Bernstein-on-Essex

The Lower East Side Genesis Jews of Eating Chinese Food on Christmas

Last modified December 23, 2021 at 10:36 am

A version of this story appeared in Bowery Boogie last year, but it’s always worth a reminder given the conversations this time of year around dinner plans on Christmas for the Jewish folk. Jews eating Chinese food on Christmas is a tradition forged long ago in the bowels of the Lower East Side. To many […]

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Tradition of Jews Eating Chinese Food on Christmas Began on the Lower East Side

Last modified December 26, 2020 at 1:14 pm

Jews eating Chinese food on Christmas is a tradition forged long ago in the bowels of the Lower East Side. To many turn-of-the-century Eastern European newcomers, Chinese cuisine was somewhat familiar to their own. As the Yiddish Book Center points out, both culinary styles favor “chicken broth, lots of garlic and onions, vegetables cooked to a melting softness, […]

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Revisit Schmulka Bernstein’s on Essex Street with this Classic 1970s Primer [VIDEO]

Posted December 21, 2018 at 5:00 am

For such an iconic restaurant, it’s quite a shame that there isn’t much publicly accessible imagery of Bernstein-on-Essex (aka Schmulka Bernstein’s). Don’t fret. Here’s one better. Stock footage company Kino Library recently uploaded a short clip (0:38) shot in the 1970s, which describes the curious cuisine of Kosher Chinese food (and the phenomenon of eating […]

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When Schmulka Bernstein’s Ruled Essex Street

Last modified November 6, 2015 at 5:08 pm

These days, it’s comical commonplace that Jews eat Chinese food on Christmas. But this marriage of cultures was actually forged long ago in the immigrant society on the Lower East Side.

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