Further evidence that Jewish food is having a moment (as if sexy gefilte fish wasn't enough): Manischewitz, the 123-year old Jewish, kosher brand best known for manufacturing matzoh and concord grape wine, is starting to create kosher food for gentiles. Yes, that sound you heard off in the distance is the collective rolling of a thousand deceased Bubbies in Boca rolling over in the graves.
Manischewitz has sunk millions into a new campaign designed to create and market new products to the mainstream, outside of the kosher aisle. Say goodbye to yarmulkes and shofars on the label and hello to bright colors and bold fonts, with nary a nod to Judaism in sight. The company is also hyping newfangled kosher products like white chocolate-covered egg matzos and cumin-laced Moroccan gefilte fish (or "fish meatballs"). “There’s a tagline we use, ‘Bringing families to the table since 1888,’ and we want to be part of that family with you whether it’s Rosh Hashana, Hanukkah or Easter," said Elie Rosenfeld, chief executive of Joseph Jacobs Advertising, Manischewitz's longtime agency. Joseph Jacobs' new ads will be sent out to secular publications instead of Jewish-only ones.
"All ethnic foods decline over time," Jonathan Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, told the Wall Street Journal this fall when Manischewitz introduced the new gefilte fish. Bagels, pizza, noodles—foods that were once markers of ethnicity are now considered mainstream, and our life is better as a result. Hey—drink enough of that kosher wine (it's not just for Passover!) and you're pretty much guaranteed to like snacking on jellified fish orbs and Tam Tams, too.