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The beginning of the long Winter Term included a college visit, though not the kind our seniors have been making now for months. One cannot talk about food and cooking without knowing where it all starts, hence our tour of this campus highlighting the Culinary Arts.

We all had a great time learning about the details of culinary school. I was excited to visit Johnson and Wales in particular because many of the chefs at the restaurant I work at in the summer are currently attending or have graduated from culinary school there. 

For as much of a food fanatic as I am, I wouldn’t consider myself to be the best chef out there. Visiting a school where they start their students from scratch (no pun intended) and begin by teaching them the fundamentals of the Culinary Arts is inspiring and makes me feel much better that the best meal I can make is mac ‘n cheese. Students like myself, with little cooking skills, could attend school there and become a chef without any prior knowledge. My favorite part of the day was watching the different classes learn recipes in the main culinary learning building. I was very impressed with the complex as a whole, but especially how real they made the classrooms and other learning spaces feel. Rooms such as the bar setting for mixing class and the large dining spaces overlooking the water made it feel as though we were at a hotel. This provides the culinary students with real life experience to enhance their learning outside the classroom. 

In addition to learning how to cook and bake, I appreciated the fact that students also have to learn management/ public skills and how to run the front of the house as well as the kitchen. This makes for a well-rounded chef who can see the bigger picture of the restaurant, not just the dish they’re making.  The delicious pizza was a perfect way to wrap up the day and try food made by the students themselves. –Justine DelMastro ‘1

  • Chefs in training
  • Cake Decorating
  • Classroom
  • Mixology
  • Brewery Lab

Recently the Culinary Club traveled to Johnson and Wales University to tour the campus and witness various culinary classes that take place within the school. Ever since I was younger, Food Network was a channel that was always on my television. The competitive cooking battles, along with the at home cooking shows, were very therapeutic to me. When we recently traveled to Johnson and Wales, I got to witness the beginning that most of the chefs on Food Network had experienced. Not only did a delicious aroma fill the hallways and cause my mouth to water from the start of the tour to the end, but also I was amazed at the work that the students were able to produce. I felt as if I was on the Food Network channel, watching as the chefs prepared their meals. It was insane to see how food can be transformed into art and how delicate and beautiful it can be made. While touring one of the floors within the culinary building at the university, we came across a display of sculptures crafted completely from sugar. When watching the Food Network channel, specifically Cake Wars, their sugar creations seem surreal and impossible to construct. Therefore, when I saw what college students were able to produce, I was completely astonished.

            Usually when the average high school student imagines college they picture lecture halls filled with hundreds of students. However, Johnson and Wales showed another side of education. The hands-on activities, especially the room where students were practicing their bartending skills, made learning seem fun. After this experience, a part of me wanted to change my major.—Maddie Burt ‘19

A trip to Johnson and Wales University was the perfect way to return from Thanksgiving break and jump into Winter Term. The school is filled with attractive and modern facilities and has “labs” for all types of food processes and prep. Some of the most eye-catching labs to look in on were mixology, protein carving, and a class where students had to mold sugar and chocolate into intricate and creative designs. One of the most notable things about the school is that no kitchen experienced is required to get into the school – all chefs start from square one. Then they even help chefs get footing in the culinary world by aiding them in landing competitive internships. After touring around the campus and ending in their gym students can use as they please, it was time for the long-awaited lunch. Every new hall in the tour had a new smell ranging from cooking steak to baked bread, so this food was definitely needed. The group went to a restaurant called “Red Sauce” where students of the school cook all the food. It served Italian-based cuisine. The Caprese sandwich, filled with some of the most light and fresh tomatoes and mozzarella slices was top notch. Overall, it’s a university that seems to have a tight-knit and supportive community that can inspire any chef to reach above and beyond their potential. —Abby Gibbons ‘19

  • Chocolate Sculpture
  • Bread Floor
  • Juistine, Johnathan, Danny, Sarah, India
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Students were rapt as Chef Manzo humorously and candidly discussed his philosophy of making pizza and doing business. He, along with his wife and partner Christine, enthusiastically answered questions, their obvious passion–and lots of hard work–explaining their success. Federal Hill Pizza is located both in Warren and Providence.

Billy & Christine

An Abbey student encounters pizza very frequently—both the hardly biteable ones served at Stillman or the greasy ones delivered by North End Pizzeria. These pizzas epitomize the fast-paced spirit that dominates our student life. Pick up a pizza, devour the cheese,meat, and grease on it, and proceed to the next event. 

But are we missing out the beauty of pizza delicately created by the balance of proper ingredients and the process of cooking itself? Certainly at the Abbey, but not at Federal HillPizza. Last Sunday, our trip to the Federal Hill Pizzeria gave me a little insight into the beauty of pizza. Expecting a simple grab-and-go pizza trip, I was surprised and amazed by the incredible reception and lecture from Chef Billy. 

Chef Billy began with a long talk about his personal experience and the business side of the pizza business,reiterating his philosophy of creating a different mode of pizza business that differs from Domino’s almost assembly-line-like mode. Instead of optimizing hisprofit, he wanted to make the best pizza with the best ingredients. He also talked about the process of cooking itself, explaining the nuances of ingredients and cooking appliances. 

The most exciting part—eating—came after these cool experiences. The freshly-baked Margherita Pizza truly embodied Chef Billy’s cooking philosophy, harmoniously combining some of the best cheese and flour. The savor of Caesar Salad, pasta, and the dessert was also simply beyond the power of my description. 

Sitting on the bus on the way back to our lovely Cory’s Lane, I realized that the trip was not only about tasting the food but also about learning about the philosophy of cooking and appreciating its beauty. The trip offered me a new perspective of pizza, an often oversimplified and underrated food. – David Sun ‘19

  • Billy

Pizzas out of the thousands-dollar Neapolitan brick oven are something else. Unlike that of worldwide chain pizzerias, a bite off a slice of pizza from Federal Hill Pizza is nothing of greasy pepperoni, dense bread, and cheese that taste like plastic. And a note-taking moment from Chef Billy: Federal Hill Pizza uses authentic and original pork pepperoni, instead of beef ones that just make the pizza overall oily. From the buttery and fluffy bread to milky cheese, those pizzas taste fulfilling, but by no means heavy. The most surprising taste experienced was a watery sensation, accomplishing the rich but light texture of the pizzas. 

One cannot help but wonder who the chef behind the juicy deliciousness is. Chef Billy from Federal Hill Pizza is a true character. When asked about his vision for the restaurant, he confirmed his hope for expanding, but also stating the belief that the most important thing for any restaurant is quality. In the midst of the rapid development of the food industry, he firmly holds on to his identity and stays true to who he is. His charismatic confidence and humor will brand his restaurant and educate more eaters, as he wishes.–Evelyn Long ‘19

Chef William Manzo Jr. not only serves up some of the best pizza in Rhode Island, he does so with such charisma and enthusiasm. Hidden behind a seemingly small and innocent pizza shop lies a great hidden gem of Providence. After passing behind the counter,one finds themselves in a whole new restaurant, dark and dimly lit, with an air of romance in the decoration. From the red brick walls to the hanging light bulbs,the interior design evokes a sense of romance which can only be truly describedby the man at the centre of it all: Chef Billy. Even after 30 seconds of hearing him speak, it is evident the clear passion he has for his craft and thelocation which means so much to his own upbringing. He details the lengths he has gone to in order to obtain the most natural ingredients, which leads into the amazing taste of his final products.

The simple Margherita pizza Chef Billy presented had a certain je ne se quoi which differentiates it from others. Perhaps it was the special cheese with butter fat which gave it that extra flavor, or the impressively grand brick oven imported from Italy that made the bread just right, but the compilation of many different factors made the simple dish perfect. It was clear that in making such a basic dish,Chef Billy has dissected every small detail of the process to ensure the best quality. From water pH levels to atmospheric humidity, no factor was considered too small in serving the best dish to his customers.

Overall, Chef Billy has created a truly special dining experience, integrating his attention to detail with traditional Italian flavors, forming remarkable dishes.– Jonathan Susilo‘19

  • Sponsorship

Upon taking the first step inside Federal Hill Pizza, the smell of brick ovens and cooking pizza dough danced around the room,adding to the both endearing and highly professional atmosphere of the restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island. Chef Billy Manzo, a man with one of the widest varieties of past employment imaginable, found a love for making real pizza, and it shows. His process of gathering ingredients alone, before even attempting to make the pizza, is noteworthy. He researches what ingredients will be the best, from what region of the world and for what pizza. One of, if not the most important factor in pizza is the care that is put in to making its foundations the best quality itcan be. Then, of course, the magnificent brick ovens from Italy cannot be ignored. Every detail is accounted for—the way the bricks were put into the oven, the type of wood used for the fire, and the temperature the dough should be before going into the oven.

            After learning about the intense science, business and art behind pizza, an aromatic smell wafted through the air signaling it was finally time to eat. The star of the day, the Neapolitan pizza. Dressed with cheese that had a slightly savory butter fat and an astounding red sauce on a perfectly cooked dough, each bitewas met with utter harmony. The cheese instantly melted into the amazing gooey texture cheese should be. Combined with the sauce and the crust with a slight crisp to it, it was clear the precise care that was put in to creating that pizza. That pizza tasted as pizza should. And, even with a full belly, it would be impossible or extremely regrettable to turn down the Nutella and fried dough balls. The chocolate spread melted onto the warm fried dough, making it soft but still maintaining a crispy bite. They are dangerously addictive. It’s an experience filled with enticing smells, friendly company, wonderful presentation and, of course, some of the best food any one person could ever indulge in. –Abby Gibbons ‘19

For most Americans, pizza evokes thoughts of quick delivery and greasy cardboard boxes, but at Federal Hill Pizza, one Rhode Island chefs aims to make a change. If only one word could be used to summarize Chef Billy Manzo’s philosophy of pizza, it would be “quality.” This dedication to quality starts first with the ingredients, which Manzo explained needed tobe not only excellent, but more importantly, consistently excellent. Next, the methods must be equally consistent. In developing his “flavor profile,” Manzo said that every conceivable variable, including the composition of the atmosphere, the pH of the water, and even the temperature of the dough before it goes into the oven must be taken into account to avoid huge differences in the final product. Although Manzo’s high-quality equipment, including ovens especially imported from Italy and wood that’s hand-selected from New England trees, comes with a much higher up-front cost, the businessman-turned-chef explained that in the long run, such investments actually saved money as they lasted longer with lower maintenance costs in addition to making better pizza.

            Although some might call Manzo’s attention to detail “obsessive,” the results of his commitment to quality became quickly apparent with the first bite. The first flavor to make itself known was the dough, so often an afterthought in fast food pizza. The wonderful taste and consistency of the warm pizza dough immediately concretized everything that the chef had said, from the Italian double-zero flour to each painstakingly controlled environmental variable,creating a rich and wonderful flavor independent of the toppings. We sampled two different variants of Federal Hill’s signature Neapolitan pizza, one made with shredded cheese, and the second featuring what Manzo describe as “real cheese,” containing over 18% butterfat. Just as the pizza dough had taken on a whole new dimension, so this contrast showed the same phenomena for the cheese,elevating it to a hitherto unknown richness of flavor. Atop this foundation,the fresh toppings provided just the right amount of refined and detailed flavoring in perfect combination. Through his remarkable focus on quality, Chef Billy Manzo not only turns pizza-making into an exact science, but also a fine art. – David Sozanski ‘19

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Culinary Arts Club by Abbeyculinaryarts - 3M ago

It was another lovely evening spent eating like royalty. There on the banks of the pond at Schartner Farms, Portsmouth Abbey students kept company with many of the best chefs in Rhode Island, happily sampling their dishes and washing them down with Granny Squibbs Iced Tea–and they were thrilled to be treated to the drink by an Abbey alumna, Kelly McShane ’05!

Group Shot

It would be nearly impossible for me to pick a favorite dish from the Chefs Collaborative.Starting out with everyone slurping down an oyster seemed to be fitting for the event–trying out something together before embarking on our own personal food journeys. My food journey consisted of trying lots of things and finding three to four items that were mind-blowingly delicious. I actually had to look up a couple of words, which I love, because I wind up learning more about different foods.I looked up what Vermont Chevron, hubbard squash and chochoyote were. At first I thought that last one might have been a typo or something, but it is actually a small ball of corn dough, like a dumpling. The hubbard squashes looked very much like a cross between a melon and a squash, and a Vermont Chevron is a type of goat.

My favorite desserts were actually some of the first items I tried. One of them was the winter squash financier. There actually seemed to be a lot of dishes featuring squash, probably because the festival was focused on the fall harvest, which I enjoyed very much since I love squash. The winter squash financier   had some very subtle spices that gave it some warmth which was complemented well by the tangy, but sweet, cranberry and the crunchy pumpkin seeds on top. Then there was also a melon and sunflower seed macaron that was easily one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. In the past, I haven’t been much on a fan of macarons because of their chewy texture,but with these macarons, it fit well with the crunchy sunflower seeds. The macaron was sweet and fruity because of the melon, but had a little bit of a crunch and salty flavor from the sunflower seeds, which made them so tasty!!!

Lastly, I’ve always been a fan of croissants, so when I saw that there was a croissant sandwich, I was so excited. There were so many flavors and textures that all blended together so well. When I took a bite of it, I was surprised to taste warm spices along with a couple of other different flavors. Come to find out, there was a pumpkin butter on the sandwich that worked so well with the turkey breast and the crisp and refreshing celery root and apple salad. 

All in all, I was really excited to come to the Chef’s Collaborative, so it was really impressive that I got more excited after I started trying all the unique foods. My expectations were high to begin with, but this certainly surpassed them. I can’t wait to see what else we do during the school year for culinary arts club!—Sarah Costa ‘19

  • Tatum
  • The crew
  • Whole Roasted Vermont Chevron
  • Pork-fat chili Buttermilk biscuits

This past weekend Culinary Club traveled to Schartner’s Farm in Exeter, Rhode Island. They were hosting “The Chefs Collaborative” where various food and restaurant businesses came together o share their food, and drinks, with a vast group of people. The environment welcomed people from various backgrounds. I enjoyed how so many different people came together at Schartner’s Farm all due to their love for food. This experience allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and try multiple food combinations that I would have never thought I would enjoy. My personal favorite was the Chez Pascal, a croissant sandwich consisting of pastured turkey breast, pumpkin butter, and celery root and apple salad. I finished the entire sandwich and even found myself licking the remaining remnants off my fingers. The Chez Pascal was the weirdest sandwich I had ever eaten, and yet it was one of the best I have ever had. This trip to Schartner’s Farm taught me to try new things, because surprisingly you end up liking most of the things you never believed you would. –Madison Burt ‘18

  • Maddie & Tatum
  • Tallulah’s Taqueria: whole roasted Vermont Chevron
  • Nick’s on Broadway: smoked blackbird beef, buttermilk biscuits, chili vinaigrette

As soon as we passed the topiary arch, the energy of the event was evident. From the families playing field sports on the left to observers of the live band of the right, everyone seemed to be enjoying their time and at the centre of it all was the food. Set in the beautiful landscape of Schartner Farms, the Chef’s Collaborative was the opening event for the 2018-2019 Culinary Arts Club.Restaurants and chefs from all over Rhode Island gathered for this event, each offering an amazing dish. Every stand seemed to imbue their dishes own distinct taste and flavor: from classic to contemporary, everything at the event was meticulously prepared.

The event started with the initiating dish: the oyster. Greeting us at the entrance were two buckets teeming with raw oysters, the natural first dish people gravitated towards. Being an oyster lover myself, I found myself coming back for ‘just one more oyster’ several times throughout the night. Another standout was Durk’s BBQ Blackbird farm beef with smoked maitakes and onion top chimichurri over mashed potatoes. The charon the beef seemed to perfectly contrast the juicy inside and the classically done smooth mashed potatoes accompanied the meats perfectly. The maitakes also offered an extra texture the the overall dish and it was highly commendable how chef Jake Rojas was able to incorporate the mushroom into the dish so well.

Overall,the event seemed to foster an amazing sense of community over a shared love of food. From families, friends to even a bus full of school kids, the Chefs Collaborative created a truly special dining experience. –Jonathon  Susilo ‘18

  • Mrs. Bonin & Mr. Calisto
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Culinary Arts Club by Abbeyculinaryarts - 10M ago

For our first event of the Spring term, we did something a bit different than usual by gathering in the Butler’s home to make dumplings and fry dough. After learning that we would be paired up to do this, I was not overly-excited due to my previous-baking experience with a partner (sorry, Megan).

However, my attitude changed when I met Stella, a young lady from Tibet who is living with the Butlers. She said how making dumplings and frying dough are two important traditions from her country and from China. The process of doing so was very concentrated as the dough required different ingredients, mixing techniques, and shapes before it was ready to be formed into a dumpling. I was surprised to hear from Stella that in Tibet they do not measure while they are baking, instead, they taste while they cook to determine when the final product is ready. After the dumplings, we made the fried dough. My favorite part was using food color to dye our dough before frying it. My mix of yellow and red tasted just as good as it looked.

Overall, it was such a pleasure meeting Stella and learning about her culture through this dough and dumpling-making process.This was a very enjoyable and educational experience thanks to the Butlers and Stella. Thank you so much!–Michael Griffin ’18

Click to view slideshow.

As a Chinese, one of the most memorable family foods for me is dumpling. Dumplings could be the entree on the New Year, and the leftover could be the breakfast for the following morning. There are innumerable types of dumplings:from meatlover to gluten-free. Although dumplings are everywhere in China, this is my first time actually making dumplings myself. Unfortunately, the majority of my dumplings came out to be disfigured and few of those survived the steamer.

Another thing we made was the fried bread. At first I thought the name meant you tiao: A traditional Chinese breakfast item resembling an elongated fried dough. So when we started to massage the dough with food coloring, I had to clarify to Mrs. Bonin that this was not you tiao. Pieces of painted dough were fried till they are golden-brown and they tasted even better than what they looked like. —Peter Liu ’19

Click to view slideshow.

Last Sunday, on the 15th of April, the Portsmouth Abbey Culinary Club visited the Butler’s home in Bristol, RI. There we met Stella, a student who now attends Salve Regina University, but is originally from China. Stella showed us how to make traditional dumplings and Chinese fried dough. What I never realized until that day was how much of an art form cooking these two dishes really was.

My favorite part about cooking with Stella was learning the dumpling techniques which included making the dough, rolling and flattening the dough into small circles, and finally learning how to seal the dumplings so that the fillings would not fall out. After many attempts at trying to seal the dumplings, I had yet to perfect them the way Stella had done, but I definitely was on the right track! Thank you Stella and thank you to the Butlers for hosting us, we all had a great time. –Dan Sliney ‘18

Click to view slideshow.
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Sunday. What better day to bake and break bread than on a Sunday with one of our Benedictine  monks? That’s exactly what the students did under the guidance of Fr. Francis, newly arrived this year to the Abbey community, but bringing with him his impressive baking skills. Fr. Paschal joined the students to learn, and taste, alongside them.

On Sunday, the 21st of January, the Culinary Arts Club was hosted by the Dining Hall services at the Abbey. We learned how to bake Japanese Milk Bread with Father Francis, who resided in Japan for a long period of time, learning their culture and ways of cooking. Now an avid lover of food and exquisite baker, Father took time out of his day to teach the Portsmouth Abbey Culinary Club how to bake.

The ingredients we used in making the bread were fairly simple: garlic, water, milk, butter, yeast, salt, and a little sugar. The smell of the garlic and butter combination that we cooked off as the base for our bread was outstanding. My mouth watered as we went through the process. Even though it takes a fairly long time to complete the baking process, it was well worth the intense labor and wait. The smell of the bread coming out of the oven was so satisfying, and the first bite of the bread made my mouth tingle. I suggest eating this straight out of the oven. Overall, I found this a very fun project and something I will try to bake in the future. Thank you, Father Francis! Daniel Sliney ’18

Making the brownish gold color of melting butter was one of the most interesting but hardest jobs assigned for making Japanese Milk Bread! Putting one full and a quarter chunk of butter and divide those into half (one for melting on a pan and one for whipping in a bowl), I could already smell the sweetness and saltiness of the bread. Additional yeast, flour, water and a certain amount of salt at last led into the perfect form of dough – ready to be baked!

Father Francis was definitely a talented baker; it required significant energy to mix the dough evenly with different dry ingredients, and my group struggled to make a chewy chunk of dough. When Father Francis stood between Katherine and me, the sound of him beating the dough completely dominated the entire dining hall. With his several punches, the dough became uniform, resilient and chewy! It was on deck to be put in the oven.

Applying some butter, oil, and sea salt – the most important part – on the top of different pieces of dough, I was ready to be a gourmet. After about twenty minutes of baking, soft, oily bread was made! When I had the first bite of a warm piece, my tongue was first mesmerized with the taste of salt. Then, the rich taste of butter dominated the tongue and formed complete harmony with salt. The warmness of the bread was perfection.

When I put a piece in the microwave the day after, I could still feel the softness the same as the baking day. With the recipe from this baking session, I would like to try this back at home with my little sister! –Scarlett Shin ’18

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Culinary Arts Club by Abbeyculinaryarts - 1y ago
The Crew

Upon arrival at this amazing deli and restaurant, Rachel Munser and staff received us with actual hugs, and food in the form of hugs. Led into our own space, imaginative drinks and platters of treats began arriving, filling tables and bellies with distinctly Jewish flavors in copious amounts. Just when the students thought the end had been reached, pastry chef Rachel Sundit brought out her impressive creations. Starved, hangry, or lonely? This is a home away from home where the people will take care of you as if you were family. 

Shalom! This past Sunday, the culinary trip ventured to Mamaleh’s Delicatessen and Restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Walking in, I knew this was going to be a stellar experience. All around I saw and smelled carved meats, fresh bagels, and various other typical Jewish dishes with which I’d soon familiarize myself. The restaurant area was very open and fluid, just like a Jewish deli. Within moments of arriving, we were greeted by Mrs. Rachel Munzer and Mrs. Rachel Sundet, two of the seven owners of Mamaleh’s. They both cordially introduced themselves and began to explain the mission and history behind Mamaleh’s, one of providing kosher cuisines with a modern-era spin on the classics. While they spoke, we were served our first platter of old-fashioned soda and egg creams, my favorite being the Dr. Brown’s cream soda. We were also presented with various Jewish plates that consisted of bagel chips, new pickles, latkes, tongue meat, chopped liver, salmon, pastrami, kreplach…the list goes on! My favorite dish was the mouth-watering latkes. I also enjoyed making my own sandwich with mustard, new and half-sour pickles, onions, pickled tomatoes, and lettuce. While waiting for the dessert, our club got the very unique experience of touring the kitchen, prepping areas, and even State Park— their sister restaurant. Mrs. Rachel Sunder, Head baker, gave us some very powerful and meaningful insight on the importance of loving one’s profession and shared her favorite aspect of the job: making bagels at 4:00 a.m., a testament to her dedication and passion for her work! Overall, I feel very fortunate for having the opportunity to not only taste delicious kosher dishes, but also, experience Jewish history and culture. This was certainly an amazing trip and one I will never forget. Gai Gesund!–Michael Griffin ‘18

Ever since I received Mrs. Bonin’s email on the next culinary art trip to Mamaleh’s Delicatessen, I could not stop looking up the menu and reviews of the restaurant from different sources, such as the restaurant website, Yelp, and Bon Appetit magazine. In the beginning, because I had not had any Jewish food before, I could only expected the Salmon bagel. However, I could not be more wrong on the variety of food selection.

On Sunday, December 3rd, we took an hour and a half bus ride to Cambridge, MA. Despite the long ride and an over-filled stomach from school brunch, I felt like I was so ready to learn and eat the Jewish food, including cow’s tongue. I am extremely fond of the decorations. The high ceiling and big windows create a welcoming feeling to the customers. Rachel, the restaurant owner, is so nice to arrange a more secluded area for us students to sit together and undergo the food-tasting.

The first course was the Jewish Pu Pu Platter. The chopped chicken liver on bagel chips is a truly amazing combination. I also love the knish with meat stuffing. Then, I tried the latkes, which is similar to hash brown and scallion pancake, yet different as it is eaten together with apple sauce and sour cream. As a person with a sweet tooth, I could not stop myself from reaching for the blintzes with warm raspberry preserve. Next comes my favorite– lox on toasted bagel! I truly enjoyed the salty lox and fresh tomato on bagel with cream cheese. Just as I thought the tasting was coming to an end, a new selection of smoked beef and beef tongue with bread, pickle, sauces, cabbages, and Swiss cheese was brought to the table. The tongue was amazing to eat on its own and the salted beef went well on bread with cheese. As a matter of fact, the chicken liver and beef tongue reminded me of Chinese cuisine at home as I could never find such exotic cuisine at school. Then, we took a tour to the kitchen, the fridge, and the underground bar– which was of such a different style! When we came back, more food was awaiting– the raspberry walnut and chocolate rugelach were just beyond words, especially to someone like me who really loves crusty and crispy sweet food! – Elaine Jiang ‘18

 I used to follow an instagram account called “myjewishmother” that posted the completely stereotypical Jewish-mom things that this guy’s mom would do: send him boatloads of food, make his random friends matzo ball soup when they had a cold, email him links to law schools when he was studying English. Walking into Mamaleh’s, I realized that the stereotypes about massive quantities of amazing food were so accurate. My table managed to burn through not only our own “pupu platter” of knishes, gribenes, pickles, and kreplach, but Sam and I managed to finesse two other bowls of bagel chips and chicken liver and polish those off, as well. This was just the beginning. Next, the fresh latkes came and my verdict was finalized: latkes should have a generous portion of applesauce, and nothing else. Sorry, sour cream. Round three came, and I somehow was able to make room for the bagels and lox, but only because lox will forever be the key to my heart. Cream cheese, red onions, and lox on an “everything” bagel–you know the deal. And then, at long last, Boston Marathon-style heartbreak hill hit with the pastrami and rye platters. Sam and I rallied, built some heaving sandwiches packed with sweet, soft pastrami and tongue, Russian dressing, coleslaw, and tomato, and settled in to listen to Rachel talk more about the journey the owners took to owning this massive Jewish deli. We were wrong. We were immediately herded downstairs for a tour of the kitchen, and then shuffled along until we found ourselves in a dark, neon-lit bar also owned by Mamaleh’s. We confirmed to the bartender that we are all extremely underage, if they couldn’t tell from the fact that we were still covered in crumbs and sauce. We poked around the artistically kitchy bar until being sent back for dessert. The rugelah and the babka were the perfect cap to our visit. Thank you, Rachel, and thank you Mamaleh’s.

–Sydell Bonin ‘18

On Sunday, we went to Mamaleh’s Deli in Cambridge. I hadn’t really considered what we would be trying, but it definitely exceeded any expectations. First, they brought us a spread of the most unique drinks I had ever heard of. I was happy to recognize the Dr. Brown’s soda brand, although I hadn’t realized that it was so unique to Jewish restaurants. While it was sort of hard to really drink a couple of them, like the pickle soda, they were really surprising and fun flavors to try.

Then Rachel, the owner, brought out the ‘Jewish pu-pu platter’. I really liked the fried chicken skin (gribenes). The potato knishes were really nice looking as well, and I was surprised that they look visually similar to some Chinese meat buns that I’ve had before. We also had latkes, which I had never tried before, and I really liked them. We also had some really great desserts. I’m not really sure what they all were but I loved the cinnamon cake.

Rachel also told us about the history of Jewish delis and how they had faded but are now making a comeback. I have only been to one before in Indianapolis, and it was really cool to see the differences between that one and Mamaleh’s. We also got to see around Mamaleh’s kitchen and to their bar State Park. State Park had some taxidermy animals with party hats that I really liked. I was interested to see their kitchen and baking space as well, since it seems like they have such a great variety of food that they make. I really liked hearing about their head baker’s experience with working there and how even though she doesn’t like having to get there around..

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