Poles eat it, Czechs eat it, other Slavs and even Teutons eat it, but that doesn’t alter the fact that stuffed cabbage taught me the difference between treyf and goyish, the not-kosher and the not-Jewish. While trying to ease my way into eating pork, I ordered some cabbage rolls in a lard-in-everything-but-the-coffee Hungarian restaurant near the University of Toronto, but the sour cream atop those haleptses was so outrageous, so viscerally wrong as to drive me from my dreamt-of treyf. I bolted from the restaurant, more kosher than when I went in. Khazer was khazer, but for this there were no words.
Michael Wex is the best-selling author of Born to Kvetch.