Growing up just outside of Boston, Sonya Gropman remembers visits to both sets of her grandparents and good food – lots of it. On her dad’s eastern European-Jewish side, there was roast chicken, gefilte fish, and brisket; on her mom’s German-Jewish side, there was meat soup with matzo balls, potato dumplings, and grimsele with raspberry or wine sauce at Passover.
As Sonya grew older, she realized that the dishes on both sides of her family were as delicious as they were distinct from one another. The food on her dad’s side was widely known, but the food on her mom’s? Not so much. So Sonya set out to change that.
“A lightbulb went off, and I thought this is a perfect project to write a cookbook about this food,” says Sonya. “It really necessitated both my mother and me working on it.”
Nine years later, following research, recipe-testing, and re-writes, mother-daughter duo Gabrielle Rossmer Gropman and Sonya Gropman are in Germany, sharing their story and insights from their book, The German-Jewish Cookbook: Recipes & History of a Cuisine.
Profile picture by Sylvia Cunningham
Food pictures by Sonya Gropman.