Across Israel, Meir Panim responds to the growing needs of the country’s 1.75 million impoverished residents through various food and social service programs.
Old favorites and new delicacies add up to wonderful additions to a Yom Tov meal.
Flaky dough filled with apples and raisins and covered with a light glaze - great for a Rosh Hashana side dish or appetizer and easier than pie with Athens Fillo Dough Pastry Sheets. Produced by Athens Foods (OK parve), these new packages contain two 8-ounce rolls of fillo dough, each in their own sealed pack. The beauty of this packaging is that if you are making a small batch, you don’t have to worry about thawing out a whole package. And the variety of ingredients with which you can fill the dough is unlimited. We tried fried onions (just cover with a layer of sesame seeds and bake), the apple and raisins I mentioned above, and
our all time favorite - chopped meat. Just prepare the chopped meat as you would for meatloaf or hamburger - bake until done and then cool. We then cut off small cubes and filled the fillo dough - then just heat and serve. You can also order a free 100-page recipe book from the company - for more information visit their website at www.athens.com.
While you are in the frozen section, continue looking until you find the large selection of products under the Ratner’s label (produced by King Kold Frozen Foods, OU parve and dairy). They have potato blintzes and knishes, cheese blintzes, mini potato pancakes – all the old classics with the great Ratner’s taste. But there are some great new additions as well – our family loved the Veggie Grillers. These are vegetable burgers that are made to look like they have been on the grill – they are all natural, high in fiber and low in fat – and just delicious.
Our Staten Island testers tried the bow-ties and kasha – ready to eat in just a few minutes - and loved it; it was one of the best they had ever tasted. There are also the famous Ratner’s soups - all great tasting and easy to prepare. For a full list of products, check out their website at www.kingkold.com.
Next, take a walk over to the low-carb section, where you’ll find some new products by our old friends at O’ So Lo Foods Inc. They have a line of lo-carb sweet ‘rollz’ (OU parve) that are the closest thing a low-carb eater can find to a Danish. Available in Banana Walnut and Cinnamon Raisin, they are incredibly sweet and tasty. We toasted the banana walnut and tried it with a smear of cream cheese - just delicious. We have a few low-carb eaters in the building and these rolls are part of their daily meals. At 3.3 grams of carbs per roll, they are a great snack or an easy and simple breakfast. For a complete list of all products and flavors visit their website www.osolo.com.
For this next item, I’d love to send you over to the salsa aisle, but the Bandana Bandito (KSA parve) products are so high end you won’t find them in your local grocery. Their amazing line of salsa and relish are available in a few specialty shops or on the web at www.bandito.com. Now, you may wonder, why bother going on the Internet when I can just
go to the grocery? Because this stuff is great. Don’t just take my word for it, we gave out samples of some great flavors and everyone who tasted them loved it. Their salsa comes in incredible flavors - mango, peach, raspberry, apple (absolutely loved by our executive department), black bean corn, roasted garlic and other flavors in hot and fiery. The jars are
adorable as well - each comes with its own little bandana. So take a look at their website and find out why Bandana Bandito offers you the best of two cultures.
Now, as long as you’re on the Internet - I have another fantastic specialty product for you to look for. The Republic of Tea (OU parve) sells tea, herbs and many tea-related products. You can try flavors like Jasmine Jazz - a combination of Chinese tealeaves and jasmine – or
Wuyi Oolong – a tea grown near western Taiwan, considered one of the rarest teas in the world. The tea bags come in delightful tins with beautiful pictures and wonderful sayings. But The Republic of Tea sells more than just teabags. We tried their delicious bottled iced tea - sold in the most exclusive restaurants. The flavor we tried was Organic Ginger Peach, with absolutely no sweeteners added - no sugar or honey - and a very refreshing clean taste. They also have a full line of products to make your tea drinking more pleasurable - tea strainer,
elegant teapots and the all important tea spoon. Their catalog itself is a joy to look at – you can find the entire selection on their website at www.republicoftea.com.
Shopping for Rosh Hashana is never complete without certain staples – a nice roast, new fruit, a few jars of honey and of course, gefilte fish. Just the smell of the fish cooking – salt, pepper, some sugar and carrots – is enough to make you smile. Benz’s Food Products (Star-K, Tartikover Bais Din, parve) an old family friend for almost 20 years – are connoisseurs in the gefilte fish market. This week we sampled gefilte fish and horseradish – the fish was not overly sweet, with just a hint of carrot, and the horseradish was strong enough for my husband and yet not too overpowering for me. The fish is available in regular loaf size or a twin pack, and you can also enjoy the great Benz’s taste without the work – in their 24 oz jar. Benz’s also has a full line of regular grocery products – ketchup, canned goods, frozen vegetables and more. As always, their full line of products can be found in your local kosher grocery or supermarket.
From my family to yours, best wishes for a happy, healthy and safe new year.
About the Author: Magazine Editor, The Jewish Press
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