Bagel and Falafel

Shaul Stampfer

in Jews and Their Foodways

Published in print January 2016 | ISBN: 9780190265427
Published online January 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780190461935 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Contemporary Jewry

Bagel and Falafel

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This chapter discusses the difference between two iconic Jewish foods: the bagel and falafel. The bagel is regarded as an iconic food of American Jewry and falafel holds a similar status among Israeli Jews. Both are relatively new foods that appear in standard combinations consisting of a distinctive form of bread with two additional food elements. However, there are significant differences in the message carried by bagels and falafel for those consuming these two foods. Whereas the bagel came to be seen as a traditional Jewish food, the falafel is regarded as an “Oriental” food. The message of the bagel is nostalgia. The terms surrounding the bagel/lox combination are Yiddish and redolent of “the old country.” In contrast, the falafel evokes no nostalgia.

Keywords: falafel; bagel; bread; traditional Jewish; American Jewry; Jews; Oriental food

Chapter.  16730 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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