Schmaltz or No Schmaltz? Abbas Asks
Updated: Jan 30
Dr Axe, an internet guru of health and wellness, recently came out with a feature article reconsidering schmaltz: It could help lower your cholesterol and it is a definite must for your Keto. Who knew? Actually, it appears that more experts are climbing on the schmaltz bandwagon. Could Schmaltz Really be Good for You? is an interesting interview discussion by a famous Science journalist Nina Teicholtz. Could it be that the unsaturated fat revolution has peaked?
Most of you won't remember back that far, but when I was about seven years old and before dinosaurs became extinct, I recall a neighbor who signed onto the emerging fat revolution. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Milk with cream on top in glass bottles was delivered to the door. Butter was a dime a dozen. And the closest television in my neighborhood was a couple of blocks down the street at Wilma's house, where our bunch gathered weekly to watch the "Lone Ranger."
The social media of the day was a party line telephone. Everyone had one. You could quietly listen in on the line and get all the local gossip. Fake news came right from the horses mouth, so to speak. And that was the way the "fat revolution" won the culture war of the day. One party line at a time ... whispering down the lane. One piece of fake news piled on top of another and pretty soon even Manischewitz changed the fat ingredient in their matzoh ball recipe from schmaltz to vegetable oil.
My mother was not yet a member of the anti-fat club, and was still spreading our bread with the heart attack spread. But the real truth was out; butter was "bad," even life threatening, Margarine was the answer to clogged drains and renewed sexual vigor. But the Dairy Association was fit to be tied. The war was on between the factions: saturated fat against the polyunsaturates ... may the best fat win. Animal fats OUT, vegetable fats IN.
Schmaltz is on the saturated fat side of the Maginot line. Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, and anti-Israel factions of the Muslim Nations were proud. They won! They certainly were not going buy into the "colonialist" Jewish schmaltz narrative. By 1492, Abbas' marauding Muslim ancestors had taken over the known Catholic world including Spain. I think even the Pope may have been a Muslim then. The world had denounced schmaltz once and for all ... and along with it chopped liver and matzoh balls.
In 1492, everyone south of Greenland and north of the equator was busy getting on board with the Inquisition which had started in Spain a few years earlier. There was one question the Inquisitors asked, to determine whether someone got put on the rack or qualified to be burned at the stake, and that was, "Do you eat schmaltz or margarine? If you are currently eating schmaltz, will you renounce all affection for it? No? Too bad, buddy". "Yes?, wrong answer. Tough toenails, kiddo."
King and Queen Ferdinand and Isabella got fed up with the Jews and their dirty tricks and kicked them all out of Spain. They had four months to pack up and get on board with Columbus to head West, or they could hike north into the arms of the Nazis or the Russian Tzarina who piled them into the Pale and shot them. None of them liked schmaltz or any cuisine of the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob (known also as Israel).
Caption: ( Left) Woodcut from 1508 (Right) Inquisition Torture Chamber 1716
Our neighbor, a Delaware transplant from Alabama or someplace where they dine on muskrat and squirrel, was at the forefront of the fat revolution in my neighborhood way back when. Her new-fangled "margarine" came in two packages. In one package was a white substance that looked a lot like lard or Crisco and in the other packet was a yellowish substance. When they were carefully mixed together, the final product resembled butter. Don't ask.
The new paradigm back then was "polyunsaturated." From that day in 1492 until just last month, the fat paradigm was intractable: oil, corn oil, margarine and "I can't believe its not butter" held sway over deadly schmaltz and dastardly butter. Butter was out and schmaltz definitely out.
Threats of clogged arteries and premature death ruled the "fat revolution" for the eon. It's a toss up: Are fat clogged arteries better or worse than death by medieval torture? Write a comment below and give us your thoughts on that.
I think this is a secret, but I heard from a very good source that the last person to be executed by the Inquisition was Cayetano Ripoll, a Spanish schoolmaster hanged for heresy in 1826. By my count that is over 300 schmaltz free years which doesn't count the schmaltz free era of Hitler and Stalin, who according to reports were definitely into cleaning out clogged arteries.
So to make up for the deprivation, next time you are in New York City, visit Famous Sammy's restaurant in lower Manhattan, a traditional Romanian steakhouse in the celler at 157 Chrystie Street. Here schmaltz is a specialty. Chopped liver "Sammy's Style" boasts of grated radish, chopped onions, gribenes w/chicken fat. When we were there about 20 years ago, ( at the recommendation of a former friend) they served the schmaltz (chicken fat) in a traditional restaurant style syrup container the top of which slides away as they pour the ambrosia liberally over your chopped liver dramatically served tableside. For vegetables , the offering is stuffed cabbage and large or small salad. That's it. You can see where their priorities lie. The walls ( and at that time the ceiling as well), were covered with thousands of somewhat greasy looking pictures and calling cards donated by about a hundred years of visitors. Great food and clogged arteries their specialty de maison. Great if you are on a Keto diet. Call a cab to take you home.
After all these years, I confess without a morsel of shame, that I am a renegade health nut who never fully signed onto the polyunsaturate narrative. In fact, I must admit that, early on, I developed a craving for schmaltz. One of my grad school profs who taught History of Eastern European Cinema and a good friend of ours, was a refugee from Czechoslovakia. He and his wife delighted in feeding us their traditional rendered duck fat ( some also call this "schmaltz") on our crusty Polish rye bread to go along with their doughy dumplings. I was thin then, and I couldn't decide between the virtues of schmaltz versus duck fat but I sure knew either one beats a dose of cod liver oil.
Perhaps Mahmoud Abbas' intractable anti-schmaltz narrative has also peaked? I heard the other day that even the Arabs' patience is fraying listening to his perpetual whining. Secretly, of course, they, the Arabs, seem to be eager to get on board with Trump's great "deal of the century." It probably will end up being something like the NATO deal. Where the US "invests" ( say, donates) $49.6 billion of which 48.3 billion ends up in Abbas' Swiss bank account. Somehow to my schmaltz addled brain, the idea of purchasing (say "investing in") a $50 billion "peace deal" for the Palestinians comes under the same category as the threat of medieval torture.
I know it's hard to believe that Abbas ( also known as Abu Mazen), the notable Palestinian leader (and disciple of Yasser Arafat who famously won a Nobel Peace Prize for his leadership as a Palestinian terrorist), is not stupid. He earned his PhD degree with a specialty in "Holocaust denial." Actually, if you can believe, wrote his dissertation on this highly scholarly topic. Maybe we can give him some slack since his degree is from Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow. Evidently, the Russians were so impressed with his dissertation defense, they requested to print his book in Russian. Get the story here. It is quite incredible. His book is titled "The Other Side: The Secret Relationship between Nazism and Zionism" And, all this time I thought the early Zionists were evil Bolshevik Communists... This is one of many reasons why Hitler wanted to kill them all. I am confused.
I must also confess, that Abbas' dissertation almost has me convinced to join the other college students to wave the flag for "Palestinian freedom" fighters. Maybe you didn't know that the 5.3 million remaining Jews who managed to avoid the "the non-existent Holocaust," are out there secretly plotting to take over the world and steal the rights to Abbas' book. And they must be stopped!
I know Abbas didn't write the famous anti-schmaltz book entitled "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion" but he might have collaborated on it in his former life. The " Protocols," written originally in 1890 something, is currently a best seller in the Arab world along with Hitler's "Mein Kempf." Abbas' book about the secret relationship between Hitler and the Zionists is barely on the radar screen. Even Henry Ford Sr. took a short break from the Model T to publish "The Protocols" so it has gotten lots of play in the book selling world in the "let's hate Zionist schmaltz eaters" (or Zionophobe) category.
Keeping in mind that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, I was thinking the other day about how Mahmoud Abbas( Abu Mazen) is setting himself up as a martyr and refusing to take the $50 billion "tainted" Zionist money offered to him by the pro Zionist "elites" like Jared Kushner who want to convince him to get a taste of a new world order in which schmaltz rules the day. Think of it.
Susan Warner for Ezekiel's Junction.. It all happens here.