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A Kosher Christmas

A Kosher Christmas

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

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The strange mystical connection between Christmas and Chinese food is well known to any hungry Jew(ess)... for years, my family alternated between the movies and moo-shoo. In fact, it's pretty much one of the only times I eat Chinese. If for some reason you and your goyish (kidding!, I'm kidding!) family have been having an actual Christmas dinner, and don't understand this ancient pilgrimage, either tune in, or check out the following video. Happy Christmas, y'all, and don't let the MSG make you meshuggenah!



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San Francisco offers Kosher Kung Pao Comedy on Christmas Day. This is a comedy show at one of the Chinatown restaurants for the Jewish community. The gay/lesbian group from my synagogue has attended for the past few years. It's a hoot!

Sent by Jerry | 2:49 PM | 12-25-2007

Chinese food does not contain dairy products which makes it easier to prepare a kosher version without changing the recipe.

Also, many Chinese people are lactose-intolerant as are many people who not of Northern European origin like Jews. I wasn't lactose-intolerant when I was little, but I am now.

Sent by Susan | 2:53 PM | 12-25-2007

we will go thai this year. even in north carolina we observe THE CHRISTMAS CHINESE DINNER

Sent by Ann brenner | 2:54 PM | 12-25-2007

We always went out for Chinese on Christmas day. Usually my Mother worked cause she was a nurse. I always worked on Christmas when I was a Medical Technologist. So, then we would go out after work for Chinese. We also would go out for Chinese a lot on Sundays when my Aunt and Uncle and cousins came in from Cranston to Worcester for a visit. My Grandfather only ate Chow Mein. My brother didn't like the different dishes to touch on his plate! When my husband and I moved to Omaha NE, it was hard to find a Chinese place open on Christmas. We live in Raleigh, NC now and there are more places open on Christmas.

Sent by Ruth-Ellen Flanagan | 3:03 PM | 12-25-2007

My synagogue [] had a Kosher Chinese dinner last night. A lady came who is not a member - she was so happy that there was such an event locally that she brought her guitar and sang songs for us!

Sent by Holly in Cincinnati | 4:09 PM | 12-25-2007

I have lived all over the world.. from Melbourne to Greensboro, NC... Montreal to Chicago.. Tokyo to Winnipeg and it is a ubiquitous fact that Jews from all over the world eat Chinese Food on Christmas Day. This is joyful tradition that I have passed into my now Jewish/Christian family...

It must have something to do with the love of oil and frying---a healthy ( for the soul) pursuit of the Chinese and the Jews.

Sent by Stephen Penner | 4:57 PM | 12-25-2007

Having just published a food piece on my blog called "Fortune Cookies for Christmas," I found today's discussion especially entertaining. Professor Siegal might enjoy reading this Jewish epicure's perspective on Christmas and Chinese restaurants. If you would forward the link below to him, I would be most appreciative

Sent by Ellen | 12:13 AM | 12-26-2007

I am the creator, producer, and MC of Kung Pao Kosher Comedy: Jewish comedy on Xmas in a Chinese Restaurant, in San Frannciso. The event just celebrated its 15th year. We have 8 shows over the course of 4 days, and 3000 people attend. People come back year after year, and many come in from around the country for Kung Pao. Shelley Berman was the headliner this year. Henny Youngman performed his last shows at Kung Pao. Check out for more info

Sent by Lisa Geduldig | 10:42 PM | 12-26-2007