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Chicken gribenes
Alternative namesGrieven
TypeSnack, side dish, or garnish
Created byAshkenazi Jews
Main ingredientsChicken or goose skin, onions

Gribenes or grieven (Yiddish: גריבענעס, [ˈɡrɪbənəs], "cracklings"; Hebrew: גלדי שומן) is a dish consisting of crisp chicken or goose skin cracklings with fried onions.


The word gribenes is related to the German Griebe (plural Grieben) meaning "piece of fat, crackling" (from the Old High German griobo via the Middle High German griebe),[1] where Griebenschmalz is schmaltz from which the cracklings have not been removed.


A favored food in the past among Ashkenazi Jews,[1][2] gribenes appears in Jewish stories and parables, for example in the work of the Hebrew poet Chaim Nachman Bialik.[3] As with other cracklings, gribenes are a byproduct of rendering animal fat to produce cooking fat, in this case kosher schmaltz.[4][1][2]

Gribenes can be used as an ingredient in dishes like kasha varnishkes, fleishig kugel, and gehakte leber.[5]

Gribenes is often associated with the Jewish holidays Hanukkah and Rosh Hashanah.[1][2] Traditionally, gribenes were served with potato kugel or latkes during Hanukkah.[2][6] It is also associated with Passover, because large amounts of schmaltz, with its resulting byproduct gribenes, were traditionally used in Passover recipes.[1][7]


Gribenes can be eaten as a snack on rye or pumpernickel bread with salt,[8] or used in recipes such as chopped liver,[9] or all of the above.[7] It is often served as a side dish with pastrami on rye or hot dogs.[9][10]

The dish is eaten as a midnight snack,[11] or appetizer.[1][10] In Louisiana, Jews add gribenes to jambalaya in place of (treyf) shrimp.[1] It was served to children on challah bread as a treat.[2] It can also be served in a GLT, a modified version of a BLT sandwich that replaces bacon with gribenes.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ a b c d e Esther Rosenblum Cohen, "Chicken Fat", Jewish Magazine, August 2007. Found at Jewish Magazine online. Accessed January 4, 2011.
  3. ^ Random Harvest: The Novellas Of Bialik
  4. ^ Claudia Roden, The Book of Jewish Food, Penguin Books, 1999, p. 56
  5. ^ Grossinger, Jennie (1958). The Art of Jewish Cooking. Random House.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Recipes: Charlie Klatskin's Gribenes," found at PBS website. Accessed January 4, 2011.
  12. ^ 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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