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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shavuos and Shaltenoses

Does anyone recognize the word Shaltenoses? (shal-tih-nuh'-sess) Perhaps there is some Litvak out there for whom the word rings a bell. I think this could be a definitive test for Litvish-keit.  Do you know what Shaltenosses are, or not?  Since around 98% of the Jews living in Lithuania in the forties were murdered, there aren't very many of us real Lithuanians around.

For the rest of you, it's kind of a cold noodle and cottage cheese mixture, but the noodles are like a thick shreds of blintzeh dough, sans sugar, sans salt, sans shmeteneh, although you are allowed to add these things on your individual plate-- maybe, even, cinammon. I've seen some who define it as cold blintzes. Rav Micha Berger, in a comment, says it is a variant of the blintze, cooked instead of fried, servable cold. In my mesora, it's more like cold thick blintzeh dough cooked instead of fried, mixed with clumps of unsweetened cottage cheese, and then sent through a freezing wood-chipper.  If shaltenosses are like blintzes, then matza is like dough-nuts.

Forgive the mixture of the banal and the divine, but for me, this occupies the same plateau of yomtov memories as Matza on Pesach and Lulav on Sukkos. For one thing, this writer eats Shaltenoses only out of ethnic loyalty, and also because any other time of the year, Shaltenoses would be seen as utterly out of place. They are a chok, not a mitzvah sichlis.

See also OC 494:3, and Magen Avraham there, and the Kitzur 103:7.

Post Shavuos notes:
1. No, it's not pronounced Shalteh-nauseous.
2. Although for some reason I remember it served most often cold, it is in fact served hot as often as cold.


micha said...

A shaltenus is simply a variant of the cheese blintz, boiled and servable cold.


Barzilai said...

Like mulch is a variant of veneer.

Anonymous said...

Wow somone takes his CHetzi Lachem Very seriously

Anonymous said...

The shaltenose' is a zecher of the terrible poverty in Lita, where sugar, eggs, and cheese were luxuries, and so much torah was lost because the gedolim who were Rabbonim in shtelach couldn't afford paper and ink.
As such, it is like the egg and salt water during the seder; a zecher of the tish'a be'av of toras Lita.
Since the ikar Torah sheBa'al Peh is Litvishe torah (by saying ikar, I'm being polite), it is appropriate to eat shaltenoses on Shevuot.
Thus, I have converted the minhag from a chok to a mishpat. Don't chok(e) on it.

Anonymous said...

In response to anonymous @3:09: you have obviously never eaten shaltenoses, or you would realize that this is KULO La'Shem

Elye said...

Shaltenosses or Saltenosses are actually milkhike kreplakh. They are dough filled with a cheese mixture and pinched together at the edges (like Ravioli) and then covered with cream (shmetene) and baked in the oven.
Blintzes are made by folding the so-called "blettlakh" or leaves made of dough around a cheese filling - like a parcel and then are usually fried and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar

Barzilai said...

Thanks to my tracker, I would like you all to know that Elye of the previous comment is from South Africa, the last stronghold of Litvishe Yidden. I have family there-- my late great uncle, David Gellman, one of the Lithuanians that went to SA, had an enormous Ostrich farm there, that supplied the millinery industry with feathers. He once sent me a leopard skin that I still have somewhere in a closet, and a picture of him laughing and showing off his stomach, ripped open by kick from a cranky Ostrich.