Yale Strom is a klezmer musician who has been conducting major research about the musical cross-pollination of Klezmer Jewish music and Rom communities since 1981. Strom formed two klezmer bands called Hot P’stromi and Klazzj. For more information on Yale Strom, click here.


A yam is an edible, starchy tuber of a tropical vine, native to Africa and Asia and it is popular in Latin American and Caribbean markets and it is slowly becoming more popular in the US. Yams are frequently confused with sweet potatoes, although they are not related. Yams have a brown or black skin with an off-white, purple or red flesh depending on the variety and they are generally sweeter than sweet potatoes. 


Yam noodles, commonly known as shirataki noodles, are very low-carbohydrate, low-calorie, thin, gelatinous, translucent traditional Japanese noodles made from the Konjac or elephant yam. They differ from wheat noodles in their size, durability, and texture. They are largely composed of water and glucomannan, a water soluble dietary fiber and have little taste on their own. Yam noodles are packaged in liquid and are easily prepared by briefly boiling or running them under hot water.


Yeast is a type of fungi that is commonly used in baking as a leavening agent. Yeast’s main food source is sugar; when fed sugar, yeast produces both carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol. The release of this gas causes baked goods to rise and also gives foods a distinctive taste and smell.


Yiddish was the international language of central and eastern European Jews and Russian Jews in both homes and in business. Over many centuries of use, the speakers and writers of this primarily German-based language created a significant body of folk and literary works. Knowledge of the Yiddish language in the United States declined significantly in the twentieth century as Jews actively acculturated in the United States. The killing of Jewish people in the Holocaust, including millions of Polish and Belo-Russian Yiddish speakers, extinguished established sub-cultures, obliterated millions of families, and decimated the language forever.


Yiddishkeit literally translates to “Judaism.” It is also used idiomatically to evoke a sense of Jewish spirit and the vitality of old-world, Eastern European, and Russian Jewish culture.


Yuzu is the fruit of an East Asian citrus tree of the same name. It resembles a grapefruit or a tangerine, but has a tart flavor with notes of orange. It can be hard to find fresh yuzu in the U.S. but its juice is available in Asian markets and specialty stores and supermarkets with good Asian food sections. It is used in sauces and marinades and is an ingredient in the popular ponzu sauce. It is also made into vinegar, sweet syrup, and other condiments, as well as tea, beer and other beverages. Its zest and rind are also used in a variety of Asian dishes.