The Powerful Connection Between Chinese Food and Jewish People
Don’t overly evaluate, consider, ponder or concern yourself with this truism. Stay away from focusing on the fact that a large percentage of Israel is in Asia, as of course China is. Rather, just consider some of the curious factoids that there is a strong connection between Chinese food and Jewish people that occurs on a regular basis.
Growing up in Queens, I always found it somewhat interesting that while Chinese restaurants were usually open nearly every day of the year, my personal favorite one always closed on the Jewish High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). Of course, since I followed the adage that curious minds need to know, I inquired. I sat with the two proprietors of the restaurant and asked them why this was so. I thought maybe there would be somewhat complicated explanations, but found it interesting when they told me, “It’s simple. Most of our customers are Jewish, and they won’t eat out on the High Holidays. So we close.”
The taste and desire for Chinese food is so essential that even those who are Kosher have created a significant enough demand to have Kosher Chinese restaurants open and succeed. (MM: Please read our review of Cho-Sen Island, a Kosher Chinese restaurant located in Lawrence, NY)
Jews always are confronted with the question, “What should I do on Christmas?” Since most others spend that time with their families or in church, we Jews had to come up with a game plan! So, many go to the movies, and get some Chinese food.
Several years ago, I realized how powerful this relationship is when one of my cousins (who lived at the time in Massachusetts) used a wok to prepare the Passover Seder, merely adapting the ingredients.
Thank heavens for Chinese Food!!
—Mee Rich Yee nee Richard Brody
(MM: To read other articles published by our guest author, please click here)