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March 12, 2007

Springtime for Kugel

Unlike last year's controversy-marred Kugel-off, there was a clear winner in this year's competition. Entering their first Shmooze cooking competition, the culinary tandem of Brad Stulberg and Michael Passman smoked the competition with a Passman family noddle kugel which had a great consistency and a sweet aftertaste that connected the generations.

Its heritage can be traced from 516 Walnut (their home kitchen), to Village Corner (where some ingredients were purchased) to Farmington Hills (their hometown) to Eastern Europe (where Michael believes the recipe originated). And from this centuries-long chain of events, the deliciousness found its way to the stomachs of the 40+ Shmoozeniks in attendance at the Second Annual Malka and Elimelech Kugeloff Kugel-off.

While some might contend that Stulberg spent most of the event lobbying for votes for his kugel, the author of this post can attest that lobbying for extra votes does not translate to a kugel championship. There is actually something to making a good kugel that the masses enjoy.

The story of the afternoon might have been Naomi's "You say potato, I say kugel" kugel, which finished in second place. For a specialty kugel like a potato kugel to capture the hearts and tastebuds of kugel samplers like the Ohio native's creation is really a testament to how good her kugel was. (On behalf of the Shmooze Club, I would like to thank Naomi and the rest of her housemates for hosting this year's competition).

One of Naomi's housemates, Pamela, came in second with a cheese kugel she named "Deliciousness." Many people in attendance described her work as a springtime kugel, which matched the sunny and above-freezing temperatures outside.

A few other storylines to follow from the afternoon:

Here are the official results from this year's event:

1. Ekhad Khamesh Shesh: Ha-kugel (Hebrew: 516: The Kugel) noodle - Brad and Michael
2. "You Say Potato, I say kugel" Kugel - Naomi
3. "Deliciousness" Kugel (cheese) - Pamela
4. Walter "Sweetness" Payton Kugel - Avery
4. Ima's Kugel - Shira
4. Zuchugel - Frayda
7. A Zitsen Kugel - Ian
7. Saucy Kugel - Avery
9. Vegetable Surprise Kugel - Naomi
10. The Joker
10. What's Made Ian Bitter Kugel
12. Aloha Kugel
13. Comfort Kugel
14. Kugel of Gold (Yerushalmi Kugel)*

Note to self: Next time you want to enter a Jerusalem kugel in a competition, don't overcook it.

Posted by irobi at March 12, 2007 03:24 PM


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