A Tribute to Babka

Since our leader Res is back and in the holiday spirit, I just couldn’t resist this post! He asked me what babka was. Would you believe my little non Jewish and yenta friends — there is a website called babka.com that explains it all!

A sampling:

The Babka Coffee Cake originated in Eastern Europe and was brought to the United States by the early immigrants who settled in Brooklyn, New York. According to the Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language: “Bab•ka (noun) – a sweet, spongy yeast cake with raisins, traditionally made in the form of a high cylinder, either solid or with a hole, often glazed with raspberry-flavored coating, and sometimes flavored with rum. Polish diminutive of baba – old woman.” Grandmothers traditionally baked Babkas for Easter Sunday, but nowadays, every holiday is a good reason for baking. Babka is made of rich yeast dough enhanced with raisins, and flavored with a variety of cheese and fruit fillings. Still today, original Babka recipes are kept secret within families and passed on from one generation to the next.

One quick comment about the blurb above, they aren’t ‘grandmothers’. Any older women who makes babka is one or both of these things: a bubie and a bubelah.

FYI: The best babka sampled by these lips belongs to Hi Rise Bakery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Not Zabars or Zaro’s in New York).

And before Uncanny gets all Uncanny on us, the real Jewish McCoy this time of year is the donut like treat known as sufganiah.


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