- Welcome to our "Gefilte Fish Project":
Where does your family fit on the spectrum?
Do you like your fish sweet or salty? Or not at all?
Home-made or store bought? Carrot on top?
Our first reader writes that her favourite is "most definitely on the sweet Czech end".
She also sent us this great link about A Sweet and Salty History of Jewish Identity.
Family background: Her family is from Žilina which is just above the first 'a' in Czechoslovakia in the map.
Kathy Kaplan, Melbourne, Australia
- Salty, homemade, carrot on top mandatory!
Polish, from Bialystok, like Max in The Producers!
Larry Brook, Sydney, Australia
- Mum's recipe Salty with touch of sugar. Most of the sweetness is from onions and carrots. Black pepper. The fish is served separately from chilled fish soup and both decorated with carrots on top.
Mum is from Khotyn in Ukraine near Chernovits
My mother in-law's recipe: Mostly sweet from sugar, onions and beetroot. I can't recall carrots on top.
Mother in law from Kovna (Kaunas), Vilna, Lithuania
Zina Sofer, Melbourne, Australia
- Sweet, store bought, carrot on top,
Poland (parents originally from in Ciechanow and Piotrkow) but I lived in Lodz.
Helen Kopel, Melbourne, Australia
- Homemade sweet with chrain (horseradish) and carrot on top. My Aunt Pola made the best sweet gefilte fish....
Isaac Loven, Melbourne, Australia
- Slightly salty. Homemade when I was young, using carp, pike, and whitefish. Store-bought later on. Lots of carrots on top.
Don't know the specific village, but my maternal grandmother who made the fish came from an area that was sometimes Russian and sometimes Polish.
Jim Rothman, California, USA
My absolute favourite: the real and original gefilteh fish which, as the name implies, is the fish ball or cutlet or quenelle encased in skin and mouth-watering poached fish ie geilteh fish or "stuffed fish".
My late father A"H used to make it for Pesach and Rosh Hashanah. Llike many other baleh batim and baleh bustehs of the time, he used Murreh Petch, or Murray Perch to give it its non-Yiddishised name, and sometimes Murreh Kot, or Murray Cod, which was even harder to get. For both the skin casing and the cutlet. Yes, it's fussy and finicky and time-consuming to encase the cutlet. And I've never done it myself. But the real thing in jelly with undiluted chrein (and two sliced carrot pieces on top) is sublime.
When it's freshly made, you eat it on your knees and give thanks.
Sadly, I don't know of anywhere in Melbourne where you can buy the real thing.
But some restaurants in Tel Aviv still serve it, notably Cafe Batya on Hasmonaim St, although unfortunately it's nothing like the dish which the old Cafe Batya, a Tel Aviv icon on the corner of Dizengoff Arlozorov, used to serve.
In the absence of the Platonic ideal, and although I grew up with sweet, I've come to prefer the slightly salty Russian-style. But the freshly made salmon version on a Friday morning at Yumi's in Glen Eira Rd Melbourne is quite something.
And just to introduce a literary note: The great Isaac Babel, the master Russian-Jewish short story writer, brilliantly evokes his childhood memories of his grandmother's gefilteh fish in his story "You Must Know Everything", which is also the book title of one of his collected stories volumes. Proust can keep his madeleines."
Family background: Poland. Father: Warsaw. Mother: Hrubieszow
Sam Lipski, Melboune, Australia
- Mixture of salty and sweet with a slight tip towards the latter. Definitely a carrot. What do you take me for? A heathen? Also, heaps of the spiciest horseradish I can find. It ain't Pesach if steam is not shooting out of my head orifices.
Alas I have to resort to store bought but my grandmother used to make fresh and nothing comes close to that.
Czech. Prague. Žižkov.
Bram Presser, Melbourne, Australia
- Salty, dont mind as long as it tastes good!
Mixture : Grandparents from Greece - Salonika, and Romania - Bucharest.
Maya Abramovich, Melbourne, Australia
- Salty, homemade, carrot on top!! And a lot of chrein!!
Alberto Zirlinger, Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Personally, I like it homemade with a carrot on top. My grandmother used to make it in an original way, but stuffing the gefilte into the skin of the fish and then serving it with fish jelly as a whole fish. That's the way I remember it (and the way my aunty still makes it), but as long as it is a little sweet then for me it is still good.
Family background: My grandmother was from Poland. Her mother was born and died in the same house; born in Poland, died in Russia - the borders changed around her. My grandmother married my grandfather who was from the Ukraine. They met when both their families escaped the war and spent a few years in Siberia. She wanted to become a chef and started that when the only foods that were plentiful in Siberia were honey, mushrooms and some other vegies. She started to make creative things with all of those, but to this day, my grandfather still doesn't eat mushrooms because of that experience. My mother's family were all from Russia.
Alex Kats, Melbourne, Australia
- Sweet. Homemade or Loaf. Carrot on top. Not a fan of the jelly, but my family seems to like it. Homemade chrain,
Family background: Mostly Ukraine
Lori Cahan Simon, USA
- Sweet with carrots and fish broth gelatin, in the best tradition of generations of Jews.
I forgot to add the all important strong nose-tunneling eye weeping "chrein"
Family background: from Sokolov, Podlask, Poland.
Peter Smolash, Montreal, Canada
- Bottled, NOT sweet, white fish and pike.
Family background: Polish
Lisa Traiger, Washington, DC, USA
- Salty,homemade -
Not the full works just the filling patties and carrot is a must on top!
Family background: Israeli from from Tel-Aviv
Eti Tamir, Melbourne, Australia
- I like the sweet one, I've never made it, only bought.
Family background: Germany
Jacqui Schiff Saunders, Melbourne, Australia
- Sweet yes and horseradish on top. Yes to carrot, we get it frozen from the kosher source then boil it and cut it.
Our family serves regular fish not gefilte fish it is not a Middle East tradition, it is very European.
Family background: Iraq
Dalya Dallal, San Diego, USA
- Salty and sweet.
Carrot on top
Family background: Shtetl in Belarussia.
Elena Gorelik, Riga, Latvia
- Nana Frida's gefilte fish; very sweet; very white; also galla; born in Rumania then lived in Hungary.
Carrot on top for sure
Also cooked fish with bones with similar sweet taste
Family background: Born: Botisa(ni), Rumania
Melanie Landau, Melbourne, Australia
- Sweet, home made, recipe from my mother. It is a mixture of 3 different fish with almond powder and sugar, salt, onions, eggs and matzo meal. Without carrots on top. Mostly backed in kiln or oven and sometimes coocked in a big pot with a sauce with onions and carrots. Will send a picture when cooked!
Family background: Polish
Helene Apfelbaum, Montevideo, Uruguay
- Salty, home made, Israeli. No carrots.
Family background: Polish
Hamutal Silverstein, Melbourne, Australia
- Start with a frozen roll and cook it in a savory sauce - totally different.
Family background - Brooklyn! But this is my own devising, not anything in the family.
Deborah Wenger, New York, USA
- Sweet, a little salt. White with red khrayn and a slice of carrot. Homemade!
Mayn mame hot gelernt vi tsu makhn gefilte fish fun ir shviger, nisht vayl ir eygn mame hot nisht gemakht gefilte fish, nor vayl mayn bubbe Ester-Feige iz geven a besere kekhne. Knape tsvontsik yor tsurik, hot mayn vayb oykh gelernt vi tsu makhn gefilte fish fun ir shviger. Di letste fuftsn yor makht di mame dos gemish eyer pesakh, efsher tsvey khadushim, un farfrirt es in lange shtekns, fertik tsu shnaydn un kokhn dernokh.
Polish (of course) Warsaw/Mackow.
Lionel Mrocki, Melbourne, Australia
- Oooh - yum! Salty, home made with a carrot on top and wonderful jelly from fish heads and bones. I just made a batch a few weeks ago and am refining my ability to make tasty GF from local fish xxx
- By the way - I'm such a gefilte fish lover that I'll eat it salty or sweet.
- And don't forget about the chopped and fried - which I think is a dish that started with Manchester Jewry.
Family background: Lithuanian.
Liora Lalita Claff, Lismore, NSW, Australia
- Salty, homemade and with carrot!
Family bacground: Beltz, Moldova
Allon Idelman, Sao Paulo, Brazil
- This one is so simple. My wife makes the best gefilte fish on the planet! Store bought? fageddaboutit. I'll leave it to her to explain.
Phil Moss, Chicago, USA
- I make it with 3 kinds of fresh ground fish. It is hideously expensive. It bakes in a loaf pan in the oven, in a water bath. Garnishes change from year to year. Sometimes carrots and field greens, other times a chilled purée of yellow pepper.
Although 3/4 of my grandparents came from Eastern Europe, this is not my bubby's gefilte fish!
Susan Moss, Chicago USA
- Sweet. Savta-made. Carrot for sure.
Family background: Poland, Warsaw
- Medium sweet, definitely with a carrot on top and beetroot chrayn on the side. I prefer the frozen logs that you cook yourself at home. Benny's is my favourite.
I'm 5th generation Australian on my mother's side and second on my father's. Father's family come from Israel and Russia.
Devorah Komesaroff, Melbourne, Australia
- Gefilte fish, at home everything home made. Carrot on top. Salty - just a little!
Elsa Noemi Arreghini Mar del Plata, Argentina
- I like all kinds of gefilte fish! I probably prefer sweet. In all honesty, my seders growing up had the Manishewicz brand from the glass jars, but I prefer homemade -- not that I have a special recipe or anything. I'd just find one online. (Loui Tucker made some amazing salmon gefilte fish last year! Out of this world.) I haven't usually seen it with a carrot on top, but I love carrots, so that would be a nice touch.
My family is originally from Russia, but my grandparents and parents were born in Los Angeles (as was I, though I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area 10 years ago).
Aaron Alpert, San Francisco, USA
- Family tradition: Sweet, store-bought, carrot on top.
Family background: Father: Hungary. Mother: border of Poland and Russia.
Janice Gelb, Melbourne Australia via East Coast USA
- Sweet. Store bought (my mother used to make it in Brazil). Yes for carrot but I don't eat the carrot.
Born in Brazil, so were my parents, grandparents from Romania/Russia/Austria-Poland.
Grandmother who lived in Rio was Austria-Poland. The other lived in another state, so no food influence.
Mara Reifman, Melbourne, Australia via Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Storebought. We particualrly like the "haimishe" one (they might call it "premium" now) which has no matzo meal. Not too salty, not too sweet. with horseradish of course. Carrot is ok but not necessary.
My family is Ashkenazi with roots in Kishnev Russia and somewhere in Hungary. Grandma from Brod and Grandpa from Austro-Hungarian empire
Elyse Litt, Ckark, New Jersey, USA
- Those fish balls seemed to me weird looking but several years ago I was invited to my brother in law's sister who's strict Ashkenazi Orthodox in Jerusalem.
Sweet to my taste is preferred (but since I'm salt addicted I would try the salty one also) Homemade or store bought? - though one: I love cooking but heard from first source that it's not fun to make gefilte fish from scratch. So I take shelter with the store ones. Carrot on top? Of course !!! It adds so much... How could you forget the side that comes with it? It's called in Yiddish "Chre'in".. Easier to say it. Horseradish and some spices. Depend on how spicy you eat, you'll put more or less horseradish. I'm Yemen (from Israel lol) but prefer the gefilte with that side but not too spicy.
Family background: My grandparents came to Israel from Yemen and Kurdistan which is an area in between Iraq, Turkey and Iran.
Sagiv Shaul, Netanya, Israel
- Sweet homemade, carrot on top.
Family background: Grandparents from Kiev, Ukraine
Ira Weisburd, Florida, USA
- Sweet, no carrot. I'm not into condiments, it takes away from the purity of the flavour
Family background: Eastern Europe
Asher Barkin, USA
- Savoury with one teaspoon sugar added to the mix. Made at home with love. Slice of carrot on each ball.
Mother from Czernowitz Bukovina, which was then in Rumania.
Miriam Suss, Melbourne, Australia
- I'll take it all; I like variety. Carrot on top? Sure! Why not?
Family background: Mostly Eastern Europe
David Karger, Cambridge, Massachussetts, USA
- Salty. Homemade. carrot on top (most likely to be removed)
Julianne Bulkin, Melbourne, Australia
- I'm not too picky. I've even made my own before. For store-bought, I like the frozen brand that comes in a hexagonal box.
My dad is the cook as well. His technique is purchasing a jar and then doctoring the fish on his own.
Mitch Ginsburgh, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, USA
- Love my Gefilte fish sweet!
Jewish/ Polish, Warsaw and a village/shtetle near Warsaw...
My father comes from what used to be a small town called Novidvor. Today it is a suburb of Warsaw. Both grandfathers were Zionists. My father was a young teenager when left Novidvor to Israel. My mum come from Warsaw but left for Israel when she was 2 years old.
- If at all - then salty. Prefer Moroccan fish!
Born in Georgia, Batumi, ex USSR.
Zvulun Shalev, Melbourne, Australia
- Sweet Storebought
Family background: Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Germany.
Neev Granite, Columbus, Ohio
- Sweet-ish homemade is better but I also like store bought. I don't make it myself. Definitely carrot and Chrein.
Family background: A bit of everything (half Sephardi, half Ashkenazi). Lithuania/Russia on Mum's side. Spain/Portugal/Holland on Dad's
Julie Delcanho Barrett, Perth, Western Australia
- Like all!! Prefer bit sweet. Homemade with carrot !!
Michael Diamond, Melbourne, Australia
- Sweet gefilte with carrot on top with lots of chrain Polish Israeli background
Family background: Polish - Lodz. Israeli - Tzfat.
Lorraine Basist, Melbourne, Australia
- Sweet,homemade with the carrot.
Family background: Belarus
Slava Khvoinitsky, Tel Aviv, Israel
- Homemade. Carrot on top.
Ruth Steel, Mebourne, Australia
- Definitely sweet home made and carrot on top city
Family background: Poland
Hazel Diner, Melbourne, Australia
- I am the only person in my generation, among my friends who makes their own gefilte Fish. My polish born aunty Helen Hamersfeld taught me, therefore they are sweet."
Family background: Polish.
Lindy Tamir, Melbourne, Australia
- My family.... Grandmother, mother and two maternal aunts from Russia never made it sweet but always delicious. When I first came to Melbourne, it took me ages to get used to the sweet gefilte fish and even now struggle to enjoy the very sweet taste.
Family backgroud: Russia. Mother's Family came from Minsk, went into China escaping from pogroms and both my parents were born in Harbin, China.
Families did not know each other until my parents met as young adults in Brisbane.
Paulette Cherny, Melbourne, Australia
- Sweet, homemade, no carrot, country Argentina Buenos Aires!!!!!!!
Family background: Egypt
Patricia Sitt, Melbourne, Australia
- Sweet. Homemade. With carrot.
Family background: Poland and Hungary
Sharona Goodman, Melbourne, Australia
- Always sweet, with carrot on top, usually home made.
Family background: My family is originally from Poland, around Lodz.
Michael Barzelai, Israel
- Home made and sweet .
Alexandra Wolfson, Melbourne, Australia
- Salty. Store bought. With carrot - a must.
Family background: Both my parents were from Germany. Mum Berlin and Dad Wuppertal, near Cologne. Polish a few generations back on at least my Dad's side.
David Marlow, Melbourne, Australia
- Sweet, store bought, carrot and jelly in the side, with a sprig of parsley.
Family background: Germany, Berlin
Karen Kaplan, Hamden, Connecticut, USA
- My Bubba's gefilte fish for sure... sweet, comes with optional carrot, Poylisha style
Family background: Poland. Bronja Fajl ... Born 1919 in Hrubieszow. Parents Calel &Luba (Carl & Liba)
David Butt, Melbourne, Australia
- Salty. Homemade. No carrots. Baked.
Family background: Russia/Poland
Alicia Torgovnick, Santa Fe, Argentina
- Sweet gefilte fish. Home made. Carrot on top.
Family background: Czechoslovakia -Trinec
Lili Rose, Melbourne, Australia
- Funny story, that. Before I got married, I loved my grandmother's plain (not sweet) gefilte fish. After marriage we began going to my in-laws for Passover and I absolutely HATED the sweet gefilte fish. Over the years, it grew on me. Now I can't eat it any other way. Definitely homemade. Definitely carrot on the top.
Family background: Was Lithuania, became Poland, turned into the USSR, and is now Belarus. City/Village: Grodno Gobernia around Bialystok.
April Grunspan, San Antonia, Texas, USA
- For me personally, Gefilte fish is not at all.
Family background: 4 generations Israel ( or Palestine prior to 48) Family origin: Russia. Great grandchild of the founders of Rishon Le Zion.
Oded Gordon, Melbourne, Australia
- Not at all. My brother eats mine at Seder (which is store bought, carrot on top). U.S., Birmingham. Now... let's talk matzah balls with potlikker...
If you want to see some Southern-style Passover stuff, check my wife's site which has Fried Matzah Balls and Baby Bites.
Larry Brook, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
- Not too much of either. More savoury. Before you cook it it should taste like herring. Also it needs to be "white like an almond". My Buba taught me to make gefilte fish one year at Pesach. I prefer homemade but the effort to make it means we almost only use store bought.
Family background: Her family came from Bedzin in Poland, a small town about 100km from Krakow.
Adam Ruschinek, Melbourne, Australia
- Sweet, store bought, definitely with carrot.
Family history? All over the place but last 2 generations born in Aus...
Nick Splitter, Melbourne, Australia
- If at all then salty. Prefer Moroccan fish!
Family background: Born in Georgia, ex USSR, in Batumi
Zvulun Shalev, Melbourne, Australia
- Homemade, salty with a lot of Chrein. No carrot on top.
Family background: A village in Romania.
Elad Stahmer, Haifa, Israel
- Sweet with carrot.
Family background: Polish
Meliss Jakubovic, Atlanta, Georgia
- Not gefilte fish at all, I eat or make homemade Morroccon fish!
Yoram Danino, Skokie, Illinois, USA
- From the best childhood memories of my Buba Ester, mum's mum z"l: Sweet gefilte fish with a carrot on top and jelly sauce.
Buba Ester was from Lodz, Poland.
Elly Shalev, Yehud, Israel
- Sweet, with carrot on top.
Family background: Mother from Yemen, Father from Romania
Shani Badihi, Kiryat Ono, Israel
- Store bought. Sweetish. With red horseradish. Carrot optional.
Family background: Areas adjacent to Russia. The Pale encompassed many countries
Andrea Hope, Vermont, USA
- Salty - for sure! Homemade? That depends on who's making it... Carrot on top - why not?
Family background: Ukraine and the former Yugoslavia. 3/4 Ashkenazi, 1/4 Sephardi. Grew up in Israel.
Shirona Lurie, Portland, Oregon, USA
- Sweet, carrot on top.
Eastern European. Romania, Russia, Germany.
Asher Laub, New York, USA
- Salty! storebought! Carrot!
Family background: My parents both came from the Jewish Pale; Dad arrived in USA in 1912, Mom's family before that. Little shtetls in the middle of nowhere. Mom said she was a Galitzianer. Dad, from north of Odessa.
Elizabeth Zimmer, New York, USA
- My mother never ever cooked gefilte fish until she got married to my father when she was 17! Because she wanted to please him she learned to cook his favorite food. At the beginning she put a washing peg on her nose as she hated the smell.....after a few disasters she created the most delicious gefilte fish with just a touch of sugar and a lot of white pepper! In my case, I liked the sweeter version, so when I got married also at 17, I cooked the sweet gefilte fish (the polish way....and my father joked that it was jam fish, not gefilte fish....) My family also loved the sweet version and that was what I cooked. Now, as I don't cook too much anymore we buy the sweet gefilte fish from Yumi's and it is okay for all of us.
My father was from Russia, my mother was Spanish.
Rachel Vivat, Melbourne, Australia
- Definitely salty (really dislike the sweet variety) and ours was almost always store bought (Cantion, Ohio)
Julie Friedman, Burlingame, California, USA
- Salty....carrot on top ...home made preferred.
Family background: Hungarian
Ilana Cohen, Melbourne, Australia
- Sweet for sure! Store bought at the right place. Definitely carrot on top.
Romania, city of Yass.
Esther Blumenthal, Melbourne, Australia
- Salty sweet gefilte fish with carrot. Homemade.
Pesach Steinberg, Melbourne, Australia
- Sweet. I make it every year and then I place the carrots on top and then I salute the plate of fish. Really. I have been doing this for 21 years since my mother passed away.
Family background: Brisk, Belarus
Pearl Zoureff, Melbourne
- Salty Homemade. Pepper and salt only. I like it very spicy with carrot and fish jelly.
Family background: Poland and Israel
Sheera Gurkiewicz Silber, Modi'in, Israel
- Sweet and peppery! (salty too).
Home made by me with Murray perch and sea perch.
Carrot on top definitely.
Family background: Poland, Warsaw
Anne Gawenda, Melbourne, Australia
- Sweet. homemade. with carrots on top.
Liana Jagniatinsky, Vilnius, Lithuania
- My husband loves Salty. Homemade. Carrot definitely on top.
Chana Rivkah Goodrich, Melbourne, Australia
- Salty and sweet - somewhere in the middle. Homemade and store bought. Carrot on top for sure.
Family background: Bialistok and Hungary
Lior Albeck-Ripa, Melbourne, Australia
- Salty never sweet. Home made of course it's easy if you get the fishmonger to mince it. Carrot on top. Not successful with the jelly.
Lithuanian background via Scotland. Parents born in Scotland. One set of grandparents came from Lodz. My maternal grandfather was the first kosher baker in Edinburgh.
Jan Sapir, Melbourne, Australia
- Definitely sweet. Store bought because I can't make it myself . Carrot on top is very nice.
My family is from Budapest, Hungary. We emigrated to Australia in late 1950's.
Cathy Nemy, Melbourne, Australia
- Sweet. Store. Carrot. Hungarian grandma made salty, sliced type; but Nana (Russian via Yorkshire) did the sweet type, boiled and fried. I can still remember the smell. Mmmmm. Even in the back of the store!!
Family background: Porazov / Leeds.
Geoff Sirmai, Sydney, Australia
- Salty / sweet / homemade / with carrot on top.
Family background: Ukraine
Irena Begelfor, Melbourne, Australia
- Sweet store bought carrot on top.
Parents born in Poland, Warsaw
Helen Brustman, Melbourne, Australia
- Homemade, salty but with a bit of sugar (no quantities - my mother would just keep tasting the raw mixture), carrot on top. |
Family from Poland, Krakow.
Anna Rosner Blay, Melbourne, Australia
- My Savta & my Mom made incredible homemade gefilte fish. Not sweet, but not salty either. They used carp. They only used the female carp, because the female members of the family loved the roe. Yes for the carrot. Homemade chrain. Originally made with one of those old crank type grinders...much easier once food processors came on the scene. She made all of the traditional Jewish foods, but because of her Yerushalmi backgrounds, they were all a little different than what other people made. When my mother was growing up, the fish lived in the bathtub for a few days until my grandmother was ready to make the gefilte fish.These days....my local fishmonger doesn't know how to find the type of carp I like and I no longer have the time to make homemade gefilte fish. When I have no choice, I use one of the frozen loafs.
Family background: My grandmother was a Yerushalmit, born and bred. From a family of Yerushalmim that were never in the Diaspora (to our knowledge). My grandmother had a very small repertoire, but she was an incredible cook & baker. She was born in Yerushalayim in 1890.
Naomi Silbermintz, Los Angeles, California
- Sweet yumm. Carrot a must!
Russian and Israel.
Rachel Lev, Perth, Western Australia
- Sweet. Homemade if possible. Carrot on top.
Polish,.from Lowicz in the Mazovia region.
Pauline Rockman, Melbourne, Australia
- Sweet. Home made. Carrot on top.
Polish on my side, Scottish on hubby side. I am the one that likes it sweet. So does he now!
Rita Blint, Melbourne, Australia
Gefilte fish was not part of my parent's or grandparents' cuisine, not even at Pesach. Instead we had gesultze fish, (fish in aspic).
Family background: Austria, Vienna.
*Recipe for fish in aspic:
Two and a half kilos Murray perch cutlets, one large onion, lots of salt, pepper, 5 teaspoons sugar.
Boil onion in large pot of water till tender.
Wash cutlets, remove blood, salt liberally.
Puree cooked onion.
Return puree to water. Add 5 teaspoons sugar, plenty of salt, white pepper.
Add fish cutlets, bring to boil, simmer for 20 minutes.
Arrange fish in dish, pour liquid around it.
Allow to cool. Place in fridge until set ( a few hours).
Evie Katz, Melbourne, Australia
- My family make the salty one. Home made, with carrot on top.
My mother's grandparents came from somewhere in the Ukraine/Poland area in the 1920s, family name Scop or Shcop.
Rafael Reichler, Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Sweet. Since my mother passed away - store bought. Yes carrot on top.
Poland outside Warsaw. Wolomin & Kutno.
Gita Ginger, Melbourne, Australia
- My Gefilte Fish preference: Sweet, home made and bought, yes carrot on top.
Family background: Mother from Tunisia, Father from Poland.
Yehuda Kaplan, Melbourne, Australia
- Being of Sephardi background, it's a bit of a mix of foods. There was always lots of interesting stuff on the table. We had the halek version of charoset. (date syrup and crushed nuts). We had the Aloo Makala (deep fried potatoes) Pilau (spiced rice) Curry (usually beef). On the Seder plate we had halek and lettuce for our bitter herb (not horseradish) as well as for the hazeret. My aunts were all Sephardi cooks who gave us aloo makala, betroot kuta, curries, pilau.
Family background: Dad's family came from Iraq via India.
Nina Rassaby, Sydney, Australia
- Sweet, store bought, with carrot.
Family background: Hungary, Budapest.
Iris Karmi, Los Angeles, California
- I like gefilte salty with carrot. Only home made.
Family background: Israel, Jerualem - 11 generations! Also Spain / Argentina - Rosario.
Nili Glazer, Salzburg, Austria
- Flavor is important! Source does not matter. A bit sweet, a bit black pepper flavor. Needs lots of flavor. Carrot on top a nice touch but not essential. Preference for Romanian flavor.
Family background: Romanian/Hungarian. Transylvania was for a long time Hungarian and after World War 1 moved to Romania.
Alex Huber, Karmiel, Israel
- Definitely sweet, homemade with carrot on top. Use my mother-in-law's recipe, which is actually HER mother-in-law's recipe!. My mother used to serve fried fish. My step-mother made salty gefilte fish.
Family background: Mother: 3rd generation Australian . Step-mother: Russian. Mother-in law: Brest-Litovsk. Mother-in-law's mother-in-law: Lodz
Di Hirsh, Melbourne, Australia
- I like it but my wife really loves it. Sweet, carrot on top. Homemade preferred but can be store bought.
Family background: Romania, Poland and Spain
Adi Habad, Yavne, Israel
- Gefilte fish.... I like restaurant quality. The one they used to have at The Zion restaurant in Ripponlea in the 70's - was a perfect balance of sweet and salt, puréed enough so its texture was completely smooth. Definitely a carrot somewhere - essential to prevent it looking too anemic. Presentation is vital!
Family Background.. Mothers side (Goldsmith) came to Australia from England in 1815. Some were free settlers, a few convicts. Actually one of the oldest documented, Jewish/Australian families. Fathers side English, converted to marry Mother - his mum, Nana, was Armenian - escaped to England when she was 14, came to Australia late in the 1930's.
Kendra Abay, Melbourne, Australia
- Salty. Homemade if possible. Carrot nice.
Family background: Mother: Czeck Republic - Munkatch and 5 generations Upstate New York. Father: Ireland
Dori Sella, Singapore.
- Home made, salty, carrot on top.
Family background: Russia/Poland
Ida Ajzenman, Melbourne, Australia
- I'm the only one in my family that likes it so it has to be bought (just for me) and only at Pesach sweet with a carrot on the top!
Family background: Polish, Russian, Irish
Yael Koskas, Tel Aviv, Israel
- Sweet, homemade, carrot, chrain, jelly ( forgot the Yiddish word for it)
Family background: Lodz Dad, Kalish Mum
Henry Greener, Melbourne, Australia
- Sugarless. No carrot. But my family eats sweet.
Avremi Gourarie, New York, USA
- I have few opinions on this topic. To me, all gefilte fish looks like fifty shades of grey.
Family background: On my fathers side, grandparents are from Berlin. On mother's side, grandparents from Baghdad.
Ittay Flescher, Melbourne, Australia
- I like gefilte fish a bit saltier, with a carrot and don't care who made it, as long as I get to eat it!
Family background: Poland - Warsaw and Danzig.
Peter Koadlow, Melbourne, Australia
- My Nana's was sweet with a carrot on top. My mum told me my great grandmother used to make great gefilte fish! She came here when she was just 16.
My parents and most of my grandparents are from Australia. One grandfather was from England.
Further back there's Russia, Austria, Israel and even New Zealand.
Lisa Buchner, Melboune, Australia
- Used to like sweet, but now I am sugar-free. I eat Mom-made only and she is Polish!
Carrot - as a carrot head myself of course!
Family background: Poland - Galicia.
- Salty with carrot. Bought at supermarket in Israel
Family background: Rússia, Bessarábia
Andre Luiz Grinspan Schor, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- A little salty, a touch sweet. Of course, served with a slice of carrot on top and chrein on the side.
Gefilte fish was a holiday staple in my parents' home.
In the old days mom ground the fish herself. She made everything from scratch - I remember the carp swimming lazily in their tank at the supermarket.
In later years, as she got older, she did things the easy way and bought the frozen pre-made loaves, simmering them with carrots and onions and her own special ingredients.
Family background: Father: Krakow, Poland. Mother: Biel, Slovakia.
Cindy Wodinsky, Cedarhurst, NY, USA
I prefer sweet when I eat it at Pesach.
We do not buy jar gefilte fish, but we do buy a “log” that we then cook according to an excellent recipe and it’s quite close to home made without the mess.
We cook with carrots (and onions), but leave the 'carrot on top' decision to the guest. If they like a carrot, they get one….!
Family background: My family is from near Vilnius, Lithuania. My great grandmother prepared homemade gefilte fish (sweet with a carrot) for our Sedorim and Shabbatot.
Eileen Freed, Melbourne, Australia
- Special thanks to Kathy Kaplan of Melbourne, Australia, for starting this thread and inspiring this page.
As well to Denise Setton for her most helpful suggestion!
And to all our Gefilte Fish contributors!