Hanukkah Face-Off: Ashkenazi Dish #5

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via Russ and Daughters
Schmear campaign.

Hanukkah is a time for enjoying Jewish culinary traditions with family and friends, and to that end we present a daily competition between Ashkenazi and Sephardic food, going up around sunset on the first seven days of Hanukkah - and presenting a wrap-up as the sun goes down on the eighth day. Whose food is the most appealing? Help us decide with your comments and social media shares.

If you're trailing East Houston on a Sunday, listen closely and you might hear it. The low hum of early morning voices will quickly build to assertive shouts. Tourists will notice the evident ritual that is beginning to take effect, and a few daring newcomers may join the growing masses. The scene is Manhattan's answer to casting prayers at the Wailing Wall; it is the weekend rush at Russ and Daughters.

If you're trailing East Houston on a Sunday, listen closely and you might hear it. The low hum of early morning voices will quickly build to assertive shouts. Tourists will notice the evident ritual that is beginning to take effect, and a few daring newcomers may join the growing masses. The scene is Manhattan's answer to casting prayers at the Wailing Wall; it is the weekend rush at Russ and Daughters.

There may be no greater Polish Jewish legacy than a chewy, dense bagel. Top that with a schmear, a few slicks of lox, and maybe a a sliced red onion or a few capers, and you've just composed what is likely the most recognizable Jewish-American meal in history. Now used as a generic phrase to describe most smoked salmon, traditional lox comes from the rich pink, meaty center of the fish and owes its intense flavor to a brine-cured belly. Most restaurants and designer food marts have not sold lox in ages, instead pushing its milder Nova-style cousin. Raised as a Jewish New Yorker, I've come to regard bagels and lox as an unbreakable marriage of equals. We could all learn from this relationship.

In Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, you can grab a bagel with lox and a schmear on nearly every corner. But the Lower East Side's Russ & Daughters, which started out as a "pickled herring push-cart" in 1905, will add a layer of old New York to your order.

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Location Info

Russ and Daughters

179 E. Houston St., New York, NY

Category: Restaurant


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4 comments
Nikko
Nikko

Mallory:

You would have heart attack from shock that in Shanghai,Beijing and Harbin China - there are actually 3 or 4 places in each city in China where you can get smoked brined cured salmon and other meats as good as Sarge's restaurant and since your a New Yorker who know's what I'm talking about and not a visitor for tourist trap Katz I thought this might interest you if you ever travel to China and want to nosh on "non Chinese" in China. They do pickle small fish in Northern China and eat as part of their average diet. "Li Yue" is similiar to herring. They surprisingly picked up the taste for it in the 1700's with the traders from Sweden & Russia.

TrottyPippen
TrottyPippen

That first paragraph was so nice, it got printed twice.

Nikko
Nikko

Pickled pigs knuckle/feet is quite common served with a bowl of heaping hot tofu pork soup in the winter's of China. What is also common  is potatoe & sweet yam pancake served with dumplings. It is quite ordinary in Northern China and with served with hot black tea.

This will crack you up. 3 perfectly good Jewish women married Chinese guys 14-16 yrs ago after Grad school and set off to China to seek a new life to introduce Matzo ball soup to their mother in laws. I kid you not.

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