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Feasting and FastingThe History and Ethics of Jewish Food$
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Aaron Gross, Jody Myers, and Jordan D. Rosenblum

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479899333

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479899333.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Jews, Schmaltz, and Crisco in the Age of Industrial Food

Jews, Schmaltz, and Crisco in the Age of Industrial Food

(p.189) 8. Jews, Schmaltz, and Crisco in the Age of Industrial Food
Feasting and Fasting

Rachel B. Gross

NYU Press

This chapter discusses a series of twentieth-century advertising campaigns undertaken by the food manufacturing company Procter & Gamble to convince Jewish women to change their cooking fats of choice from butter and schmaltz, rendered poultry fat, to Crisco. The effectiveness of this early instance of targeted marketing reveals a particular moment in the changing mores of American Jews as religious practitioners and as consumers of commercial goods, identities that were often intertwined. Jewish home cooks, generally women, were convinced to relinquish authority to corporate experts not only in matters of cuisine and health, but also regarding religious practices related to food production and consumption. Over the course of the twentieth century, for many American Jews, buying packaged food products overseen by federal health regulators and Jewish religious organizations became an integral part of religious practice.

Keywords:   Procter & Gamble, Jewish women, schmaltz, Crisco, marketing, health, mores, American Jews, food production

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