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Beets! The color is like nothing else. I always want to start dyeing fabric in it. I’ve definitely dipped a napkin or two in my soup to test the colors. You get a beautiful hot pink.

When I decided to include a recipe for borscht in my cookbook, that raised some eyebrows. It became an experiment in how to make an haute borscht. Mine is chilled, it’s pureed, and adding sour cream creates a more opaque look and adds texture. Something white in your red or pink fuchsia base. I enjoy the combination of the sour bite, the earthy richness of the beet and the sweetness matched with that incredibly vibrant color from nature. There’s something retro and unusual about the flavor of Jewish cuisine because of that sour-sweetness. That’s very culturally appropriate. Life brings you sweet moments and sour moments. In Jewishness, as in good borscht, you should be able to find a balance of both.

Zac Posen is a fashion designer and the author of Cooking with Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined.

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