Friday, March 13, 2015
Russ and Daughters
The great grandmother of the city's appetizing stores Russ and Daughters specializes in -- for lack of a better explanation -- food to eat with bagels. There are myriad varieties of lox and smoked salmon (I love the pastrami flavor), sturgeon, whitefish, herring, sable and more -- each one personally selected for optimum quality by the Russ family. And then there's the slicing. A nearly lost art, lox should be sliced by hand and thin. Thin enough -- it is said -- to read a newspaper through. In years past -- though some still may -- customers would line up behind their favorite slicer for lox with tremendous flavor and delicate texture that melted beautifully into each bite of bagel and cream cheese. For more than 100 years, starting from a Lower East Side pushcart, Russ and Daughters has been serving up the kind of Ashkenazi jewish specialties that non-jews have come to love, that New York does better than anywhere. Quite simply though other appetizing counters remain in the area (no where near the number that once peppered the jewish neighborhoods in the city) Russ and Daughters has survived and thrived because it is the best. The oldest, the last, and the best.