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Foods of NY that all come from the same place


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Gyro Meat at greek restaurants and pizza joints. Pretty much all comes from Krinos Foods in Queens.

But in those cases, it's the universal lack of quality, or handling, that gives gyros that distinctly delicious flavoring... :biggrin:

I want pancakes! God, do you people understand every language except English? Yo quiero pancakes! Donnez moi pancakes! Click click bloody click pancakes!

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Yeah, the product is specifically called Gyrokones, from Kronos. It's a lovely truncated cone of "savory layers of select beef and lamb, perfectly seasoned with zesty spices, and formed into a kone that 'turns around' and cooks on a flame broiler. Juicy hot slices are cut off the kone and placed on Pita bread to make an authentic Greek sandwich."

http://www.kronosproducts.com/pages/prod_cones.htm

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I'm not sure I agree that fresh mozzarella based on Polly-O curds is such a fantastic product. Certainly it's better than Polly-O supermarket-refrigerator-section mozzarella. But I think the perceived freshness and texture can sometimes misdirect us from the reality that this stuff has little flavor compared to mozzarella di bufala. I think it's a stage in local taste evolution, like crummy fake balsamic vinegar was (and still is) a stage along the way to good balsamico. And even with cow's milk mozzarella I wonder if, made from actual farm fresh milk instead of the Polly-O curd product, there might be some improvement.

I've been getting both fresh and smoked "Mozzarella" for well over 20 + years originally made by Joe Aiello and still being made by his successor from who has maintained the quality:

Joe's Dairy Fresh Mozzarella

156 Sullivan Street

Between Houston & Prince

During the last few years if I had no one coming from NYC I have purchased it from:

Rob Kaufelt's, "Murray's Cheese " via the Internet.

I imagine Rob may be able to order some superior "Curds" if requested.

The Cheese is much better tasting then any other Mozzarella I have even brought domestically. The authentic, "Buffalo Mozzarella" available from "Murray's Cheese" is much better then any I have enjoyed outside of Italy.

I just received "Smoked Gaspe Salmon" and "Kippered Salmon" from Russ & Daughters and it's better then a recent delivery from "Marks" in London.

Irwin (enjoy) :biggrin:

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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Yeah, the product is specifically called Gyrokones, from Kronos. It's a lovely truncated cone of "savory layers of select beef and lamb, perfectly seasoned with zesty spices, and formed into a kone that 'turns around' and cooks on a flame broiler. Juicy hot slices are cut off the kone and placed on Pita bread to make an authentic Greek sandwich."

http://www.kronosproducts.com/pages/prod_cones.htm

Wait, Kronos or Krinos? I always get the two mixed up. Isn't Kronos based in Chicago? Krinos is in Queens Village, I'm pretty sure. They do a ton of the domestic as well as imported Feta and greek olive distribution as well. Every Greek restaurant I know has big accounts with them. Maybe its Krinos that is the NY distributor for Kronos.

"Kronos" is also the home planet of of the Klingons, btw. Just thought I'd throw that in.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

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offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I believe the Chicago-based Kronos company is the leading manufacturer of gyros meat, and distributes to restaurants all over including in New York. I'm not sure whether Krinos of New York makes a food service gyros product. I'm sure somebody in the business could find out, but simple Google searches aren't quite turning up an answer.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I know Krinos at one time made a "Gyro Kit" for supermarket sale containing pre-sliced gyro meat, because I bought it at least once or twice, but that was a number of years ago. Maybe they are just doing primarily cheese, olive oil and olives now.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

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offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I know Krinos at one time made a "Gyro Kit" for supermarket sale containing pre-sliced gyro meat, because I bought it at least once or twice, but that was a number of years ago. Maybe they are just doing primarily cheese, olive oil and olives now.

Funny if you punch "Krinos Gyro Kit" into google it spits out "did you mean...Kronos Gyro Kit"

edit: Though it does apear that Krinos was the only one to produce a frozen "Gyros Kit" available in supermarkets.

Edited by M.X.Hassett (log)
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According to the Krinos website, they -do- distribute for other Greek food companies, being the largest distributor of Greek food in the US:

http://www.krinos.com/aboutus.html

And they apparently have a manufacturing plant in Chicago, which is probably why the confusion between the two companies exist. Thus it would not surprise me at all if Krinos -did- distribute Kronos in New York.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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n addition to our own labels, we represent many well-known brands amongst which are Apollo, Athens, Attiki, Florina, Haitoglou, Hermes, Horio, Macedonian, Melissa, Mevgal, Minerva, Mythos, Sarantis, Stella, Vlaha, Yiotis and Zanae. We distribute our products to supermarkets, gourmet stores, ethnic markets, hotels, restaurants and various other food service establishments across the US and Canada.
from the Krinos site. No mention of Kronos but it seems possible.
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Here's another "food that comes from one place" thing. Those sorbet desserts made out of the scooped out shells of various fruits. They all come from Jersey, either Nastos or Bindi.

And a lot of those fruit tart desserts sold at mid-range Italian restaurants come from Bindi too. Virtually all of it.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Dryden, the Lee brothers (who wrote the piece) and Buzz Billik (Acme's director of business development) agree with you -- the main point the article makes is that all the fish is the same but the best places handle it differently.
Which brings us back to the question, Which purveyor has the best smoked salmon? It's the one that takes the greatest care of the fish.

"We sell plenty of salmon to retailers who don't really have the experience to do it justice," Billik said. "There are about 10 or 12 quality outlets I'd be happy to shop in every day. Even though it's the same salmon, these 12 merchants are going to handle and present the product differently."

Todd36, I don't see those quotations or anything like them in the article. Can you be more specific?

My fuzzy brain. I read another NYT article on the Acme website. http://www.acmesmokedfish.com/retail/news/NYTimesPrimer.html

"With farmed fish, how the fish are raised, cured and smoked has more impact on the final product than nationality, although some would argue otherwise. Scots helped establish some fish farms in Chile, and many farms in Scotland and Chile are owned by Norwegian companies. But Mr. Billik would never sell Russ Federman a Chilean fish. Mr. Ortiz of Fairway thinks Chilean salmon are the best."

Bilik is the VP of sales at Acme. The original article you quoted in the NYT Mag starts off with "buy their fish in large part from the same smokehouse". The Acme website has several other arrticles...none of them come out and say the fish is the same, they seem to me to avoid saying that on purpose. My fried brain conflated the articles.

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Has anyone actually looked at the "Smoked Salmon" sides being sliced to order at "Zabar's"," Russ & Daughters" or other well established retailers ?

The sides are generally from a larger Salmon then available from commercial Salmon that is being farmed.

Almost all the Salmon sold from the West Coast/Alaska to Smokers of this category is the fattest and largest Wild Caught King or Chinook Salmon with the price and quality dependent on the oil contents of the fish delivered.

The Gaspe and Atlantic Salmon also are required to meet this criteria.

Remember that the top line qualities being utilized are a very small percentage of Salmon being smoked. Sockeye is a favorite for retailers requiring smaller sides, but you may have observed that the majority of retailers only sell the machine pre-sliced sides of Salmon since it takes considerably more skill to correctly slice Salmon to order.

Even the Salmon salted for "Lox" sold to better providers is carefully culled to assure consistent quality.

Large commercial smokers like Acme do their best to provide what their largest volume customers request, but still remain loyal to their long term quality clients even though they are no longer their main customers.

The majority of Smoked Fish providers are only mediocre at best only because customers will accept their products. It often seems packaging is more important then what's actually being packed. Almost all the smoked items retailed have little or no comparison to the traditional suppliers.

Irwin

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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All these reports are likely incomplete, because if you go to any of these places there are several styles of smoked salmon to choose from. It's not clear whether they all come from Acme or if each place is buying a functionally identical product from Acme plus various other suppliers' products. Or perhaps Acme makes 20 kinds of smoked salmon. But I've been to the food shows at the Javits Center where every ten steps you take you trip over a manufacturer of smoked salmon. Maybe those folks just don't sell in to the top ten old-school New York City places. I don't know.

The piece Todd cites seems to make a distinction between two national sources of Salmon, but indicates that for each of those two sources there's a high degree of uniformity. There also seems to be some evolution of claims between the older and newer articles. I may have to go out to Acme this summer and get some real answers.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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since it takes considerably more skill to correctly slice Salmon to order.

With the passing of the old guard at places like Zabar's, a lot of this isn't being done as well as it used to there, either. Or maybe I'm just getting old and crotchety...

I want pancakes! God, do you people understand every language except English? Yo quiero pancakes! Donnez moi pancakes! Click click bloody click pancakes!

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All these reports are likely incomplete, because if you go to any of these places there are several styles of smoked salmon to choose from. It's not clear whether they all come from Acme or if each place is buying a functionally identical product from Acme plus various other suppliers' products. Or perhaps Acme makes 20 kinds of smoked salmon. But I've been to the food shows at the Javits Center where every ten steps you take you trip over a manufacturer of smoked salmon. Maybe those folks just don't sell in to the top ten old-school New York City places. I don't know.

The piece Todd cites seems to make a distinction between two national sources of Salmon, but indicates that for each of those two sources there's a high degree of uniformity. There also seems to be some evolution of claims between the older and newer articles. I may have to go out to Acme this summer and get some real answers.

Fairway usually has salamon in it's original packaging visible in the deli area----I don't offhand remember what brands I have seen, but more than one. I know they have Foreman from England, but according to the Acme website, they are the distributer for Foreman. I'm fairly sure I've seen stuff from http://www.seaspecialties.com/homarus.htm in their deli case. I'm not even sure if Acme really is the only producer left in Brooklyn, see http://www.goldstarusa.com/ or http://www.forward.com/issues/2003/03.07.11/fast1.html

See http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/entertain...ls/13993713.htm for a comment about Banner as Avis compared to Acme.

I think we are witnessing a marketing machine at work---I bet the statement that Acme sells fish to amost all of the usual suspects is true---not so sure that all (or even most) of the fish that the usual suspects sell is from Acme.

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Here's Acme's product list:

http://www.acmesmokedfish.com/pdfs/2003ProductList.pdf

And here's Acme's smoked salmon page:

http://www.acmesmokedfish.com/wholesale/acme-salmon.html

It seems you can specify Scottish, Atlantic (presumably Chilean), wild Pacific, Norwegian, kippered, lox, gravlax, etc. My recollection is that most of these places sell all or most of the listed varieties. The products are available in various formats, e.g., for the farmed Atlantic: "available in a wide range of sizes and packages including whole or trimmed sides, pre-sliced sides, exact weight vacuum-sealed packages and even in snack-sized pieces or ground."

Todd, I know that in the refrigerator cases of these places you can find many brands of smoked salmon. I think what we're talking about here, and certainly what the article is talking about, are the sides of smoked salmon in the deli/fish case that are sliced to order. Given the number of styles Acme makes, it's certainly possible most or all of them come from Acme. It's also possible they come from elsewhere. I do wonder, however, how many operations are shipping unsliced sides for deli/fish counter presentation -- that's got to be a niche market. I mean, if you go to the really big sellers like Costco you're not going to see anything sliced to order.

I wish the Times article by the Lee brothers had been more specific. It gives the impression that there's one style of smoked salmon being produced by Acme, when in fact there are many. It would be even more amusing if Fairway, Zabar's, Murray's, et al., were all selling the exact same 10 kinds of salmon from the same supplier. I'd love to find out.

Murray's did the smoked salmon for my sister's wedding in around 1990. Because it was in an orthodox synagogue, and because Murray's was not strictly kosher, we had to go out to Brooklyn to buy a new knife and have "Heshy" from Murray's come to the synagogue with the sides of smoked salmon and slice them there. The expert slicing did seem to make a difference. Pastrami is the same way: the exact same pastrami carved by hand is a lot better than from the deli slicer.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Aven when you're talking about, say, Atlantic salmon, one side of salmon is not equal to every other side of salmon. So I suppose it's possible that there are gradations of smoked salmon within a given style that businesses can buy from Acme. It's possible, for example, that Zabar's could be paying more for fattier salmon from Acme compared to Fairway.

--

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