Before I started my rugelach journey for this installment of Tried and Tasted, I imagined that I’d find mostly positive results. After all, the chocolate yeast delicacies are practically a Jerusalem staple, seen at every kiddush, bar mitzva, birthday party, office meeting, Shabbat afternoon spread or hotel buffet. Something so ubiquitous must be good, no? Turns out, I was wrong. All this time, I’ve been popping rugelach into my mouth – while lazing around on Friday night, a late night at work or a quick snack from a bakery – without really tasting them. It was there, it had chocolate and dough, so I ate it. But once I started tasting rugelach – really tasting them – I realized that most are just not good at all.

The biggest offense was the complete lack of chocolate filling: some had practically none, others had just enough to notice but make you wish you hadn’t, with artificial flavor and toothaching amounts of sugar. Most places that sell chocolate rugelach also offer varieties with cinnamon; perhaps those aren’t as disappointing? A column for another time, I suppose.

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