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In the Spotlight

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What do vodka and art have in common? Both Van Gogh vodka and Vincent Van Gogh's art are to be appreciated and slowly savored. Both were born in Holland. And, as noted by the company, "Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh was famous for his emotional honesty, use of bold colors and for pioneering the post-impressionist movement. Van Gogh Vodka celebrates its namesake with beautiful, artist-inspired packaging and innovative flavors with vibrant, true-to-life tastes."

Van Gogh Vodka was founded in Holland in 1999 by David Van de Velde. Its distillery is still located in Schiedam, Holland, and lead by 2nd generation master distiller Tim Vos. The company currently produces 22 different hand-crafted flavored vodkas-one of the largest selections of any brand. Van Gogh Vodka is crafted using only the finest fruit, grains and purified water. The grain alcohol goes through a multiple distillation process followed by an all-natural double infusion flavoring process. The company has won numerous awards and accolades. Best of all for the kosher consumer, some of Van Gogh's flavors are now OU Kosher certified.

How delighted we were to discover that several flavors of Van Gogh vodka are now OU kosher certified. Lucky KosherEye! We have had a chance in the past few weeks to taste some of these newly kosher certified flavors, and it is our pleasure to share some of our favorites with you... yes, we are still sipping, so come on over, "y'all"!

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As we start a new year, leading food trend forecasters have shared their predictions.  Topping our list is an important trend relevant to the kosher consumer. A top trend recently reported by Mintel, the world's leading market intelligence agency, is a consistent rise in kosher product claims... “Kosher claims on labels are on the rise and gaining traction. In 2014, 40.6% of new products claimed to be kosher; in 2013, 36.3% and in 2009, 25.6%. Consumers believe that kosher is more wholesome”.

  • It is the year of the Jewish Deli - Welcome back schmaltz.

  • Frying is back – Fat is ok, again

  • High-end bourbon and whisky replaces scotch at #1

  • Communal boozing- sharable drinks and punch

  • Tastes of the year include: savory ice creams and yogurts

  • Flavored salts and smoky flavors; Sriracha and more sriracha

  • Root veggies gain in popularity – Hello parsnips!

  • Technology abounds – same day grocery delivery, instant calorie counts, smart phone couponing, new apps, restaurant ordering, time saving tech

  • Golden Grazers - Older people eating smaller and more frequent meals and searching for “longevity friendly” foods

  • Millennials and GenZs gravitate to their grandparents taste for pickled and fermented foods - pickled herring, pickles, sauerkraut, and modern ferments such as kimchi…

  • Everyone’s a home chef – Artisan foods and ingredients made at home

  • Social Food- Supermarkets convert to socializing spaces with classes, tastes, demos, events - (sounds like Costco and Whole Foods doesn’t it?)

  • New BFF's - Best Food Friending online - new closer relationships with food vendors, supermarkets, food bloggers, chefs and brands

  • Pistachios - (move over almonds) to reduce blood pressure and lower insulin levels

  • Better sourcing... more organic, sustainability, local, emphasis on whole grains; authenticity in nutrition labeling and sourcing; grass-fed, anti-GMO movements

  • Food waste reduction - throw away less,  re-use, re-purpose, re-cook; transparency and better education in spoilage dating

  • Expanding types of foods that offer digestive health, such as pro-biotics

  • A new wave of functional plant-based waters – beyond coconut water and energy drinks

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2015 KosherEye Culinary Wish List

Gathered from the wishes of our staff, readers and food blogger friends, we present our annual KosherEye culinary wish list.

YAY! The kosher certified food selection expanded again in 2014. Each year we are excited about the increase in the number of brands choosing to go kosher.

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Challah and The Shabbos Project 2014
Recipes for Life

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Challah – it is the signature piece de resistance of the Shabbos Meal. Yes, we all enjoy the deliciousness hot chicken soup, rich brisket, crispy roast chicken and more—but the challah is the traditional star of Shabbos tables.

In honor of The Shabbo Project, which is being celebrated in Jewish Communities worldwide, we are sharing some outstanding challah recipes from food bloggers, culinary stars and  KosherEye contributors. These recipes are very diverse,and come from many corners of the world .Each and every challah recipe featured is one you will be proud to serve at your table. To learn more about The Shabbos Project, which is taking place Friday, October 24 and through Saturday, October 25 sundown to stars out, visit theshabbosproject.org .

The Challahs:

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The Challah Recipes

From Aish.com a luscious recipe along with information about why challah is a special mitzvah. http://www.aish.com/sh/t/rai/48970616.html

From Sharon Lurie, The Kosher Butcher's Wife, Johannesburg, South Africa cookbook author, TV/Radio personality and the one of the global leaders and innovators of The Shabbos Project. http://thekosherbutcherswife.com/how-to-bake-challah-with-sharon-lurie/

Although the high holidays are now behind us, we present this scrumptious Apple Cinnamon Challah recipe from Montreal Mom TV. It is perfect for fall or winter – or any time apples are in season.  http://montrealmom.com/blog/apple-cinnamon-challah-on-montrealmomtv/

From  Norene Gilletz, the much admired cooking instructor, cookbook author and all around food expert  a prize-winning challahfrom her book Norene's Healthy Kitchen. http://www.gourmania.com/articles/shabbat.htm

From culinary star, columnist, cookbook author Joan Nathan a recipe for her favorite challah. You will love every bite. It was shared by Tablet magazine. http://tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/142314/joan-nathan-ultimate-challah

Enjoy this video from the awesome Allison Josephs, Jew in the City as she makes her amazing challah along with her children, and shares thoughts about challah-making. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKhmBteD3nM

This challah recipe is from the beloved Rebbetzin Kanievsky z"l as printed in The Bais Yaakov Cookbook.
http://www.koshereye.com/challah/3024-rebbetzin-kanievskys-challah-recipe.html

Challah braiding- no problem! Watch couldntbeparve.com blogger,Shoshanah Ohriner – as she gives her easy to follow  braiding tutorial in FULL color. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-Pg3mppSR0

Chinese_challah_350WFor a global treat we present an Asian challah--published on MyJewishLearning.com: Read the story about Molly Yeh and  try her recipe for a Chinese style challah based on a traditional Chinese dish, the scallion pancake. http://www.myjewishlearning.com/blog/jewish-and/2014/01/21/challah-with-a-chinese-twist/

If you have a breadmaker, or even if you don't you will love this bread machine challah recipe from the talented Susie Fishbein. We make it all the time and everyone enjoys every bite. http://www.koshereye.com/challah/2496-bread-machine-challah.html

For more of our favorite challah recipes – including instructions on how to frost or add sweet streusel to a challah, visit KosherEye.com and access this link: http://www.koshereye.com/best-kosher-recipes/challah.html

Please feel free to share your favorite challah recipe with KosherEye. And to all of our Jewish friends around the world, our  wishes for a delicious, meaningful Good Shabbos - This week, and each week of the new year!

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by Guest Columnist Eileen Goltz

 

Chicken_Vermicelli_Soup

For many the concept of chicken soup is either tied to matzo balls or feeding a multitude of sick family and friends. Let me suggest that we take a step back from what we think we know and talk about how almost every culture has a version they believe is the ORIGINAL one.
We know that all you really need to make chicken soup is a chicken and a liquid (usually water) of some kind. What parts of the chicken make the best soup? Well, hold on to your collective cooking hats because

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A Season of Celebration

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Joan Landis, Sukkot (Jewish Harvest Celebration)

"You shall take... the beautiful fruit (Esrog), a palm frond (Lulav), myrtle twigs and willow branches of the stream – and rejoice for seven days before the Lord your God." (Leviticus 23:40)

estrogSukkot begins on the fifth day after Yom Kippur and lasts seven days. The word Sukkot means "booths", referring to a temporary dwelling. It is a time when many Jewish people live, eat, and sleep outdoors, in their Sukkah, “under the stars”. The holiday is also known as the "Feast of the Tabernacles". It is a season of joy and unity with G-d and for Jewish people everywhere.

The citron, or Esrog, is one of the four species, and a prominent symbol of the holiday of Sukkot.

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