Notice must be taken of the special
preparations made for the Sabbath. The
Sabbath dish par excellence is the "kugel."
Orthodox Jews not being permitted to cook on
the Sabbath, their ingenuity has been much
taxed to provide hot food for the day of
rest. In the height of summer, cold meats
are acceptable enough. The difficulty is to
provide hot dishes in winter, and it has
been overcome by the preparation of a dish
known as "kugel."
It consists, generally, of meat stewed with
peas and beans, and placed in the oven
before Sabbath. The fire having been made
up, and the oven firmly closed, the dish
requires no further attention, and will
retain its heat until it is wanted for the
Sabbath midday meal. The term "shalet" (see
is used in some parts of Europe to designate
what has just been described as kugel, while
is used as the name of a variety of shalet
containing much fat; in other parts (e.g.,
Bavaria) "shalet" is used of a sort of baked
pudding; e.g., mazzah, apple, nudel, or
almond shalet. The form "shulet" also
occurs, as in Bohemia, to indicate the "gesetztes
essen" called "kugel"
in the beginning of this paragraph. "Cholent"
is explained by some authorities as a
corruption of the German "schul ende," that
being the name of a pudding which is
prepared on Friday, to be ready when Sabbath
morning or afternoon service is over. Others
derive it from ("that which remains [in the
oven] overnight"), the final "t" being the
German ending. The real derivation is
probably from the Old French "chauld"
(warm). The prohibition against cooking on
Sabbath explains why fried fish, being
primarily a Sabbath dish, is eaten by Jews
cold, whereas other people eat it hot.
Stewed fish is, of course, also eaten cold.
A prominent feature of Sabbath cookery is
the preparation of twists of bread, which
are known as "challahs" or, as in southern
Germany, Austria, and Hungary, as "barches."
They are often covered with seeds to
represent manna, which fell in a double
portion on the sixth day. One other item
remaining to be mentioned is raisin wine.
Jews are required to offer over a cup of
wine the Sabbath prayer for the
sanctification of food. But in many
countries wine is too expensive a luxury for
the majority of Jewish families. A cheap
preparation, made of boiled raisins, is
therefore substituted, which, though it is
far from resembling wine, satisfies all the
requirements of the ritual.