In Judaism, almost every ritual entails either food or the absence of food. Yom Kippur, for instance, is the absence of food. Part of it is Talmudic, part of it is custom. So much of Judaism was bound up in dietary laws. So everything you ate - the very act itself - was part of religion.
People remember the different variations of stuffed cabbage based on their mothers and grandmothers. It's not just about food. Eating something as traditional as this is a cultural experience, one that is spiritual and nostalgic. It manages to transcend time; it's food for the soul.