is a traditional Jewish dessert or side
dish. The word is Yiddish for ball, but it
is sometimes translated as pudding or
casserole, and related to the German
Made from bread and flour, the first kugels
were plain, and salty rather than sweet.
About 800 years ago, their flavor and
popularity improved when cooks in Germany
replaced bread mixtures with noodles or
farfel. Eventually eggs were incorporated.
The addition of cottage cheese and milk
created a custard-like consistency which is
common for today's dishes.
In the 17th century, sugar was introduced,
giving home cooks the option of serving it
as a side dish or dessert. In Poland, Jewish
women sprinkled raisins and cinnamon into
recipes. Hungarians took the dessert concept
further with a hefty helping of sugar and
some sour cream.
While less renowned than their sweeter
cousins, savory kugels have always existed.
Early noodle recipes called for onions and
salt and were tasty at room temperature.
Over the centuries, inspired cooks have
skipped the noodles, substituting potatoes,
carrots, zucchini, spinach or cheese.
Today many people crown casseroles with corn
flakes, graham cracker crumbs, ground
gingersnaps or caramelized sugar. Inspired
cooks may layer the dish with sliced
pineapples or apricot jam.
In 1950, the Bundt pan was developed for
cooking kugel, though it eventually became
known as a pan used for a variety of other
inventor H. David Dalquist dies
Amongst South African Jews, the word "kugel"
came to be used by the elder generation as a
scornful term for a young Jewish woman who
forsook traditional Jewish values and strove
to assimilate into gentile high society
becoming overly materialistic and
excessively groomed. The women thus
described made light of the term and it has
since become an amusing rather than
derogatory slang term in South African
English for a materialistic young woman. As
the term originated from Jewish cuisine, the
word "bagel", another term from Jewish
cuisine, has been used by some to denote the
male counterpart of a "kugel".
Kugel (Pronounced koo-gel or ki-gel)