After his mother-in-law's death, NPR's Marc Silver found her go-to cookbook, filled with her copious annotations to recipes. He used it to piece together her take on mandelbread, a Jewish version of biscotti, and other holiday favorites. Akash Ghai/NPR hide caption

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"Honey cake is considered the fruitcake of the kosher kitchen," jokes cookbook author Marcy Goldman. "The same resistance people may have to fruitcake, a lot of people have about honey cake." With her recipe — now the go-to recipe for thousands of families — Goldman modernizes this sweet taste of the past. Deena Prichep for NPR hide caption

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A rabbi (center) supervises the production of Passover matzos at the Streit's factory on New York's Lower East Side, circa 1960s. This Passover will be Streit's last one at the landmark location. AP hide caption

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Wrapped in gold and silver foil, chocolate gelt are often handed out as a little treat for children (and adults) during Hanukkah. Turns out, the tradition is rooted in real money. iStockphoto hide caption

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Sweet or salty? Historically among Eastern European Jews, how they liked their gefilte fish depended on where they lived. This divide created a strictly Jewish geography known as "the gefilte fish line." Claire Eggers/NPR hide caption

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A woman in front of Mrs. Stahl's knish shop in Brooklyn's Brighton Beach neighborhood where author Laura Silver went as a child. Courtesy of the University Press of New England hide caption

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The holes in matzo give the cracker its characteristic crunch, Odelia Cohen/iStockphoto hide caption

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While traditional cholents feature meat and beans cooked for a whole day, some modern versions, like this one, use vegetable protein and a quick braise. rusvaplauke/Flickr hide caption

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Judge Michael Zusman's bialys are topped with roasted onions, poppy seeds and coarse salt. Daniel Zwerdling/NPR hide caption

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Nick Wiseman, partner at DGS Delicatessen, inspects the kitchen as an employee prepares pastrami sandwiches for lunch. Daniel M.N. Turner/NPR hide caption

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Russ and Daughters, which opened on the Lower East Side in 1914, specializes in smoked fish. Courtesy of Jen Snow, Russ and Daughters hide caption

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