An Evolution of Jewish Breakfast Culture

Marc Goldfeder • Tucson, AZ

Non-observant Jewish boy who eats pork meets semi-observant Jewish girl who observes some dietary laws, especially those relating to (non-Chinese) pork. Boy has no background in Jewish holiday celebrations. Girl observes Passover, reads from the haggadah, eats only unleavened bread—matzo—for eight days, and makes matzo-brei for breakfast.

Matzo-brei can be made in many ways, whether omelet style, scrambled egg style, pancake style. Matzo-brei can also be eaten in many ways: savory, sweet, savory and sweet combined. Boy decides he loves matzo-brei, especially scrambled egg style and savory. Boy loves ham and eggs. Boy has a revelation: Matzo-brei with ham! A conglomeration of cultures. A hybridization of gustatory delights. A mosaic, a mishmash, a fusion, a potpourri of civilizations. A delicious breakfast food.

Girl decides she loves Boy anyway, will not cook or eat this concoction, but allows him to make it himself and eat it himself. Girl and Boy eventually have children of their own, who, after much deliberation, are raised in a semi-observant style. Boy is a modern father who changes diapers, pushes baby strollers, participates fully in the raising of children, and loves to cook breakfast. Children attend synagogue and Hebrew school and participate in the rituals of Jewish life in a liberal style. Pork is not served in the home for lunch or dinner. Girl allows Boy to cook matzo-brei with ham for breakfast to determine if children will eat it. Children’s reaction is: YUMMY!! And thus a another tradition is born, passed on from one generation to the next.

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