strange fruit in noodle kugel
Prunes, apples, raisins, these seem normal to me, but pineapple? Is is just a geographic failing of Okiness or is pineapple an odd thing to encounter in a sweet noodle kugel? Is is good? (I mean worth trying for company)
This weekend I heard of using canned fruit coctail and that sounds really too awful.
Regretably, you can encounter just about anything in a noodle kugel. My own preference in a sweet kugel is no more than raisins, if that, but I have had lots of pineapple in my day as well, and even canned fruit salad. Every ethnic group bears its own burdens from the 1950s.
Authentic, what's authentic? Any East European Jewish cooking that I have had bears the marks of the later way stations, whether Israel, Germany, England or the US. think thtat what we think of as traditional is often very changed by exposure to the host culture.
I have used pineapple in noodle kugels with great results. I usually also put in some raisins as well. I do not like my sweet kugels too sweet so I use less sugar, which is great because the pineapple adds a nice flavor and sweetness to it that sugar just can't. So - I recommend that you lower the amount of sugar by at least 1/4 to 1/2 cup. I only use pineapple in its own juice, never sweetened and I always drain it really well.
I also add pot cheese (better because its drier) or cottage cheese to it. The protein helps to offset an all-carb (ok, there's plenty of fat too from the butter) treat (for those who care).
I have also seen people add nuts to noodle kugels...yuck! Wrong texture entirely!
My grandmother, in addition to noodle kugels also made squash (zucchini) kugel with fried onion on top, potato kugel (which was really like bar-latkes (like bar cookies made in a pan instead of a cookie sheet!) and an amazing rice kugel...the rice was a real kugel -baked in a pan & cut into squares with raisins and cinnamon. I'm sure it was just milk, rice, sugar, raisins and cinnamon. I've tried to re-create it and have come close in flavor but it is hard to get the measurements right for the consistency/texture...it sure was good... My grandmother also usually used the word "taygotz" to refer to all of these - I assume , like "kugel", it means "pudding." My guess is that kugel is used by German Jews, taygotz by Russian/Polish Jews...anyone know?
I ended up using apples and it was ok, (but someone else's was better!) Now I'm thinking pineapple would be pretty good - as you say, not too sweet, and definitely in small chunks. I found a recipe with cream cheese, but I think the pot cheese sounds better, thanks.
The rice & rasins one you mention is very much like a southern rice pudding (almost no cinnamon). I had it once using melted vanilla ice cream for the milk & sugar - delicious!
I've had pineapples in my kugel since I started dating my wife 11 years ago. Her mom who grew up in NYC made it that way as well. I actually like it in the kugel but I'd prefer using smaller chunks.