Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dark oftentimes has a negative connotation. We associate it with evil and death, especially in film, art, and literature. But we can also find light in the darkness. There are many positives to darkness, especially in the culinary realm.

One would think that dark in cooking is a bad thing. Think about burned or rotten food, but there is so much goodness in dark. Have you ever had caramelized onions? Sure, they are dark, but so sweet! Or how about dark toast. It looks charred, but the texture makes it so very chewy. Even dark steak can look hard and dry, but look inside and it’s pink and soft.


As a chef, I prefer cooking with dark frying pans as I feel that they brown (Ironic, right? Again, browning is good!) the food better. Did you hear of the Chinese culinary term “hei an liao li” or dark cuisine? This is a style of cooking where odd or even bizarre food combinations are paired together. At first, the mixture sounds disgusting. Like who would want to eat pizza topped with nacho chips, or have a breakfast omelet with kiwi wedges? But in the end, the dish comes out delicious! Don’t be afraid of the dark, be it in the culinary world or life in general, as there can be good even in the darkness.


Previous articleWord Prompt – DARK – Sara Pachter
Next articleWord Prompt – DARK – Ariel Rackovsky
Naomi Nachman is a cookbook author and social media personality. She hosts Table for Two on the Nachum Segal Network, posts videos on, conducts cooking and Zoom food demos, and is a Mishpacha Magazine columnist. She also is a cooking competition producer whose recipes are featured in several publications.