I Unpacked The Horrors Of Gefilte Fish Just In Time For Passover

Gefilte fish for Passover 5771. (Edsel Little/Flickr Creative Commons)

Gefilte fish for Passover 5771. (Edsel Little/Flickr Creative Commons)

Why is this night different from all other nights?

Because, tonight I'll get to kibitz with family and friends at the Passover seder, watch my kid search for his first afikomen and eat uncomfortable amounts of homemade brisket, matzo ball soup and this mind-blowing chocolate-covered coconut cake (I've consumed an entire one in a single sitting). I'll also be expected to eat what is, basically, kosher cat food — aka gefilte fish.

For those who have never had the stuff, gefilte fish is, in its most basic form, a fish ball. It's traditionally made from whitefish and it's not easy to prepare, so many Jews who eat it, buy it pre-made in jars.

Come dinner time, my aunts will dutifully make the rounds, offering up these pungent, greyish fish torpedoes, which jiggle as they're pulled from their jelly and plopped down, waiting to be eaten with horseradish and matzo . . .

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