Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Aug 23, 2005 02:01 PM

What's in stuffed derma???

  • j

I have always loved stuffed derma. My father refuses to tell me what is in it, saying that I would never want to eat it again. Can someone please tell me why I would be disgusted?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The outer casing is made from sheep or cow intestine.
    The stuffing traditionally is made with lard or chicken fat. Not real healthy but tasty!!!!

    8 Replies
    1. re: rkroc

      I read a recipe for this once - the cookbook author's comment was, "No one needs to eat this much chicken fat!"

      1. re: Will Owen

        Thanks for all the responses
        Maybe it was better off not knowing after all!!!

        1. re: Jamie

          now now, don't let a little information keep you from something you enjoy.

          its a sausage---just another form of sausage like any other.

          i myself am fond of haggis and i know what goes in it. tastes good though and looks like just another sausage.

      2. re: rkroc

        _Real_ stuffed derma (aka kishke) would NEVER have lard, unless there's a Polish or Ukrainian version out there I'm unaware of. (Do non-Jews eat this?)

        1. re: Chorus Girl

          "Do non-Jews eat this?"

          Well, my husband does, but that's after having married into a Jewish family nearly 35 years ago.

          Don't know of any others, though.

          1. re: Chorus Girl

            There is definitely more than one thing called "kishka" -- I grew up in Milwaukee seeing my German/Polish grandfather and father eating kishka, which was a Polish blood/buckwheat sausage. When I later lived in New York, I assumed the kishka I heard of there was the same thing. Obviously not.

            1. re: Rickie

              That would make sense. After all, "kishka" means intestine or "guts".

            2. re: Chorus Girl

              I've not done research (not sure how one would....most of this stuff was never written down AFAIK) but it would amaze me if what we Jews know as derma isn't a variation on some Polish or Ukrainian or Russian dish. Really, there's no such thing as "Jewish" cooking, it's just that most of the Jews in the USA are Ashkenazim (Jews from Germany and Eastern Europe) rather than Sephardim (From Spain and the Arab countries). When I lived in Israel, I wanted to write a book called "Gefilte fish and cous cous".

          2. Haven't had the good stuff - made by my grandmother and various other bubbes - in decades. Did buy pre-made (Hebrew National, I think) for the holidays a number of years ago - first ingredient listed was beef suet. I think my grandmother used schmaltz (chicken fat). That, matzoh meal and some spices pretty much comprise the stuffing. The "derma" is the kosher equivalent of a sausage casing. IMO, nothing gross in there. My arteries, however, would probably disagree.

            What is astonishing is that those of us who grew up on stuff like that lived long enough to tell about it (and miss it!!)

            4 Replies
            1. re: JRL

              "...nothing gross in there."
              Agreed! Hot dogs in natural casings - that's intestine, too. I think Jamie's dad just didn't want his kid to know that it's basically an artery-clogger. I figure I eat it maybe once a year, if that, so I'm not too worried.

              Early childhood memory: my bubbe had two kids, each with spouses and two kids of their own. She used to call every one of us in the family on Thursday and ask what we wanted for dinner. So Friday night dinner included things like chopped liver with gribenes, shliskas (Jewish gnocchi, topped with buttered breadcrumbs and baked after the initial boiling), spaghetti with homemade sauce (and usually a chicken, cut into pieces and cooked in the sauce), cholent, tsimmes, roast beef, lamb chops and hot dogs! And there was always a plate of stuffed derma on the table, but not in huge amounts. On my mother's birthday, one year, gramma said she'd make whatever mom wanted. After thinking long and hard about it, she said that she'd never had as much derma as she wanted in one sitting. So that was her gift at the table that night - all the stuffed derma she could put away. And she did. And was big-time sick all that night. Next day, once she'd had some clear broth and a cracker or two, mom said she'd do it again.

              1. re: Deenso

                Sounds like one of those "family" memories that is cherished by all and I'm sure will be passed down to your children and grandchildren.

                1. re: Deenso

                  What a fabulous story!!!! Just reading about schlishkes brought tears to my eyes!!! Every now and then I humor myself by thinking I'd make them, cause they were such a part of my bubbe's repetoire, but, alas, I never have made them!!!

                  1. re: sue

                    I'm going to move my answer to Home Cooking, which I think is the more appropriate venue for this tangent...

              2. Are we talking Kishka? If so, beleive it or not, it's mostly carrots! There's nothing unhealthy about it at all. I've made it before and have cooked it as a casserole as oppossed to stuffing a casing with it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: JB

                  While a carrot casserole is delicious on its own, it's NOT kishke. A variation on tsimmes, maybe... If any Jewish grandmother every threw a carrot in, which is highly unlikely, it would have been for color.

                2. Are we talking Kishka? If so, believe it or not, it's mostly carrots. I've made it before and have cooked it like a casserole as oppossed to stuffing a casing with it.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: JB

                    The kishke I've had certainly was not mostly carrots, it was actually mostly fat and some matzo meal... sounds like a California-ised version of kishke!

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      What I've typically gotten in delis here in and around NYC is bread-based, with carrots ground into the paste that is stuffing (all well-lubed with shmaltz.) I'm talking Carnegie Deli, etc...

                  2. It's a stuffing - carrots, onions, celery, along with a lot of breading (matzoh meal, flour), and a lot of fat (schmaltz, beef tallow).

                    The disgusting part of it traditionally is the use of the intestine - which, of course is full of... but the cleaning standards are exacting. And today, it's moot, since intestine is not used.

                    It's undoubtedly not good for you - I mean you couldn't possibly justify this from either a low fat or a low carb perspective. And it's normally served with a further fat/oil based gravy... but we have it about once every 2-3 months, and usually for breakfast instead of, say, sausage patties... it can't be that much worse.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: applehome

                      Jewish haggis! Kosher scrapple! Yay! Now I get it...

                      Curious, when you think of it, that the category "breakfast" should encompass both some of the most nutritious and healthful foods and some of the wurst, I mean worst. On the one hand is all the high-fiber whole grain fruit'n'nut stuff, the yogurts and the fresh fruits and all that...and then over here we find pig fat and chicken fat and grease gravy over lard biscuits with syrup-laden greasy waffles and everything topped with EGGS!

                      Wotththell...I love all of it...