Rabbi Jeffrey Marx of the Santa Monica Synagogue is an author, historian and, yes, cream-cheese expert, who loves to talk about the soft, full-bodied cheese that we all know so well. For a presentation called “The Whole Schmear: How America Brought Cream Cheese to the Jews,” he visits the Skirball to discuss how cream cheese traveled from Tudor England to the United States and why Philadelphia cream cheese wasn't actually made in Philadelphia. He also explores how late – 19th/early – 20th century advances in mass production, packaging, advertising and transportation contributed to the “spread” of this tasty cheese. Along the way, he examines when and why bagels, lox and cream cheese came together to form a staple of Jewish cuisine in America, especially since, he reports, bagels and cream cheese were never meant to be together. Finally, Rabbi Marx illustrates how Jewish immigrants took an American ingredient, made it Jewish and gave it back to America in the form of cheesecake and of course, as a must-eat topping on dense, delicious, ring-shaped bread. Yum. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood; Tue., June 24, 8 p.m.; $8, free for members. Reservations recommended. (310) 440-4500, skirball.org/programs/readings-talks/.

Tue., June 24, 8 p.m., 2014
(Expired: 06/24/14)

LA Weekly