Schmaltzy Spotlight / Einat Admony: Why Yemenite shabbos is good for your belly but bad for your social life
Some parents embarrass their children by making them wear dorky clothes, or by dancing in public. But for chef Einat Admony, it didn’t even take that much. As a child growing up outside Tel Aviv, Einat had a tough exterior. But if her father even stopped on to talk to someone on the street for a little too long, she would want to just disappear. So, imagine her mortification when her dad, a hot sauce enthusiast, brought his own jar of schug with him on a rare family outing to a fancy Chinese restaurant. In case you haven’t tried it, schug is a fiery Yemenite condiment made with chiles, garlic, cilantro and olive oil. Einat’s dad, a Yemenite Jew, was obsessed with it. He made his own, and it was so hot that just you choke on its scent alone. He would store his homemade schug in small jars and put it on everything. That night at the Chinese restaurant, the waiters brought out a beautiful lacquered duck with sweet and sour sauce. Einat’s father slowly reached into her mom’s purse and pulled out his ubiquitous jar of schug. Einat and her siblings were horrified, watching it happen as if it was in slow motion. ”Noooo!” they begged him. “It doesn’t even go with this kind of food!” But they couldn’t fight nature. And neither can Einat, who serves her father’s schug in her own restaurants all these years later. To this day, it’s spiciest thing she’s ever eaten.
Einat performed her story live on March 7, 2017 at the Henry Street Settlement in New York City as part of the Schmaltzy storytelling event.