Brooklyn. Three Start-ups Reviving Classic Jewish Food.

Brooklyn Sesame, NYSHUK and Gefilteria.

Last week’s post was all about three of the original Jewish foodie entrepreneurs in Brooklyn.

 This week we’re bringing you the newbies! Three start-ups that are reviving classic Jewish food and cultural traditions.


Similar to Joyva back in the day, Brooklyn Sesame is reinventing halvah for a new generation.


photo courtesy of Brooklyn Sesame
Great as a spread on toasted bread, with cheese, on ice cream or straight from the jar.

 Shahar Shamir, founder of Brooklyn Sesame, wanted to bring something of his culture to the New York food scene and a “halvah business seemed the perfect way to be creative, traditional and culinary.”  He was inspired to create a spreadable artisanal halvah after a trip to Israel.When he returned to the States, Shahar began to experiment and make his own version of halvah but with all natural ingredients and with honey instead of sugar. His friends and family all loved the consistency and taste of his spreadable version. Thus, Brooklyn Sesame was born!


photo courtesy of Brooklyn Sesame
Halvah Spread with cocoa and sea salt. Yum.

Currently, Brooklyn Sesame spreads are being sold on the East Coast at Sahadi’s, Russ & Daughters, Marlo & Daughters, and Zizi Limona.  You can also order directly online here.


Ron and Leetal Arazi founded NY SHUK to keep their culinary Middle Eastern traditions alive.

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photo courtesy of NYSHUK
Their delicious jarred Harissa, Tanzeya and L’ekama will become your new pantry staples.

Ron grew up in Israel in a Jewish Moroccan-Lebanese home. After attending culinary school, traveling and working under several accomplished chefs, he began to realize the importance of bringing his version of Middle Eastern cuisine to the U.S. Leetal is a pastry chef, food photographer and stylist. She first learned how to bake from her maternal Eastern European grandfather, who was a professional baker, along with her paternal Turkish grandmother, who taught her the best of Middle Eastern cooking.


All orders come with recipe ideas.

Check out their website here for ordering, menu ideas and recipes.


Gefilteria is bringing back old world Ashkenazi food to it’s heyday. The old is inspiring the new for a modern update on tradition.

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photo courtesy of Gefilteria
Gefilte fish like grandma used to make.

Gefilte fish has strayed from it’s roots. (Remember the days when the carp was kept in the bathtub?) Most folks today only know gefilte fish as a jarred, jellied outdated food. But Gefilteria is changing that by taking gefilte fish out of the jar and back to the days of the pushcart. Their fish is sustainably sourced and all their their products are made with only the freshest ingredients. Serve Gefilteria’s gefilte fish with pride at your next holiday or dinner party.


photo courtesy of Gefilteria
Spicy Carrot Horseradish — tradition with a twist. 

Gefilteria products are currently sold at Grow and Behold and The Challah Connection. You can find more information on their website here.

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photo courtesy of Gefilteria
Beet Kvass — A traditional Russian drink and now a trendy wellness juice.










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4 Comments on Brooklyn. Three Start-ups Reviving Classic Jewish Food.

  1. helene
    January 26, 2014 at 8:40 pm (9 years ago)

    WOW. All these items sound terrific. I know Brooklyn is having a dramatic come back. Sorry I did not go last week when I was visiting NY.
    Next time for sure. Thanks for the enticing information.

  2. tammy levine
    January 26, 2014 at 9:47 pm (9 years ago)

    great info–didn’t know about these sources despite being from the ny area!!!

  3. Laura
    January 30, 2014 at 1:52 pm (9 years ago)

    All great products… and we’ve got them all on our shelves here at Greene Grape Provisions, in Fort Greene Brooklyn!

    • Julie Levine
      January 31, 2014 at 1:36 pm (9 years ago)

      Terrific. I’m glad you let our readers know. Thanks so much.


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