Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Let's Hear It for Bourbon, Down with Scotch

The Council of West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, passed a resolution banning the purchase of all products produced in Israel. Well folks, time for a little activism.

To read about the boycott and to see the list of Scotch whiskeys not produced in the area and, therefore, okay for purchase (scroll all the way down) go to http://muqata.blogspot.com/p/official-scotch-whisky-counter-boycott.html

Please keep this in mind--drinking Scotch is a want, not a need, and we so do not need to support an area whose anti-Israel, anti-zionist rhetoric is appalling. They want to ban Israeli products? Well two can play at that game. I hope they find out that they've bitten off lots more than they can chew, and I hope they choke swallowing.

Yes, I hope you pass this information on to others, lots of others, and I hope you add a personal request asking people to not buy any of the Scotch whiskeys from this area.

Please note: taken from the muqata (thanks Jameel): The following Scotches are not under the ban, not being made in West Dumbartonshire-- Glenmorangie,Oban,Glenfiddich


Miami Al said...

But Scotch was a sophisticated drink 15 years ago, how can you not expect Frum Jews to express their worldly tastes by following taste trends of two decades prior.

Good luck with this plan, but Frum Jews "boycotting" Hebrew National hasn't pressured ConAgra into getting better supervision. We're not that big a group.

Mike said...

Stop thinking in the box Al. Who said this is only for frum Jews? What, suddenly it's only frum Jews who support and believe in a strong Israel? Plenty of co-workers and people I know who aren't frum and who support Israel. I'll let them know about this. And plenty of co-workers in our company who appreciate and support Israel who aren't Jewish at all. Our firm uses a lot of technology developed in Israel and do business there. Not going to be a problem in getting everyone to agree that this ban by Scotland is a lousy idea.

Instead of wasting time saying this isn't going to work get out there and tell everyone you know to not buy the scotch that isn't on the approved list. In today's economic climate even a fraction of a percent disturbance in sales is going to affect the bottom line.

Ari said...

MiamiAl--if you're going to use frum bashing sarcasm at least get the facts straight. Drinking Scotch isn't some 15 year old trend that only frum Jews are still following--as of 2008 it was the number one selling liquor in the US and #2 worldwide. See


Maybe one step ProfK would be to contact all the kosher caterers and ask them not to buy/use the Scotch on the list. Still some topshelf Scotch left that they could substitute. Caterers buy in bulk so their not buying certain brands would be visible to the distributors. Our shul board voted this week to eliminate the Scotch from this area of Scotland from the approved list for anyone making a simcha or kiddush in the shul.

Anonymous said...

I know what Al means and I agree. It's quite an affectation, the taste that certain young frum men (who are not picky about their greasy kugel and iceberg salad) express for "single malt".

Miami Al said...

Bingo anonymouys... it's the young men taking "shots" of single malt that make me want to gag... and the men spending their parents money that clearly can't tell the difference between single malt and Everclear talking about how great this $500 bottle is...

The upper crust trend has been moving to bourbon for about 6 or 7 years, as scotch is played out...

Mike, that's a much better approach.

JS said...

Anonymous's point is well-taken. I can't stand the snobbery around the kiddush table or at a bris, vort, l'chaim or what have you when it comes to scotch. At least have the integrity to admit you can't tell the difference between turpentine and a 18 year old single malt from such and such area aged in such and such casks. And yet, simcha after simcha people crowd around for the top shelf scotch like they're some sort of connoisseur and can't possibly ruin their palate with lesser spirits.

One of the favorite guys in my shul is the guy who sets up and cleans up after kiddush. He takes all the bottles of scotch and bourbon, etc. and when they have a tiny bit left he combines them into one of the other bottles. No one can ever tell the difference even as they stand around noses high in the air about the smokiness of this bottle or the smoothness of this one.

And yeah, nothing goes better with a fine aged scotch than some low-class peasant food from the poverty-stricken ghettos. Bring on the greasy potato kugel and cooked beyond recognition cholent!

Seriously though in terms of this ban, I imagine emailing the various companies and/or the council that voted this way would me more effective since it could be weeks/months before any ban (if effective at all) would affect the bottom line given production lead time, etc.

Rae said...

Men and their toys, whether electronics or which alcoholic beverage is the "best."

Gotta love the comments about greasy potato kugel "And yeah, nothing goes better with a fine aged scotch than some low-class peasant food from the poverty-stricken ghettos. Bring on the greasy potato kugel and cooked beyond recognition cholent!" Origin of kugels goes back hundreds of years and they didn't originate in the Jewish ghettos but in the German upper classes. As to the greasy part, sounds more like a cook problem then a dish problem. Also wonder if these same people slandering potato kugel every eat a french fry or fried chicken or a cruller or doughnut--fried every one of them and using a whole lot more oil then a potato kugel uses.

And Ari, you gave a good idea about contacting caterers and shuls. Gives a more public face to any ban when outside organizations and places state they won't use the products and tell their suppliers just why.

Miami Al said...


Sorry my family was upper crust German until the 1930s. My grandmother didn't know what a Kugel was until my mother made one for her.

I love French fries. I just don't pretend that French Fries are anything but a greasy disgusting comfort food...

Sorry, upper class Germans, Jew and Gentile, had servants, including cooks and governesses. There was no need for the easy cheap soul food of Eastern Europe there.

Absolutely peasant food.

Talia said...

No the sorry is that you are wrong Al. Access to a number of encyclopedias and reference works on foods and their origin and the kugel was not Eastern European in origin, was upper level German (related to kugelhopf) and was not originally made out of either potatoes or noodles but was a bread and flour mixture, sort of like a fried puffed dense pancake. At least 800-900 years ago for its first reference and usage. The fact that your mother didn't eat this dish until fairly recently is no proof that it wasn't German in origin.

Miami Al said...


Linguistically, fine, most Yiddish words are traced back to Middle High German. Look at these pictures on Wikipedia, and tell me where you have seen Kugel at a Kiddush that looks like one of these.


Sorry, Ashkenazi Kugel may have a linguistic root in Middle High German, but NOT a culinary one.

Gugelhupf is a German cake.
Kugel is a potato and noodle mixture.

Not the same food.

JS said...

If it was German in origin it would seem that it morphed over time into an Eastern European dish. I don't know if upper class Germans were still making kugels 50-100 years ago, but they certainly were in Eastern Europe. They were even making it in Israel. Hence, the Yerushalmi kugel. Food travels and changes as it travels.

To the original point about greasy food. Kugels at shul kiddushes are invariably soaked in oil. The men have a greasy piece of potato kugel in one hand and their fine single malt scotch in the other. Can you make a potato kugel that's more healthy? Sure. It just seems no kosher caterer has ever heard of how to do this.

Also, proper deep frying does not impart much oil to the food. If the oil is the right temperature, oil cannot penetrate due to the outward pressure of steam cooking out of the food. Again, hardly any kosher caterer or restaurant seems to understand this principle of cooking (certainly not the cheaper places that throw still frozen pre-made fries in a deep fryer).

So, properly fried french fries should have less oil than a potato kugel in which oil is an actual ingredient mixed in.