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Chicken gribenes
Alternative namesGrieven
Created byAshkenazi Jews
Main ingredientsChicken skin, onions

In Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine, gribenes or grieven (Yiddish: גריבענעס, [ˈɡrɪbənəs], "cracklings"; Hebrew: גלדי שומן) are crisp chicken or goose skin cracklings with fried onions. As with other cracklings, gribenes are a byproduct of rendering animal fat to produce cooking fat, in this case kosher schmaltz.[1][2][3]

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

Gribenes can be used as an ingredient in other dishes like kasha varnishkes, fleishig kugel and gehakte leber.[4]

Holiday food[edit]

This dish 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][5]

Gribenes are also associated with Passover, as large amounts of schmaltz, with its resulting gribenes, were traditionally used in Passover recipes.[2][6]


Gribenes can be eaten as a snack, typically on rye or pumpernickel bread with salt,[7] or used in recipes such as chopped liver,[8] or all of the above.[6] It is often served as a side dish with pastrami on rye or hot dogs.[8][9]

This dish has also been eaten as a midnight snack,[10] or as an appetizer.[2][9] Some Jews in Louisiana add gribenes to Jambalaya in place of (treyf) shrimp.[2] It was served to children on challah bread as a treat.[3] It is also sometimes served in a GLT, a modified version of a BLT sandwich that replaces bacon with gribenes.[11]


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.

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. ^ Grossinger, Jennie (1958). The Art of Jewish Cooking. Random House.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Amy Scattergood, "Chef recipes: A Recipe From the Chef: Ilan Hall's Gribenes Sandwich," 'LA Weekly, December 23, 2009. Found at LA Weekly website Archived 2012-04-05 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed January 4, 2011.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Recipes: Charlie Klatskin's Gribenes," found at PBS website. Accessed January 4, 2011.
  11. ^ Scattergood, Amy (2009-12-23). "A Recipe From the Chef: Ilan Hall's Gribenes Sandwich". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 2019-05-24.

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