Chicken gribenes
Alternative names Grieven
Main ingredients Chicken skin, onions
Cookbook: Gribenes  Media: Gribenes

Gribenes or grieven (Yiddish: גריבענעס, [ˈɡrɪbənəs], "scraps"; Hebrew: גלדי שומן) are crisp chicken or goose skin cracklings with fried onions, a kosher food somewhat similar to pork rinds. Gribenes are a byproduct of schmaltz preparation.[1][2][3]

A favored food in the past among Ashkenazi Jews,[2][3] gribenes is frequently mentioned in Jewish stories and parables.

Holiday food

This food is often associated with the Jewish holidays Hanukkah and Rosh Hashanah.[2][3] Traditionally, gribenes were served with potato kugel or latkes during Hannukkah.[3][4]

Gribenes are also associated with Passover, as large amounts of schmaltz, with its resulting gribenes, were traditionally used in Passover recipes.[2][5]


Gribenes can be eaten as a snack, typically on rye or pumpernickel bread with salt,[6] or used in recipes such as chopped liver,[7] or all of the above.[5] It is often served as a side dish with pastrami on rye or hot dogs.[7][8]

This food has also been eaten as a midnight snack,[9] or as an appetizer.[2][8] Some Jews in Louisiana add gribenes to Jambalaya in place of non-Kosher shrimp.[2] It was served to children on challah bread as a treat.[3]


The word gribenes is related to German Griebe (plural Grieben) meaning “piece of fat, crackling” (from Old High German griobo via Middle High German griebe),[2] where Griebenschmalz is lard from which the cracklings have not been removed.

The name is unrelated to German Geriebenes (“something grated”).

See also


  1. Claudia Roden, The Book of Jewish Food, Penguin Books, 1999, p. 56
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Gil Marks, Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, p. 239 (John Wiley and Sons, 2010). ISBN 978-0-470-39130-3. Found at Google Books. Accessed January 4, 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Esther Rosenblum Cohen, "Chicken Fat," Jewish Magazine, August 2007. Found at Jewish magazine online. Accessed January 4, 2011.
  4. Miriam Rubin, "This kugel is about NOT using your noodles," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 22, 2010. Found at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website. Accessed January 4, 2011.
  5. 1 2 Karen Miltner, Blog, "What's on My Plate: Miscellaneous Monday musings," Democrat and Chronicle, November 29, 2010. Found at Democrat and Chronicle, online blogs section. Accessed January 4, 2011.
  6. Amy Scattergood, "Chef recipes: A Recipe From the Chef: Ilan Hall's Gribenes Sandwich," 'LA Weekly, December 23, 2009. Found at LA Weekly website. Accessed January 4, 2011.
  7. 1 2 P Campbell, "Restaurant News, Updates: Pastrami, babka and schmaltz and gribenes," October 14, 2010. Found at website Archived 2010-10-22 at the Wayback Machine.. Accessed January 4, 2011.
  8. 1 2 Frank Bruni, "Quit Kibitzing and Pass the Gribenes ", New York Times, February 13, 2008. Found at New York Times website. Accessed January 4, 2011.
  9. "Recipes: Charlie Klatskin's Gribenes," found at PBS website. Accessed January 4, 2011.
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