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Great essay, thank you. I have a few things to add:

Jewish food in America is Ashkenazi food, because 95 perecent of all Jews in the US came here from Europe and Eastern Europe, and this is what they ate -- as Layla points out!

They were part of a great white migration here, which discriminated against Jews of Color. Israel, on the other hand, is half Mizrahi and Sephardic now -- mostly because Jews of Color had to leave other countries and had no where else to go.

The unfortunate part of that migration is that the foods of their countries (Iraq, Turkey, Morocco etc.) are now all called Israeli food.

My ancestors are Iraqi Jews. I got into an argument with the NY Times when they posted a recipe for Iraqi-Jewish food they called "Middle Eastern." Eventually they changed it to "Israeli," which is still inaccurate. Iraqi Jews still eat their food in Israel, just as Ashkenazi Jews still eat their food here. Soon all these dishes will disappear, which is what also happens with Palestinian food in Israel, also called "Israeli."

In the US, when you go out for Chinese food, you don't say "I'm going for American food." Each immigrant's food is distinct. Not sure why it is not the same in Israel.

Layla, thanks for the Al Jazeera link about mizrahi being an offensive term. I did not realize this.

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Jan 15·edited Jan 15Liked by Alicia Kennedy

Thank you for this essay. It wasn't until I moved to America that I learnt that some of the food I grew up eating was considered Jewish. Mum was an adventurous cook, and prepared meals from many different cuisines. Many of her recipes, perhaps, came from her east London Jewish heritage. Memories of her brisket, tongue, and pickled herring are part of my food culture, along with meat pie, spaghetti bolognese and rhubarb crumble.

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Jan 16Liked by Alicia Kennedy

Love this new feature! I continue to learn so much from your newsletter.

Any plans to revive the Food Writing Workshop?

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Such a nice piece, Layla. Jewish food comes in every region, every flavor. Jews were doing diaspora before it was a thing.

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Jan 15Liked by Alicia Kennedy

Love this, thank you.

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