After much debate, I had the privilege of watching my gran make Chopped Liver – it is a very seldom occurrence because “Giovanni’s make the best liver in Cape Town” and it seems to be a lot less of a mission to simply call and collect. This year for Pesach, I begged her make it from scratch so that I could actually see how it is made. So, here it is folks. The recipe:
It seems that she took down the recipe in quite a rush on an old diary from 2002; this is exactly 15 years ago. A lot shorter than I imagined but my gran assured me that she has been making it for much longer than that and has rewritten the recipe a few times.
Chopped Liver is a traditional Jewish food, it is always served as an appetizer at (most) Jewish function – it originates from Medieval Germany and was originally made from goose liver as goose was the poultry of choice. It finally made its way to Eastern Europe – the hub of Jewish life and culture pre-World War I and has made its way on every Jewish table since.
The recipes crossed oceans to all diasporic destinations; especially Ellis Island in the late 1800s. Today, there is no deli in New York (well at least visiting) that doesn’t serve Chopped Liver. It can even be found at all Jewish style delis in Cape Town.
The liver is traditionally served with grated boiled egg on top of it.
Get your hand on some chopped liver in Cape Town:
New York Bagel:
44 Harrington St, Zonnebloem, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Contact: 021 820 4359
NYB used to be in Sea Point for years, it recently moved to Zonnebloem/East City. An absolute must try. I definitely recommend their chopped liver but their bagels are out of this world, super affordable. I recommend their slow roast chicken bagel, salmon and cream cheese and their rare roast beef. All under R50. What more could a gal want?
103, Main Rd, Green Point, Cape Town, 8051, South Africa
Contact: 021 434 6893
This one is for the less fiscal being. Quite a pricey deli but their chopped liver is definitely the best in Cape Town. I dare you to step foot in there the day before a Jewish High Holiday and you will be trampled by Jewish women getting their fix for the dinner table that night. Any other day – just a few Jews here and there but you’re most probably a lot safer. Highly recommend their open plate option – you can just choose whatever you like and it goes by weight.
95 Regent Rd, Sea Point, Cape Town, 8060, South Africa
Contact: 021 433 2871
This spot is an absolute hidden gem located in Sea Point; try get a seat on a Sunday morning breakfast, you’ll be waiting on the pavement for a substantial amount of time. It is absolutely minute; but their bagels and liver are top notch. I definitely recommend the Latka Benedict; you simply can’t go wrong with deep fried onion and potato with Hollandaise sauce.
Alternatively, if you’re feeling adventurous; try making it yourself.