Goggle-Mogul: An Old World Home Remedy That Can Provide Comfort Even if It Doesn’t Cure

“I always compare the recipes of my childhood to being like a warm blanket,” says Polish food writer Mika Korkosz of Goggle-Moggle. “They remind you of when you were happiest in your life.”

Sophia Pappas for NPR

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Sophia Pappas for NPR

“I always compare the recipes of my childhood to being like a warm blanket,” says Polish food writer Mika Korkosz of Goggle-Moggle. “They remind you of when you were happiest in your life.”

Sophia Pappas for NPR

For as long as sore throats, runny noses, and persistent coughs have been around, different cultures have turned to home remedies in hopes of feeling better. Chicken soup, ginger tea, mustard plasters. and for those with family roots in Eastern Europe a drink known as goggle-mogul.

Also called goggle-mogul, kogel mogul, guggal mogul, – this drink is basically hot eggnog, or sabayon, diluted to make it drinkable. It is widely used as a treatment in Ashkenazi Jewish communities. Although the drink also exists in non-Jewish communities, it is usually viewed as a dessert.

Eve Jochnowitz, a Jewish teacher and Jewish culinary ethnographer, jokingly says that goggle-mogul “sounds like one of those chicken soup-like things that has been around forever.”

Goggle Moggle is an Eastern-European drink mixed with egg, milk and honey.


Jochnowitz says the most common version starts by mixing sugar or honey with egg yolks, and then stirring in hot milk.

There are slightly different versions of this, sometimes a shot of brandy or slivovitz was added; Sometimes chocolate or butter was also added. Jochnowitz says that the goggle-mogul was found throughout Europe.

“I would say over the entire Jewish-speaking world from Czechoslovakia in the west to the borders of the Russian Empire in the east.”

And with immigration, the goggle-mogul made its way to America. The late New York City Mayor Ed Koch gave his version at a press conference in 1987. This is a unique version, it should be noted, in that the eggs and milk are omitted, and instead honey and wine are added to some freshly squeezed citrus fruits (he notes that an elected official As he will not drink alcohol at work, but will resort to goggle-mogul to recuperate throughout the night).

In a recent interview on WHYY’s Fresh Air, singer Barbra Streisand recalled that her mother recommended it after her first real show.

“The first thing she said, I remember, was ‘Your voice needs eggs. You have to use the goggle-mogul, because your voice needs to be stronger.'”

In an oral history with the Yiddish Book Center, World War II veteran Al Rosen remembers how his father would wear goggles to cover his throat before chanting Kol Nidre, the melodious service that begins the high holiday of Yom Kippur. -Moguls also used to prepare.

Now some people have fond memories of bringing goggle-moguls to the sick bedside of parents and grandparents. But many people were afraid of it.

“The one thing people who have negative memories seem to have in common is that the egg yolks were not mixed with sugar,” says Eve Jochnowitz. “You would put in a whole egg yolk, and the idea was that you would swallow the whole egg yolk while drinking a hot beverage. And it doesn’t sound that spectacular.”

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, curator of the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews, remembers being given a Goggle-Mogul for chest colds during the harsh winters of her childhood in Toronto. and it was No a feel good.

“Oh no, not at all,” she laughs. “No. No.”

But she admits that it had a soothing warmth. And she thinks about its future.

“I’m curious to what extent the goggle-mogul persists among the American-born generation, especially among those who were born, let’s say, 20, 30 years ago. And to what extent it is sustained by the mothers, grandmothers, It’s a legacy from great-grandmother.”

Culinary ethnographer Eve Jochnowitz says perhaps the biggest decline came in the 1970s, as the immigrant generation came of age. Access to over-the-counter medications, and children’s low tolerance for raw eggs and alcohol may also have played a role.

According to Mika Korcz, a food writer in Poland, you can still find the dessert version of goggle-moggle in Eastern Europe. However even then, it is seen as a relic of the past, reminiscent of communist times when you couldn’t find any sweets in stores.

The Polish version is like the beginning of a sponge cake, like egg foam, which is just a cloud of beaten eggs and sugar.

“It’s very fluffy, it’s very creamy,” Korkoz says. “It has its own richness.”

But Korkosz says that sometimes, when someone was sick, her grandmother would turn that dessert into a treat by adding a little warm milk to it.

“Sweet treat, but somehow the milk makes it a medicine, right?” He laughs.

Which begs the question, does Goggle-Moggle actually do anything medicinally? Dr. Dianne Pappas is a pediatrician at the University of Virginia who researches cough management in children. She says…huh?

“We don’t have any good evidence that honey does much for coughs,” Pappas explains. “There are some studies that say it might help a little bit. They’re not good quality, but that’s really all we have.”

But perhaps there will be nothing special about honey.

“There’s some suggestion that just the fact that you have some sticky liquid type of coating on it and it’s soothing and soothing to your throat and increasing saliva and whatever, those things also help comfort someone with cough or cold symptoms.” Can help.”

Pappas says if you want a goggle-mogul, have it. Calories and warm fluids always help. And as long as the egg is fully cooked, and you’re not giving honey to babies, it’s fine.

“Until you put alcohol in it, I don’t know that there are any negative aspects to it,” Pappas says. “I don’t know if there is a huge upside.”

Pappas says she can’t do it ethically advise The placebo effect can play a role in all kinds of things people take in hopes of feeling better.

And Polish food writer Mika Korcz says there’s also the comfort of tradition.

“I always compare the recipes of our childhood to being like a warm blanket. They’re so comforting and so delicious, and they remind you of when you were happiest in your life.”

This can be the perfect thing to do when you’re feeling down.

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