Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Oh, New York...
One of my favorite celebrity chefs (what a God-awful term...) is Anthony Bourdain. I'm a sucker for the badass, traveling, no nonsense kind of man, what can I say? My only qualm with him is due to his attitude towards Philly. His attitude? "Honestly, I've never even bothered with Philly. It seems to me it's a two-horse town: Starr and Perrier."
...What, seriously? Not only have both of them been eclipsed and stomped over by the mega-force of the Jose Garces Restaurant Group, we have tons of things New York just cannot compete with. (We'll save this list for another, much longer post).
And you know what, New York? That gap just got a little smaller. Cause now not only does Capogiro carry H&H bagels...we carry their BIALYS too!! HAHA! Take that!! Not only am I fairly certain it's the only bialy to be found in Philadelphia, we snatched em from your all-hailed bagel baker.
Now, I have to admit, when I first came upon these creatures I didn't quite know what to make of them. It's a bagel, but it's not...where's the hole?! And it's baked, but not boiled? So it's not a bagel...it's a roll!
But more than a roll, the traditional name for these little guys is Bialystok Kuchen! Translated to Bialystok Cake, they made their way to New York in the early 1900s with Polish (hence, Bialystok) and Russian immigrants who made their homes in the Lower East Side.
Traditionally, the indent in a bialy is filled with onion or garlic before baking, and when ready to eat is heating and served with butter (not sliced!). As time went on people started getting a little crazy, and shmeared those suckers with lox and cream cheese. Oh nom. The unfortunate thing about the bialy is that they are only really readily available in New York City, as the Polish population who came up with the idea was largely wiped out in the Holocaust.
So how bout them bialys, New York? Can't say much now, can ya??
photo by waffler