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The Bialy Discussion


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Reminds me of my childhood in NE PA.  I looked for them in SW FL when we lived there in the mid 2000's; no one had them even in the Jewish delis with bakeries.  

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As a child on frequent trips to Los Angeles to visit my grandparents they would almost always have what they called onion rolls on the table. They were one of my favorites. If they called them bialys I don’t remember it. These were more shaped like a small baguette, so longer than they were wide and the onions were thin sliced instead of chopped. We lived in decidedly non-Jewish Orange County so I guess there was no source for them near us. 

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I was in NYC for the first time since the plague hit a couple of weeks ago and went down to Kossar's for bialys and bagels.  The temple of the bialy was topping theirs with some tomato paste stuff and not onions.  I'm still weirded out by that. Pretty good, but not the old standard.  

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Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

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And didn't one of the old school food writers do a whole book on bialys and the people who brought them to America?  Mimi Sheraton or Florence Fabricant or somebody of that stature and vintage.  I seem to recall hearing Terry Gross do an interview with the author back when I was listening to the radio  during the hours Fresh Air was on the air... 

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Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

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1 hour ago, cdh said:

And didn't one of the old school food writers do a whole book on bialys and the people who brought them to America?  Mimi Sheraton or Florence Fabricant or somebody of that stature and vintage.  I seem to recall hearing Terry Gross do an interview with the author back when I was listening to the radio  during the hours Fresh Air was on the air... 

Fresh Air has gotten stale lately.

Lots of replays of interviews of newly dead obscure poets and performance artists

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3 hours ago, mgaretz said:

As a child on frequent trips to Los Angeles to visit my grandparents they would almost always have what they called onion rolls on the table. They were one of my favorites. If they called them bialys I don’t remember it. These were more shaped like a small baguette, so longer than they were wide and the onions were thin sliced instead of chopped. We lived in decidedly non-Jewish Orange County so I guess there was no source for them near us. 


Not bialys.  I’ll give you onion rolls, but barely.

 

3 hours ago, cdh said:

 to Kossar's for bialys and bagels. Pretty good, but not the old standard.  

 

As I’ve been saying for a dozen years or more.  But it got really bad when the shop and name were sold to the current owners.  And never order the bagels. Russ & Daughters’ bagel are light years better, as are their bialys. Shit, the bialys I buy frozen at 6 for $3 are better.
 

2 hours ago, cdh said:

And didn't one of the old school food writers do a whole book on bialys and the people who brought them to America?  


Yes. 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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14 hours ago, cdh said:

I was in NYC for the first time since the plague hit a couple of weeks ago and went down to Kossar's for bialys and bagels.  The temple of the bialy was topping theirs with some tomato paste stuff and not onions.  I'm still weirded out by that. Pretty good, but not the old standard.  

And they had the nerve to call that a bialy? Growing up in NYC I remember that bialys were sold just about everywhere bagels were sold, but at some point that changed. I never see them in northern CA.

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I do remember that type of onion roll also

there were also the bialy dough type available in many small bakeries

bialys were not hand rolled in your life time

they were portioned on a dough divider, machine rolled and the onion and depression done by hand 

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Actually at least as early as 1976 they were totally machine fabricated

as straight from the horses mouth @ kossars

see “ a bastion of bialys “ New York Times interview

That’s even more machine made than I remember 

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 From the article:

 

Quote

footballsize gobs into something called a Fortuna Divider Rounder, which makes little balls of dough which are punched and onioned and baked even as you watch.

 

The punching and "onioning" were done by hand. I watched them do it, and may even have pictures somewhere, though pre digital so never going to find them.

 

Here's what a Fortuna divider/rounder is:

 

image.png.0639296f4fb4ece0c950e31ed8a47970.png

 

This divider rounder plate comes with 36 hole shapes made to shape a big chunk of dough into small equal 36 pieces of round dough balls ready to process further.

 

image.thumb.png.c546ac605ff5ffa8c0c45b4be17eeb8e.png

 

Now watch this, and see how they were made...

 

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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15 hours ago, cdh said:

Where from? If they're frozen perhaps they've made their way closer to me. Gimme a brand to hunt for. 

 

I get these (Bell Bialys) via Fresh Direct...https://www.bialy.com/whats-a-bialy/

 

Here's another option...https://www.raysnewyorkbagels.com/products/bialys/

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Wait--wasn't there a recipe on Recipe Gullet just recently? Where is it now? Or am I going crazy? (Don't answer that.) I neglected to print out the recipe before it vanished (if it did and isn't hiding in some other topic) because my New York City husband loves them.

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Formerly "Nancy in CO"

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4 minutes ago, Nancy in Pátzcuaro said:

Wait--wasn't there a recipe on Recipe Gullet just recently? Where is it now? Or am I going crazy? (Don't answer that.) I neglected to print out the recipe before it vanished (if it did and isn't hiding in some other topic) because my New York City husband loves them.

 

Not to worry, the recipe is right where you remember it:

 

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Our local bagel place, which isn't up to NYC standards but is pretty good, used to have bialys - haven't checked recently if they still make them. IIRC, the owners were Turkish. Anyhow, unlike a fresh bagel, which I will never toast, I like my bialy very toasted, heavy on the cream cheese. My late Grandfather was a bialy fan. Nice memories.

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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2 hours ago, BeeZee said:

Our local bagel place, which isn't up to NYC standards but is pretty good, used to have bialys - haven't checked recently if they still make them. IIRC, the owners were Turkish. Anyhow, unlike a fresh bagel, which I will never toast, I like my bialy very toasted, heavy on the cream cheese. My late Grandfather was a bialy fan. Nice memories.

 

I wish NYC had standards, but...

 

I, too, pretty much only eat bialys when toasted well. I think of them almost as English muffins. They work well for a slice of cheese to be melted upon.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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