From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Chicken gribenes
Alternative namesGrieven
Main ingredientsChicken skin, onions

Gribenes or grieven (Yiddish: גריבענעס‎, [ˈɡrɪbənəs], "scraps"; Hebrew: גלדי שומן‎) are crisp chicken or goose skin cracklings with fried onions, a kosher food somewhat similar to pork rinds. Gribenes are a byproduct of schmaltz preparation.[1][2][3]

A favored food in the past among Ashkenazi Jews,[2][3] gribenes is frequently mentioned in Jewish stories and parables.

Holiday food[edit]

This food is often associated with the Jewish holidays Hanukkah and Rosh Hashanah.[2][3] Traditionally, gribenes were served with potato kugel or latkes during Hanukkah.[3][4]

Gribenes are also associated with Passover, as large amounts of schmaltz, with its resulting gribenes, were traditionally used in Passover recipes.[2][5]


Gribenes can be eaten as a snack, typically on rye or pumpernickel bread with salt,[6] or used in recipes such as chopped liver,[7] or all of the above.[5] It is often served as a side dish with pastrami on rye or hot dogs.[7][8]

This food has also been eaten as a midnight snack,[9] or as an appetizer.[2][8] Some Jews in Louisiana add gribenes to Jambalaya in place of non-Kosher shrimp.[2] It was served to children on challah bread as a treat.[3]


The word gribenes is related to German Griebe (plural Grieben) meaning “piece of fat, crackling” (from Old High German griobo via Middle High German griebe),[2] where Griebenschmalz is lard from which the cracklings have not been removed.

The name is unrelated to German Geriebenes (“something grated”).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Claudia Roden, The Book of Jewish Food, Penguin Books, 1999, p. 56
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Gil Marks, Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, p. 239 (John Wiley and Sons, 2010). ISBN 978-0-470-39130-3. Found at Google Books. Accessed January 4, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e Esther Rosenblum Cohen, "Chicken Fat," Jewish Magazine, August 2007. Found at Jewish magazine online. Accessed January 4, 2011.
  4. ^ Miriam Rubin, "This kugel is about NOT using your noodles," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 22, 2010. Found at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website. Accessed January 4, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Karen Miltner, Blog, "What's on My Plate: Miscellaneous Monday musings," Democrat and Chronicle, November 29, 2010. Found at Democrat and Chronicle, online blogs section. Accessed January 4, 2011.
  6. ^ Amy Scattergood, "Chef recipes: A Recipe From the Chef: Ilan Hall's Gribenes Sandwich," 'LA Weekly, December 23, 2009. Found at LA Weekly website. Accessed January 4, 2011.
  7. ^ a b P Campbell, "Restaurant News, Updates: Pastrami, babka and schmaltz and gribenes," October 14, 2010. Found at website Archived 2010-10-22 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed January 4, 2011.
  8. ^ a b Frank Bruni, "Quit Kibitzing and Pass the Gribenes ", New York Times, February 13, 2008. Found at New York Times website. Accessed January 4, 2011.
  9. ^ "Recipes: Charlie Klatskin's Gribenes," found at PBS website. Accessed January 4, 2011.

External links[edit]