What is Gefilte fish? In Yiddish it means “filled” or “stuffed.” Today it looks like a fish ball, but the original Gefilte Fish was actually ground fish stuffed back into the fish and looked like this, dish courtesy of Eddy Portnoy.
But in the 50’s when food began to be mechanized this Eastern European delicacy transformed into the ball that families are more familiar with today. It is typically prepared either sweet or savory and made of deboned and ground carp, white fish, mullet and pike mixed together with egg and bread crumbs. Native to Ashkenazi Jews, this food is often eaten with horseradish on the side, historically as an antimicrobial combatant, and a carrot on top for style. Whether loved or hated, Gefilte fish continues to be a “must have” on holiday tables such as Rosh Hashana, Passover, and even Shabbat for the memories it holds as evidenced by this short film.