First, an Indian-American student Arvind Mahankali won first place in Scripps National Spelling Bee competition by correctly spelling the word “knaidel,” which is Yiddish for matzo ball. Following the Spelling Bee contest, there was a whole lot of disagreement—most prominently from the Yivo Yiddish institute—over whether knaidel was the correct spelling of the word. The suggested “correct” spellings (of a non-English word, mind you) included kneydl, knaydel, kneydel, knadel, and kneidel.
Incidentally, I recommend Jeremy Rosen’s op-ed KNEIDEL for an-indepth analysis of the new matzo ball crisis.
Never mind all that. On Sunday, at an event organized by U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng of Queens, where little Arvind resides, his victory was celebrated at Ben’s Best Kosher Deli in Rego Park, with the dish “Arvind mini knaidel.”
The celebration was attended by a large number of Indian-American and Jewish-American community leaders. Which is the crowd you normally find in Indian restaurants.
Jay Parker, owner and chef of Ben’s Best Kosher Deli, announced that the new menu item would be served to his customers to commemorate the victory of the neighborhood boy in the national championship.
The mini matzo balls are made out of dough, mayonnaise and eggs, Parker revealed his recipe secret to all round cheers.
Parker said the dish represents the love of Jewish community to the winner.
Sure, after Yivo attacked the poor kid, it was the least we cold do.