We, Gabrielle Rossmer Gropman and Sonya Gropman, are a mother-daughter team. We have been researching the food of our heritage. Gabrielle – or Gaby – was born in Germany and moved to New York City with her parents at the age of one. She grew up in the neighborhood of Washington Heights, where the large German-Jewish community spoke German (und Gaby sprecht immer noch Deutsch) and their traditional foods were readily available. Sonya grew up in Boston with regular visits to her grandparents’ home in the New York area. There she ate copious amounts of wurst, brown breads sliced on a hand-crank slicer, her Oma’s meat soup with matzoh balls and her Opa’s ambrosial potato salad. She has loved their food from a young age.
Gaby has had dual careers in art and mediation. She administered the Harvard Mediation Program for 20 years and now has a consulting firm for international mediation training and study tours. She regularly works with colleagues in Germany as a mediation trainer. As a sculptor, Gaby has shown her work extensively; her most recent one-person show in April, 2012, was at Ceres Gallery in NYC. An installation about her family history was exhibited in her birth-city, Bamberg, Germany, in 1991, and spurred her interest in the culture of German Jews. Her artist’s website is gabriellerossmer.com At home in Boston, Gaby cultivates a backyard garden that includes a large raspberry patch which every year provides jars of raspberry jam – much as her grandmother Rosa produced in Bamberg 100 years ago.
Sonya is a visual artist working in a variety of media including paper, embroidery and photography. She published photographs in There Magazine based on a 24-hour project in Berlin, Germany in 2007. She has been a decorative painter of faux finishes and murals, and a production designer for feature film. She is the coordinator of her local CSA (community supported agriculture), Farm Spot, which partners a local farm with members of her neighborhood of Jackson Heights. Her blog eat+art+word combines her interests of the visual and the edible. She lives in New York City where she is currently studying German.
We started this blog to create a community where people can gather and share stories, recipes, information and inquiries about the food that German-speaking Jews ate in Europe. And still eat today.
We want to help preserve this distinct culture and we invite your participation.
We welcome your comments, your questions and your feedback. And, of course, your recipes! Please drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you! german.jewish.cuisine (at) gmail (dot) com
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I’ve come back today from my holiday and I’ve spent a wonderful time reading your blog! I really like it! Complimenti e le vostre foto sono bellissime!!! Ciao from the balcony you know!!!
This is fascinating. Im glad u are developing this site. I am also of german jewish background and enamored of food and recipes passed down. My fether and his family came to US due to hitler and were quite assimilated germans. I think their cooking was basically german. I have old recipes for cookies, rote grutze (red berry pudding), sandtorte, apfelkuchen. Can u comment? My father grew up in saxe_coburg areaof germany.
Marjorie: Thanks for writing. If you would like to share any of your recipes with others through this site, please do so. It is an ongoing adventure pulling together some of the old traditions from people who share this background, and we welcome your input. By the way, we have the name Gutman in our background as well.
Thank you for your Bloch und Falks post. Herta Bloch was at my aunt’s (her family’s partner) 100th birthday party. I returned to Worms as an adult and would seek Kalbsleberwuerst, that was occasionally available there.
BTW, we also have Gutmans on my mom’s side.
I remember Gutman & Meyer wurst in Washington Heights along with Schild and Koesterich. B&F did have competitors.
Hi Sonya and Gaby!
Just got your book a few weeks ago and have been really enjoying it! My grandparents are Jews from Offenbach and Nuremberg so reading your book has been a nice window into my family history:)
I was particularly excited because my 97 year old grandfather has been asking me to make gruenkernsuppe. I couldn’t find Gruenkern st kalustyans though… do you know of another place I could get in ny? Or online? I have regular spelt— does it make a big difference??
Let me know! Looking forward to hearing from you! Thanks
Apologies for not replying sooner – I feel so bad that it’s been such a long time, but your comment slipped by. I very much hope you found a source for buying gruenkern in the meantime. In NYC Schaller & Weber carries it, they do mail order in addition to having a brick and mortar store on the UES. Hopefully you have been able to make the gruenkern soup for your grandfather! We’re so happy that you got the book, thank you, and have been enjoying it and the window onto your family’s history!!
I attended your presentation at the Gloucester, MA Temple and bought one of your books. I used my credit card and don’t think the charge went through. I see no record of the sale going through. Please contact me via email so I can pay for the book.
Thanks, Steve. I am emailing you now.
I am most sad to report that Marion Bloch, beloved wife of David Cherson and mother of Soshi, passed away early this morning, May 27, 2020. Later in the year and possibly in conjunction with Marion’s unveiling
the family plan to have a remembrance and Kiddush. Marion will be greatly missed.
Thank you, Arnold. We are very saddened at news of Marion’s passing. We will miss her very, very much. May her memory be a blessing. 🌸
My grandmother made goetterspeisse (spelling) and i loved it. i made it
regularly until my oldest daughter didn’t like the wine sauce part.
then it was 70 years before my cousin read your book and came across the
recipe. i was so excited. because i didn’t remember how to make it.
stale pound cake and or cookkies, wine sauce, fruit and merangue. what else?
sugar, lemon zest. i came in 1938 from stuttgart to washington heights,
at not quite 3 years old.
the family was eckhaus. my grandmother was elise.
I too long for my now-deceased tante’s weinsauce. My maternal grandmother war auch eine Swaberin – Stugartt-Esslingen geborn aber ins Wuerzburg-Kitzingen gewoehnt nach heiraten.