the schmooze

iPhone Apps for "fressers"/foodies

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

According to The Urban Dictionary, "to fress" means to eat gluttonously; to consume mass quantities of food, as opposed to "essen," to eat.

Virginia Woolf said, "One cannot think well, or sleep well if one has not dined well."

Today's iPhone apps allow "fressers" to find, order, and make "geshmak" (tasty) meals. You can go to OMG facts and learn that "There are chinatowns on every continent except Antarctica...and cows that are given names produce more "milkh" (milk)." You can even find out that "schlerm" is a noun meaning the wrinkled end of a Hebrew National Salami. ...and "kreplach" is a Jewish won-ton. And, would you believe, that in 1992, the Harper's Index reported that 7% of Americans thought "espresso" was an "overnight delivery system"?

Shown below are some interesting iPhone apps. Some are real; some--please God-- may soon be available.

1. APP CHAI 18 recipes from Ruth & Bob Grossman's 1963 book, "The Chinese-Kosher Cookbook: Some examples: "Tea Eggs Oy Vaze Meer" "Vus Mahks Doo Duckling" "Chicken Pipp Ick" "Candied Dates Zoff Tikk"

Check out this recipe, which was styled by Karen Pickus for "Good Morning America."

3. APP "DER TSUKERL MAN" (The Candy Man)

"Der tsukerl man" answers your questions:
Q. Is Halvah candy?
A. Halvah is a confection usually made from crushed sesame seeds and honey, but in some instances may be made with grain based ingredients. It has been a traditional dessert in India, the Mediterranean, and the Balkans. Halvah that is based on nut butters (or seeds) and contains no flour is candy. Halvah that is flour-based is not candy.

Q. What is a "shtikl"?
A. According to "Meshuggenary - Celebrating the World of Yiddish" by Stevens, Levine & Steienmetz, a "shtikl" is a noun meaning "just a sliver or small piece and not quite enough to fill your mouth. What your mother gave you before a meal so as not to spoil your appetite."

Q. Why is chicken soup called Jewish penicillin?
A. It's not just the garlic--all that care and love coming into your sickroom are very healing. That's why Jewish mothers are such noodges about food. (Source: "Meshuggenary")

Q. What is "two cents plain?"
A. In the lower east side of the 1920s and 1930s, seltzer water was known as "two cents plain."

Mimi Sheraton is a journalist, restaurant critic, consultant, lecturer, cookbook writer, and lifelong New Yorker.

In 1999, Mimi Sheraton wrote to the Editor of the New Yorker explaining the difference between "schlemiel" and "schlimazel." She said that a schlemiel is a bungling fool who may, since he can't help himself, also be considered a schlimazel. As is stated in the noted author and Yiddishist Leo Rosten's 'The Joys of Yiddish,' "A shlemiel is a man who is always spilling hot soup down the neck of a shlimazel." Rosten doesn't say if it's chicken soup, but I'm willing to bet it is. With Matzo balls."

Sheraton's book, "The Whole World Loves Chicken Soup," won both the IACP and James Beard awards.

Jack Cooper is the author of "Who Knew?!Unusual Stories in Jewish History." The book contains hundreds of facts and anecdotes that have helped make up the story of the Jews in world history. One story is titled "...beets, dumplings, and fine linens can be lethal."

During World War II, many Jews turned to non-Jews for sustenance and shelter from the Nazi dragnets that were set out for their capture.

In one instance, a Jewish woman was admonished by her Polish hostess that by slicing the beets so evenly, she might give herself away if anyone noticed that the beets were being prepared "Jewish style." In another instance, a member of a hostile Polish guerilla group, the AK, responsible for the murder of countless Jews, was eating soup with dumplings in the home of a family sheltering Jews. The hungry killer was heard to exclaim, 'These dumplings could only have been cooked by a Jewess.' That night, the dumpling maker was again on the run..." Note: The book is "vunderlekh."

Making matzo with Matzo Maker is so easy even a gentile can do it. First, mix together wheat, flour, egg yolks, and water in the handy yarmulke-shaped measuring cup & stirring bowl. Pour one yarmulke's worth of your matzo mixture into Matzo Maker and adjust the cook selector for light matzo (You call that baked?) to dark matzo (Oy, burnt again!). Then wait for the indicator light to flash. Best of all, you don't even have to wait for it to rise, and there's no dealing with unreliable yeast...

Along with every Matzo Maker, you'll receive a special hardcover copy of Dr. Abraham Levinstein's Ph.D. thesis, Matzo: Fact and Fiction...Each and every component used to make your Matzo Maker is blessed by Dr. Levinstein before it is assembled into the final product and shipped to you. Matzo Maker #OYYUYOY, $49.95. (Source: "The Cutting Edge - The catalog for the man, woman, and child who has everything...but wants more" by Doug Mayer, Jim Becker and Andy Mayer, copyright 1993.)

8. APP FRESS-FOR-LESS You've heard of Ross Dress For Less? Now think "fress for less." Gerry Blumenfeld writes that she once saw a restaurant in Mexico City whose menu, under "Sandwiches," read:

Pastrami por Fressers..............10 pesos Pastrami (Double Decker)
por Grandes Fressers..............15 pesos Pastrami (Triple Decker)
por Grandisimo Fressers.......20 pesos

(Source: "The New Joys of Yiddish" by Leo Rosten)

Ms. Madden ran the New York Magazine Competition for 32 years. Competitors were invited to submit fanciful definitions, goofy words, wordplay, and puns. After 973 separate contests, Ms. Madden decided to call it quits. Did you miss these food terms?

"Valhalla" - a loaf of bread in the shape of a heart

"vegetarian" - someone who gives peas a chance

"Bon Mot - Homemade applesauce (or as we Jews call it, "epl-tsimes")

"aeroplain" - unflavored seltzer

"artifishal" - crab meat from Japan

"pseudough" - batter made with artificial flour

"decrepit" - a very old, thin pancake

"potage" - Rest Home Soup Kitchen

"amishmosh" - puree of assorted vegetables from Pennsylvania

"pulleticallycorrect" - chicken with left and right wings

"scusi" - prosciutto wrapped in cold cooked rice

Hormelt" - grilled spam-and-cheese sandwich

"hellepeno" - devilishly hot sauce for pasta (served at Dante)

"oreoporosis" - disorder caused by too many cookies, not enough milk

"fat-free desserts" _ chocolate cupfakes

"French toast" - "Bon appetit!"

"insouciance" - summoning a gravy chef from the dead

"Nascaterer" - fast food supplier

Jews have donned the title, "The People of the Book." Using your iPhone, check out the dedication in Mitchell Davis's book titled, "The mensch chef - or why Delicious Jewish Food Isn't an Oxymoron":

"For my sisters, Leslie and Carrie, whose love and inspiration taste better and are better for me than all the chicken soup in the world. And in loving memory of our mother, Sondra Davis, whose spirit lingers like the scent of a freshly baked Russian Sour Cream Cake."

And check out "The Bialy Eaters - The Story of a Bread and a Lost World" by Mimi Sheraton. Her book is dedicated as follows:
("For all the Bialystokes Kuchen fressers and their vanished way of life.")

Want to learn how to say the following words in Yiddish?
chickpeas - "arbus"
chicken - "hun"
junk food - "khazeray"
garlic - "knobl"
horseradish - "khreyn"

Enroll in "Ot Azoy," a Yiddish course offered in London, England. "Ot azoy" means "This is the way." Who says Yiddish is kaput?

Marjorie Wolfe's favorite recipe:
Gracie Allen's Perfect Roast Beef

1 large roast of beef 1 small roast of beef

Take the two roasts and put them in the oven. When the little one burns, the big one is done. (as reported by George Burns)


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Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

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