being Jewish doesn't matter), then what is the probability of getting an estimate as large or larger than we did? So, we test the hypothesis that b(1) = 0. If the probability of getting such a big estimate is very low, then we reject that b(1) = 0. We can also get a confidence interval on our estimate of b(1). If we can assume that the distribution of Z(i) is Gaussian, then there are some classic approaches to these calculations. Typically it is reasonable to use these calculations just for 'ballpark' answers even if we are not so sure of a Gaussian distribution. There are also some 'non-parametric' approaches.

If what really matters is city size, then our regression may show this.

Hopefully the analysis outlined above would be able to test some of the conjectures given and improve on 'revelatory visceral reactions'. So, as for city size, in principle should be able to test Kosher, open on Sundays, fraction of income, amount of Moo Shi Pork, amount of Shrimp with Lobster Sauce, etc.

Establishing 'causality' is usually challenging. I'm not sure I'd recognize it even if I saw it. The place I tend to conclude causality is when there is some physical or even mechanical explanation. So, for being Jewish being a 'cause', I might want to wait for something as physical as, say, DNA evidence. Using DNA to explain a taste for soy sauce promises to be a lot of work!

Instead of some really strict versions of causality, it may make sense to consider weaker versions; some people believe this and cover blackboards with little directed connected acyclic graphs with nodes for variables and arrows for dependencies. Then maybe we could sort out Jewish versus Kosher, urban, open on Sundays, etc., that is, which one of these is 'fundamental' with the others in effect consequences of the fundamental one.

If we are not interested in causality, then it is not so clear why we would be interested in b(1).

I did regression for a few years before I studied Kolmogorov's work, etc., and the derivations I did for the above (not shown) were great fun. To me, then, the above is really clear and easy to understand.

Some readers interested in cooking but not in mathematics and reading the above may understand the effect most recipes have on me!

Edited by project (log)

What would be the right food and wine to go with

R. Strauss's 'Ein Heldenleben'?

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Data collection does seem to be the big challenge from a practical standpoint. I bet we could learn a lot, however, just from a well-designed self-reporting system without any need for complex monitoring.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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maybe it's just me, or was project's post possibly the longest pure-text post i've seen in some time? probably since cabby.

blov-trix,

that clears it up fine. didn't mean to make you go into that.

i really was just going to assume you were accurate and leave it there.

though i do appreciate the educaiton.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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It's been a long time since my econometrics and calculus days. Nonetheless, I think project's strategy may be unnecessarily complex because it goes beyond the relatively simple question "Do Jews as a group eat more Chinese food than similarly situated non-Jews?" to tackle the strength of the correlation between Jewishness (and other variables) have on propensity to consume Chinese food. Certainly this is a valuable figure to have if you are, say, trying to model the ideal density of chinese restaurants in a given area based on census data, but beyond the scope of the original inquiry.

Tryska's approach might work, and sound less sinister, if the non-jews were also asked to raise their hands and the percentage breakdown of diners were compared to the demographics of the surrounding area. This would bring other questions, though, such as: "are Chinese and Chinese-Americans counted as non-Jews for the purposes of this study or held neutral?"

Similarly, we could test for range and frequency of Chinese dining by shooting diners with a sleeping dart, tagging their ears, re-releasing them and checking back at the restaurants over the following weeks.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Similarly, we could test for range and frequency of Chinese dining by shooting diners with a sleeping dart, tagging their ears, re-releasing them and checking back at the restaurants over the following weeks.

i cast my vote for this strategy!!!

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And to avoid cultural contamination, researchers from the US should collect data over the course of several months only in non-US large cities with a sizable Jewish population (London, Paris, Lisbon, Montréal, etc.). This, of course, should be built into the grant. :biggrin:

(....thinking about my one and only trip to London as a food-naive 21-year-old, opting to eat at a Chinese restaurant in Golders Green.)

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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If you are Jewish (especially New York Jewish) you know why this link is seasonal.  It's a fascinating dissertation, and at the same time kinda funny for its seriousness.  (Maybe we just like Chinese food because we're smarter.)

Safe Treyf: New York Jews and Chinese Food

I certainly appreciate the article but somehow feel that the Authors missed far to many points.

[1] That price was the most important point

[2] Enjoying the Forbidden Fruits: IE:

Lobster Cantonese, the cheapest best tasting Lobster anywhere

Shrimp with Lobster Sauce or Shrimp with Chinese Vegetables or Butterfly Shrimp

Roast Pork Cantonese, Pork Spareribs, Roast Pork with Chinese Vegetables

Egg Foo Young, Fried Rice, Lo Mein, Chop Suey, Chow Mein in all variations

Won Ton Soup, Egg Drop Soup, Fortune Cookies, Ice Cream and Jello

These were the basic's of Jewish NYC Chinese Food in the 1950s and 60's.

The next step was SubGum Chow Mein and subtle variations thru the 60's.

The introduction of Kosher Style Chinese Food at Schmulka Bernsteins together with Kosher Pizza started the spread into the Kosher Community.

Many Jews still kept Kosher at home, but somehow rationalized that eating Chinese on special occassions was okay.

My inlaws kept Kosher at home, but on Saturdays since the owned a business on the lower east side were closed but reguarly ate Chinese Food out at restaurants, never brought take out home or for some reason never ate Ham or mixed Meat with Dairy.

Somehow this didn't apply to Ice Cream at Chinese Restaurants or Pork, Shrimps or Lobster but Ham or Pork Chops wasn't allowed.

I never understood that rationale. It also was extended to Nathans at Coney Island or Lundys Restaurant at Sheepshead Bay where the Shore Dinner was permited with it Chowder, Lobster, Steamed Clams and again Ice Cream on the Pie a La Mode oh I also forget Juniors Restaurant on Flatbush Avenue also met the criteria.

I remember that when I opened Lindys in Hong Kong that my comment to Walter Cronkite on CBS news that we opened Lindy's in Hong Kong because if you saw a lot of Chinese Restaurants in NYC ir ment you were in a Jewish Neighborhood that opening in Hong Kong was only a way to get even was repeated Coast to Coast over 5 times by popular demand, plus the NY Times, Newsweek and Time Magazine.

Irwin

:blink::rolleyes::angry:

I'm going to reinterate my explanations that were conclusions from what we considered a through investigation of the popularity of Chinese Food in most major metro neighborhoods before developing a Kosher Chinese Menu for Schmulka Bernsteins on the lower east side.

As i've tried to esplain previously the most important reason was PRICE.

During the considerable growth of the NYC Chinese Food into Jewish Neighborhoods. [There is a considerable difference between NYC Chinese Food and any others served thruout the states] this was caused because of the value/price ratio sitting in a place close to home. [Remember walking was how you got to the restaurant, cars were not yet as common].

If you went to a deli/restaurant to eat with your family generally about 5/6 including adults and children it was more expensive then eating at almost any Chinese Restaurants. At a deli ordering several hot dogs, couple bowls of soup, several sandwiches, knishes or french fries was more expensive then a Chinese Dinner for 4 or so, that was enough food for everyone that included Egg Rolls, Roast Port, Spare Ribs and a couple of chices from "A" and "B" with desserts and fortune cookies, plenty of tea with waiter service. Lobster was only slightly more expensive. "OUH VEH, What a Deal, plus veryone was stuffed and contented.

There was no such thing about being opened Sundays, every place opened for eating was sure to be open on Sunday, especially the Jewish Style, Dairy or Kosher places.

As incomes, car ownership and suburbs expanted so did the Chinese Restaurants more elaborate, with more exciting extensive menus but still in the Jewish areas, and since price wasn't so important still popular because they were family orientated provided delivery, stayed open later and made the custiomers welcomed.

The competition was the Cookies type Steak Joints, Giant Diners and the causalties became the Delis and more awful to me the appetizing stores and dairy restaurants.

Later on evolved the more prestigious Chinese Restaurants and the so called Ethinic Chinese Restaurants and finally the ethinic operations in China Town that catered to the new Chinese Immigrants and of course the modernized Jewish customers. Always ready to frese and enjoy.

I comfortably state my case, and am willing to defent my points without anything but a full tummy and over 50 years of eating everywhere in the world.

Irwin

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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And to avoid cultural contamination, researchers from the US should collect data over the course of several months only in non-US large cities with a sizable Jewish population (London, Paris, Lisbon, Montréal, etc.).

Lisbon has a sizable Jewish population? You think you could get that past any foundation? You'd probably have a better claim with Rome (c 30,000 Jews, I think).

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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And to avoid cultural contamination, researchers from the US should collect data over the course of several months only in non-US large cities with a sizable Jewish population (London, Paris, Lisbon, Montréal, etc.).

Lisbon has a sizable Jewish population? You think you could get that past any foundation? You'd probably have a better claim with Rome (c 30,000 Jews, I think).

Again, Pan, my sense of humor appears to have slipped past you. Yes, I know that there are perhaps 1000 Jews in Portugal. I'd still like to visit there. Rome has about 15,000, by the way.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Ongoing, the lack of dairy used in Chinese cuisine probably also helped Jews keep kosher.

I completely disagree with this thought. Sure, Chinese food has no dairy, but unless you're eating at a kosher Chinese restaurant, we're talking serious treyf -- the beef and chicken are improperly slaughtered and the not kashered (blood drawn out with salt). Plus, you have an abundance of pork, shrimp, and other seafood. None of this remotely assists in the keeping of kashrus.

since i barely understand the concept of what you've said here,

Any one of bloviatrix' examples of what renders certain foods nonkosher is certainly appropriate here .. there are multiple things that make for a "trefe" meal :wacko:

.. and Chinese food has a considerable amount of "sin" attached to it ... should you buy into this concept ...

seems that there is a thread here on this exact topic ...

perhaps there is a Rabbi in the house? :rolleyes:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Ongoing, the lack of dairy used in Chinese cuisine probably also helped Jews keep kosher.

Maybe a better way of phrasing this is that the lack of dairy in Chinese cuisine probably allowed Jews to think they weren't transgressing quite as much as they might have? :unsure: But it's true, certainly, that there's nothing kosher about Chinese food unless it's, well, kosher Chinese food.

I think one of the attractions of Chinese food (and not just for Jews) was the fact that it always seemed so elaborate. All that cutting and chopping, etc., it just wasn't something most moms in the 60's and 70's were used to doing (think meat loaf), so going out to a Chinese restaurant was somewhat exotic. No way would we get that stuff at home.

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Ongoing, the lack of dairy used in Chinese cuisine probably also helped Jews keep kosher.

Maybe a better way of phrasing this is that the lack of dairy in Chinese cuisine probably allowed Jews to think they weren't transgressing quite as much as they might have? :unsure: But it's true, certainly, that there's nothing kosher about Chinese food unless it's, well, kosher Chinese food.

that's an interesting and, to me, plausible explanation, especially given the Jews I know with various levels of adherence to the restrictions on their diet, etc.

And the Jewish response is???....

I think one of the attractions of Chinese food (and not just for Jews) was the fact that it always seemed so elaborate. All that cutting and chopping, etc., it just wasn't something most moms in the 60's and 70's were used to doing (think meat loaf), so going out to a Chinese restaurant was somewhat exotic. No way would we get that stuff at home.

hmm. most Jewish moms were cooking things like meatloaf and the like?

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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~~~~~~with various levels of adherence to the restrictions on their diet, etc.

I thought I was aware of some of the various levels of adherence. (I'm not Jewish)I had lived with a Jewish family when I was in High School, (not very strict) and a few years ago I did a Chinese Demo for a Temple, and was required to have all my foods checked by the Rabbi, buy all Kosher meats, and buy a new wok. (very strict)

But one time I was at Moishe Peking, in NYC, with a Jewish friend and she was explaining the various restrictions, including differences between countries. She grew up in a Kosher home, & was a strict observer. I asked her is she ever wanted to eat ice cream as a dessert, after dinner, say as Pie A la Mode . She said "Sure! But all we had to do was go outside the house and eat it on the front porch."

!!!!?????

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But one time I was at Moishe Peking,  in NYC, with a Jewish friend and she was explaining the various restrictions, including differences between countries. She  grew up in a Kosher home, & was a strict observer.  I asked her is she ever wanted to eat ice cream as a dessert, after dinner, say as Pie A la Mode . She said "Sure! But all we had to do was go outside the house and eat it on the front porch." 

!!!!?????

I have such fond memories of Moshe Peking. It was the "fancy" kosher chinese place (as opposed to Bernstein's which was the regular place). For special occasions like birthdays, we would drive into Manhattan for dinner there. Mom would always order the Chicken Almond Ding.

In terms of how long after meat you can eat dairy, there are different minhagim, customs, dependent on where your family comes from. It can be as little as one hour or as long 6 hours. There's really no restriction for going from dairy to meat so long as you brush your teeth and rinse out your mouth. I won't go into the exceptions.

Edited by bloviatrix (log)

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

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