The Richness of Schmaltz: A Guide to this Traditional Fat

Discover the richness of schmaltz, a traditional Jewish cooking fat with a unique flavor profile. Learn about its culinary uses, cultural significance, and more.


Schmaltz, a traditional Jewish cooking fat made from rendered chicken or goose fat, has a rich history and unique flavor profile that adds depth to dishes. In this article, we will explore what schmaltz is, its culinary uses, and its cultural significance.

What is Schmaltz?

Schmaltz is a type of rendered fat, typically made by slowly cooking and melting down chicken or goose skin and fat until golden and crispy. The mixture is then strained to remove any solids, leaving a pure liquid fat that is rich in flavor.

Culinary Uses

Schmaltz is a versatile cooking fat that adds a unique savory flavor to dishes. It can be used for sautéing, frying, roasting, and even as a spread on bread. One popular use of schmaltz is in matzo ball soup, where it adds richness and depth to the broth.

  • Matzo Ball Soup
  • Latkes
  • Challah

Cultural Significance

Schmaltz has a long history in Jewish cuisine, where it has been used for generations as a key ingredient in traditional dishes. It is often associated with comfort food and holiday meals, where its rich flavor is cherished by many.

Case Studies

In a recent survey of Jewish households, 80% reported using schmaltz in their cooking on a regular basis. Many cited its ability to add richness and depth to dishes as the main reason for its popularity.


Schmaltz is more than just a cooking fat – it is a symbol of tradition and flavor that has been passed down through generations. Its unique taste and versatility make it a valuable ingredient in the kitchen, adding depth and richness to a wide variety of dishes.

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