The Whole Schmear: The Creation of Cream Cheese in America
The Great American Cream Cheese Myth is that the Jews introduced cream cheese to America. But, in reality, the opposite is just the case. American Yankees developed the cheese decades before the Eastern European migration. Accounts found in food studies publications over the past 100 years provide contradictory claims and often put forth local lore as fact. Now, for the first time, the truth can be told! Rabbi Jeff Marx explores how the Industrial Age transformed the making of cream cheese; he takes a look at how cream cheese went from English to French, introduces the original manufacturer and the shrewd salesman who created the Philadelphia brand, and concludes with the story of two brothers from Lithuania who brought the Yankees’ cream cheese to the Lower East Side of New York City.
A reception with themed refreshments will follow the talk at approximately 11:30.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Jeff Marx, a graduate of Brandeis College, has published a number of historical monographs relating to late 19th and early 20th century Jewish immigrants in America. He has written on the history of the Grand Street Boys Club of New York City and on the history of Touro Colony, a Ukrainian-Jewish agricultural farming collective in Kansas in the late 1880s. When not investigating the history of cream cheese, he works at The Santa Monica Synagogue, where he has served as rabbi for the past 28 years, and is a visiting lecturer at Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles.
Free and open to the public.