My Resolution to Start Smoking This New Year


I think the first time I had smoked fish was in sushi, not the oft walked Jewish path of lox on a bagel with cream cheese. I had plenty of exposure to smoked salmon and smoked whitefish salad, mostly at bat mitzvah luncheons and funerals. Unfortunately, my personal smoked fish craze didn’t hit until I was living in DC, and we notoriously lack Jewish delis.

However, 80 and I just celebrated friends’ wedding in southern Florida, eating and partying our way through Sunny Isles Beach, Hollywood and West Palm Beach. And wow, it was nice to be around the Jews. I never can find the pleasure of smoked whitefish in the District. There are maybe 2 New York style delis in the area, and I haven’t fell in love with either of them.

But in Florida! Florida!

After the nuptials, 80 and I visited with my grandmother. While at lunch I schmeared smoked whitefish salad on a pumpernickel bagel (80 choose wrongly and ordered the *lean* pastrami sandwich and Mommom took down matzah brei, a bagel and hash browns). Whitefish salad is less pungent than smoked salmon, it’s creamier than a tuna salad consistency, but with a saltier, less generic taste. It also doesn’t reek of mayo.

Later that day at my aunt and uncle’s golf clubhouse, the free (!) snacks offered in the bar area were smoked whitefish salad right next to boursin cheese (It was actually quite funny, they had a chef in full whites slicing the boursin on a wooden cutting board akin to prime rib), swiss cheese triangles, broccoli florets, grape tomatoes and crackers. It was a mid-winter miracle.

So apparently we’re in week four of the New Year. I had this majestic resolution—obviously food related—but I haven’t started it yet. I will start making claims now. I will hopefully cash them in before 2011.

I will smoke a white fish. Whatever a white fish is. I will then take that smoked white fish and make a salad out of it.


(Photo: PS95)

Burns My Bacon: Jewish Deli Bread

corned beef sandwich

Britannia got our mini-rant series going last month with his admonishment of the salt and pepper shaker filler-uppers, and now I’d like to tell you yell about something else that burns my bacon, er…pastrami.

I think we can all agree that an old-school, New York-style Jewish deli is just about the best place in the world to get a serious sandwich. Pastrami from Katz, corned beef from 2nd Avenue Deli — wherever it is, you know the deal: some form of exquisitely cured beef product piled far beyond reason and then shoved between two slices of bread; mustard, pickles and slaw on the side.

But there’s one thing that has always bugged me about Jewish delis, and I’ve been afraid to ever say it, fearing an outpouring of anger from the traditionalist eaters. But I just can’t stay silent any longer.

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