The Jewish population emigrated to western PA from 1840's to 1930"s. They came from the following areas:
- The early Jews came from Bavaria, Baden and Wurtembug
- with a smaller group arriving from Poland and Russia
They came to to find prosperity in the Steel City's rapidly expanding economy. The Eastern European groups formed separate communities in the city.
By the 1860's most of the city's major retail and wholesale food stores were owned by Jews, while others worked as merchants, traders, tailors, mechnics and peddlers.
The size of the community grew from 1880-1887 due to influx of Lithuanian, Rumanian, Polish,, Hungarian and Russian Jews. By 1917 there were 40,000 Jews living in Pittsburgh.
Some dishes you may have heard of are:
- whitefish appetizers
- gefilte fish
- carrot tsimes (or tzimmes) and knadel
- Orange and lemon kezel
Modern recipe links for above recipes or similar ones:
Aboutcom carrot tsimes or tzimmes
NOTE: I could not find any photos of Kezel nor any modern recipes so I have included the only one I have:
- 1 large orange
- 1 large lemon
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 4 TBSN matzo meal
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
Bring fruit (left whole) to a boil in water. Pour off water and refill pan with water. Bring to another boil and pour off water again. Add fresh water a third time and boil until fruit is tender. Drain. Open fruit and allow to cool. Remove seeds. Mash fruit and pulp. Set aside. Beat the eggs, sugar and matzo meal until foamy. Add fruit pulp. Add nuts, if desired. Bake 50 minutes at 325 degrees.
NOTE: I have never had this but it sure sounds good and I want to try it.