"It's matzo ball soup, and she still doesn't get it right."
--Grandpa Solomon
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When East Meets West

(The Story of Japanese Matzo Ball Soup)

My grandpa Solomon was an interesting guy. In addition to being a gruff salty seadog who had traveled around the world many times as a ship's engineer in the Merchant Marines, he was also a Jew born and raised in Brooklyn. Anyway, this is the soup story he told me.

He was in the navy stationed overseas in Japan following World War II for a few years. When he was sent back to the US, he offered his Japanese servant/cook a job if she wanted to move with him to his next job in Texas. She accepted and fit in nicely in their new home.

During one of his frequent trips back to Brooklyn, he allowed a couple of Texan friends to stay over at his home, which was perched nicely on the waterfront. When Grandpa returned after a week, his house guests were raving about the cook and the wonderful exotic Japanese soup they had been served all week. "What is it?" they enquired.

After, a quick exchange with the cook he replied, "It's matzo ball soup, and she still doesn't get it right."

Randy Solomon
Trenton, New Jersey