24 December 2007

New York Nostalgia: Sublime Jewish food

While this story is a bit late for the Hanukkah theme it follows, your tastebuds will still be happy. There's also a photo gallery if you've forgotten what these amazing delights look like.

In the 1930s, New York had some 3,000 kosher delis; today, there are about a dozen. The 2nd Avenue Deli - which closed last year - reopened a few weeks ago. Is a resurgence on the way?

Read on for sublime East Broadway Kosher Bakery's chocolate babka, Yonah Schimmel's knishes, Zabar's matzo ball soup, Katz's pastrami sandwich, Barney Greengrass's bagels and lox, Russ & Daughter's chopped liver, Sarabeth's cheese blintzes and Guss's pickles.

I first saw this story on the Australian Jewish News site, which features Jacqui Gal's blog.

Among the soundbytes:

And then there was the knish. This was my favourite discovery. Correct me if I am wrong, but knishes are not typical of Australian Jewish cooking.

I had never even heard of one before my first visit to New York. I experimented by tasting one at a bagel place, soon after arriving here, but that lumpy bit of potato, broccoli and dough did the humble knish no favours.

Gal then discovered Schimmel's knishes:

One bite and I could see why. The lump of spiced and mashed potato was fluffy and warm and encased in a light pastry. Served with coleslaw and pickles (for an extra dollar) it was a satisfying meal, for the grand total of $3.75 (plus tax).

Note: I'm not sure if this price is in Australian or US dollars!

To read Gal's complete "Festival of Lights and Bites" review, click here.

Our ancestral food is good any time on any day of the year - except Yom Kippur, of course!

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