1.03.2022 - 31.12.2022 Cuisine, Events, History, Polish-Jewish Relations

What’s Cooking. Jewish Culinary Culture

The Polish Cultural Institute New York is a proud partner of:
Virtual exhibition at www.whatscooking.art organized by POLIN

In-person exhibition also available in Warsaw at POLIN: Museum of the History of Polish Jews
March-December 2022

TEMPORARY EXHIBITION AT POLIN MUSEUM “What’s Cooking. Jewish Culinary Culture” virtual exhibition is based on the materials prepared for the temporary exhibition under the same title, available for viewing at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw from March until December 2022. Tickets to visit “What’s Cooking” temporary exhibition in person while in Warsaw can be purchased through the website.

Learn “what’s cooking” in the Jewish world! This exhibition shows what Jews ate in the past, what they eat nowadays and why. By focusing on characteristic dishes, the way they are prepared, their origins and meanings, POLIN also sheds light on the Jewish religious practice, history and culture from around the world.


In a series of films, our culinary guides through Poland—Mary Seidler, Agnieszka Kuś, Maria Ostrowska and Radosław Wójcik—will tell you all about bagels, gefilte fish, Bialostockers and tsimes. They will search for traces of Jewish flavours and stories about them in Warsaw, Krakow and in Podlasie. 

The films will premiere on the POLIN Museum YouTube channel on Sundays over the course of summer holidays.


Jewish cuisine has been shaped by the rules of kashrut, Jewish religious law included in the Torah and rabbinic literature. They define which products and modes of cooking are forbidden and which are allowed. Holiday meals also come with special requirements for their preparation. Observation of these rules throughout the ages served as a source of Jewish cultural distinctiveness, and remains a pillar of Jewish identity today.


Viewing What’s Cooking, POLIN Museum virtual exhibition, offers an opportunity to get immersed in Jewish history and culinary culture in different corners of the world—you will read about typical dishes, the way they are prepared, their origin and significance. You will find out what kosher means and how Ashkenazi cuisine differs from Sephardi. You will also get acquainted with over 40 recipes for Jewish cuisine dishes edited and selected by Sabina Francuz.


The exhibition is divided into four thematic paths: Tradition, Diaspora, Modernity and Memories. This division will make it easy for you to navigate the exposition, and to understand the phenomenon of Jewish cuisine. It will answer the question of what Jewish cuisine is and will show it from many perspectives—you will learn about its diversity and transformation over time. You will see several hundred photos of culinary and ritual objects, of people and places as well as of manuscripts from the collections from all across the globe—from New York, through Tel Aviv, London to Lublin and Warsaw.

Potato kugel

Curators: Tamara Sztyma and Magdalena Maślak
Project coordinators: Anna Czerwińska, Anna Dybała-Pacholak
Promotion: Marlena Bogusz, Radosław Wójcik, Justyna Gill-Maćkiewicz, Marta Dziewulska
Recipes: Sabina Francuz
Film: Kachna Baraniewicz (director), Teonika Rożynek (music)
Translation: Boris Gerus (Hebrew), Zofia Sochańska (English), editing and proofreading Marta Stankiewicz (Hebrew), Zachary Mazur (English)
Production: Openform design & digital studio

Lead image: Challah.

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