Gregory's Herring in Cream. Photo: Courtesy of Hillel Israel, supported by the Genesis Philanthropy Group
Gregory's Herring in Cream. Photo: Courtesy of Hillel Israel, supported by the Genesis Philanthropy Group
Recipe

Gregory’s Herring in Cream

In the community where Gregory lived, it was customary to prepare herring for Shabbat

One of the most famous dishes that Gregory made was called herring in cream – salted fish in a cream and onion sauce.

Gregory’s Herring in Cream. Photo: Courtesy of Hillel Israel, supported by the Genesis Philanthropy Group
Gregory was a known expert in herring preparation. Photo: Courtesy of Hillel Israel, supported by the Genesis Philanthropy Group

Gregory Kaz was born in 1927 in the city of Mogilev in the former Soviet Union. He was a prisoner in the concentration camps there. During World War II the Nazi’s forcibly sent him to Germany and between the dates of September 15, 1943 to April 23, 1945 he was in the Flosenberg concentration camp.

After the United States liberated the camp, Gregory returned to his hometown, but realized that none of his family had survived. On the advice of friends, he moved to the city of Novosibirsk, where he lived for the rest of his life.

Gregory says about himself: “I was born in Mogilev to a traditional Jewish family. In 1943 the Nazi’s took me from my family and I was sent to a concentration camp in Germany where I worked in the mines and quarries and carried stones and rocks. On the 23rd of April 1945 I was liberated by American soldiers. After the war, I learned that my mother and both of my sisters were killed in the Mogilev ghetto and my eldest brother was killed in action fighting for the Red Army.”

Gregory passed away in October 2013.

Ingredients for Herring in cream

  • 4 herring large
  • 3 onions medium sized
  • 14 oz (400 grams) cooking cream 30% fat
  • 4-5 bay leaves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar 9%
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar

Instructions

  • 1. Bring one liter of water to a boil with the peppercorn and bay leaf.

  • 2. Clean the salted fish and cut into 1½" (4 cm) cubes.

  • 3. Cut the onion into rounds and then into half rounds and place the half-rings in the boiling water for about 3 minutes.  

  • 4. Remove from the heat, add the vinegar and sugar.  

  • 5. After the mixture cools, add the cooking cream. This mixture get poured over the herring.

  • 6. Let sit in the fridge for one day and eat.

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This recipe was taken from the “Tastes of The Past – Students Cooking with Holocaust Survivors”, a project of Hillel Israel with support from the Genesis Philanthropy Group, created to help Russian-speaking students integrate into Hillel activities on campuses across Israel. This cookbook was an initiative of students in the Hillel Center at Ben Gurion University who decided, during their work with Holocaust survivors, to create a cookbook recreating recipes from survivors’ childhood homes.

The recipes are presented as given by the Holocaust survivors, thus it is possible that not all recipes are kosher, or the amounts accurate as given, since priority was given to preservation and honoring the memories as they were recounted.

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