Homemade bagels perfect for any Jewish American breakfast, or any breakfast for that matter. (Amelia Clute / Sun Staff Writer)

A Flavorful Celebration of Jewish Culinary Identities

Despite making up just about two percent of the U.S. population, Jews remain keepers of an incredibly varied culture. We see this first-hand in the wide range of Jewish identities which exist in America alone — an Israeli Jew may arrive in the U.S. cooking with chickpeas and pomegranates, only to balk at the copious amounts of “white food” which many Ashkenazi Jews consume. Likewise, latkes and gefilte fish may seem so intrinsically Jewish to these Eastern European Jewish communities that shunning them is to eschew Judaism entirely. Jewish culture is, therefore, dependent upon the interpreter’s own experiences, creating a collection of identities as varied as its people. Yet despite their differences, these groups unite themselves under the larger “Jewish” title, celebrating tradition and commitment to the community in similar ways: Through food.

Harvest at a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) plot. (Brianna Johnson / Sun Contributor)

Eating in Season

As July turns to August, the growing season in central New York is at its peak. A bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables can be found at your local farmer’s market, community garden or even your own backyard. If there was ever a time to attempt to eat more ethically, it’s now! There are few ways to eat more ethically and sustainably than eating in-season, locally grown produce. When you purchase local and in-season goods, you diminish your food’s carbon footprint tremendously by eliminating the need to store, cure, freeze and transport your produce.

A day spent biking through cornfields towards Penn Yan, New York. (Jack Waxman / Staff Writer)

Can the Future of Farming be Organic?

Equipped with hand sanitizer and face masks, I began my fifty-mile bike ride to interview Klaas Martens, an organic farmer from Penn Yan, New York. On the way, I saw a “For Sale” sign outside a small complex called Freedom Village. I got barked at by too many guard dogs and I conquered obnoxiously long, steep hills that made my thighs scream. I passed by miles upon miles of corn fields. Corn is a major New York crop with 1 million acres planted yearly.

Dominique Clayton, owner and chef of "In The Kitchen With Dominique, LLC." (Amelia Clute / Sun Staff Writer)

In the Kitchen and Mind of a Black, Female Chef

Dominique Clayton is the owner of “In The Kitchen With Dominique, LLC,” a Bay Area catering business serving events both big and small — and most recently, providing meals for those in need in Oakland in partnership with Walnut Creek Kitchen and Eat Learn Play. A chef’s culinary journey is as unique to them as the food they create; every dish is a culmination of an entire lifetime of learning, experimentation and tasting. This weekend, I had the pleasure of interviewing local business owner Dominique Clayton about her own journey and experiences in the field as a Black female chef. Dominique Clayton is the creator of In the Kitchen With Dominique, LLC, a catering company in California’s Bay Area. Though she discovered her calling to enter the professional world of cooking around five years ago, food has always been a deeply personal and influential force in Dominique’s life.

The begining of a family adventure. (Sarah Austin, Sun Staff Writer)

From Madeira to Smuckers Mosaics

My family is notorious for waiting until the last minute to plan our summer trip; that’s why this summer was so surprising. In November 2019 we had tickets to Madeira, and over winter break we began to very informally plan. While I was supposed to be finding hotels and hikes, I was too busy dreaming of all the passion fruit and tabaidos I was going to be eating. Unfortunately, our summer plans came to a screeching halt in mid-March. Instead of daydreams of Madeira, my mind was occupied with finishing up school, applying to summer jobs and remembering a mask when I went to the grocery store.

Sofia Siciliani

Become a Market Hero Today!

Ithaca Farmers Market has been a central part of the Ithaca community for over 46 years and a beloved hotspot for nearby students. With over 100 vendors, the market has allowed many aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to start their own business on a small scale without the expenses or risks usually associated with the process. As a result, throughout the years the market has helped grow brands such as Gimme Coffee, Ithaca Hummus and Emmy’s Organics. Although Ithaca Farmers Market was able to stay open during the pandemic, business was far from usual. To maintain social distancing, weekend market vendors were limited to 50% normal capacity, while the Wednesday and Sunday markets were forced to open a month later than usual.

French macarons. (Amelia Clute / Sun Staff Writer)

Measurement Experiment: By Weight or Volume — Which is Better?

Part 1 — Amelia Clute and French Macarons
French macarons are only scary if you actually care about doing it well. Let me elaborate — you would have to try extremely hard to produce a legitimately inedible macaron. Almost any combination of almond flour, sugar and meringue will give you an extremely tasty pastry. So why are macarons touted as one of the most difficult, fussy and intimidating challenges in the culinary world? Simply put, it is because we place too much emphasis on aesthetics without asking ourselves if we actually enjoy what we’ve created.

Dr. Steven Acker of Elite Dental of Staten Island. (Courtesy of Dr. Acker)

A Foodie’s Trip to the Doctor

What do your teeth, brain, mood and gut all have in common? Unsurprisingly, it turns out one answer is almost everything. They are, after all, interconnected and essential aspects of your body and life. The other, often overlooked answer, however, is food. The COVID pandemic put into perspective how little control we have over certain parts of our health, but quarantine was sobering, proving we don’t have to be “an inert chunk of randomly assembled molecules drifting wherever the universe blows” us.  In fact, the decisions we make about our food give us resounding leverage over our health.

Dogs for sale to eat or as pets in Yulin, China. (Adam Dean / The New York Times)

Future Pandemics Depend on Our Food Choices

As the rate of positive COVID-19 tests rise again, we must consider the source of the virus and how to prevent future pandemics. The New York Times referred to the coronavirus as a wave that will “be with us for the foreseeable future before it diminishes” and will take more than one round of social distancing. We cannot depend on the warmer weather to diminish the number of cases or hope that a vaccine comes quickly; we must face the grim reality that the pandemic may persist into the next year. First, we need to educate ourselves on the nature of zoonotic diseases, which the Center for Disease Control  defines as being caused by “germs spread between animals and people.” According to One Health Commision, in the past three decades around 75 percent of all emerging infectious diseases originated in animals. These viruses are brought to humans by wild animals, whether humans consume them, capture and cross-breed species or increase encounter rates by destroying natural habitats.

Schefs Zoom call, where students from across the world can tune in to discuss cooking, food or anything related — a great way to enjoy company, and a meal, while quarantining. (Rae Specht / Sun Staff Writer)

Eating Together Online with Strangers During the Pandemic

As college students across the nation impatiently await announcements from universities regarding the status of the coming fall semester, many of us are searching for productive and meaningful ways to spend our free time now that classes have ended. With internships, summer research and academic programs cancelled, some of us are trying to readjust to living in our hometowns with parents and siblings, away from the friends, professors and resources we’ve come to rely on at Cornell. As we navigate this new reality, many students are staying connected with peers through podcasting, music-making and Youtubing, innovating new ways to engage with others in the absence of physical space. A few weeks ago, I learned about a free platform called Schefs that aims to connect students from different universities and facilitate interesting discussions about a wide range of topics, from pop music to quantum mechanics, all through a shared passion for food. Co-founded by two college students, Pedro Damasceno and Lola Lafia of Columbia University, Schefs started out as a way for like-minded people from schools across the nation to come together on their campuses and share a themed meal.