High German varveln, through Yiddish farfl)
are small pellet-shaped noodles, made of
either flour mixed with egg or matzo.
Farfel is most prevalent in Jewish cuisine,
where it is a seasonal item used in Passover
dishes. In this form, farfel simply consists
of matzo broken up by any means into small
pieces, and used as a bread substitute in
various recipes, from kugel to mushroom pie
to latkes. It is particularly prevalent in
oven-baked dishes. Farfel also refers to an
egg noodle dough which may be cut or grated
for use in soups, or served as a side dish.
Among Hassidic Jews, farfel is served as a
side dish on the night of the Sabbath, in
accordance with a custom instituted by the
Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism.
In both cases, farfel is carefully soaked in
water in preparation; while moistening is
necessary to soften the dough, allowing too
much water to soak in will leave the mixture
Farfel is not related to the
farafella or farafelle pasta bows.
Two television dogs have gone by the name of
The hound dog puppet used as Nestlè's
mascot in its 1950s and 1960s commercials-
famous for drawling "CHAW-W-W-CLIT!"-
obtained its name directly from the food
In Episode 21 of Seinfeld, "The Dog,"
Jerry was forced to take care of a dog
named Farfel after its owner suffered an
attack of Bell's Palsy on an airplane.
Farfel also provided the name of the
titular cat in Norman Geller's children's
book "Farfel the Cat That Left Egypt."