Rescuing 'Jewish cocaine'
The case for rescuing schmaltz from culinary oblivion, as life becomes one big fitness craze.
You walk into the restaurant, and there, at the center of each table, is a help-yourself container of cocaine. Well, Jewish cocaine.
“People get a little confused,” explained David Zimmerman, owner of the uber-Jewish eatery Sammy’s Roumanian Steak House, on New York City’s Lower East Side. That is, diners understand the bowl of pickles and the basket of rye bread. Homey. Nice. But they are confused by the fact that next to these wholesome items, there seems to be, in full public view, an entire pancake syrup jar full of yellow, pourable chicken fat — a food so fraught with anxiety, joy and just plain shock value, it should come with a tablet of Xanax. (And, of course, some stents.)
Instead, all it comes with is that confounding gift: freedom. Patrons are free to slather it on the rye or stir it into their mashed potatoes. Heck, they can mix it with their vodka — which some do.