Posts tagged ‘jewish deli’

April 18th, 2012

Breakfast in America

Could we have kippers for breakfast

Mummy dear, Mummy dear Supertramp may have inspired me to try kippers, but my husband’s love of deli breakfasts made it all possible…

You have no idea of my joy and excitement when I found out what kippers were and how frequently they were on the menu at local Jewish delis.  You see, I grew up eating kippers.  My mother cooks a really good kipper dish, which I always asks her to make when I go home to visit. In Japanese, kippers are called nishin.  My absolute favorite way to have it is by soaking dried kippers in water overnight, then cooking them in a soy sauce based broth until they’re tender.

When you travel to Japan, check the menu for migaki nishin.  It’s not as popular as sushi, still, I highly recommend that you try it. It’s usually served on warm soba noodles, but at home, I just eat it with rice.
“Boy, you are courageous”.  a veteran waitress told me when I ordered kippers at a Jewish deli in L.A..  I guess it’s not the most popular item for breakfast in America, but those like me, who do enjoy them, experience a delicious buttery, salty sensation.

My kippers were served alongside sauteed onions, potatoes, and eggs.   If they had come with a side of rice, I may had experienced the perfect breakfast.  Finally, it pays off to be married to a Jewish guy with an unhealthy obsession with breakfast.

April 16th, 2012

Jewish Deli

My father-in-law always asks me if there’s still a Jewish deli in Tokyo.  Apparently, he saw one when he visited back in the 90’s, and that surprising image has stuck with him.  To give him an answer, I couldn’t rely on experience, I had to trust Google. Growing up in Tokyo, I had never seen or heard of a Jewish deli.  In fact, I didn’t even know what the heck a Jewish deli was until I moved to NYC after graduating from college in Boston.  Come to think of it, did I ever even try a bagel back then?  Luckily, I’ve made up for it since, thanks to my Jewish American husband.

Obviously I’ve changed, because now, Jewish delis are some of my favorite places.  Don’t believe me?  Visit one to experience the excitement for yourself.  As you walk in, every sense is engaged.  You hear veteran servers shouting out orders.  You see black and white cookies and hearty, doughy bagels waiting to be taken to a good home.  You smell succulent pastrami as it’s being sliced, AND if you ask nicely, you can taste a sample.  Finally, at your table, your sense of touch grabs that dill pickle to stave off the hunger pangs you’ve just acquired.  You may only recognize half of the menu and display case items, but you know they must be good as it’s always crowded– ALWAYS.

I’ve come a long way in my appreciation of the Jewish deli.  Before I met my Jewish American husband, only things I ever ordered were items in my comfort zone, like pastrami sandwiches and cheese cake.  To be honest, I was just scared to venture into the unknown, never setting foot into the foreign lands of matzo bowl soup and knishes.  Even when I conquered that fear, one hurdle remained–pronunciation.  How in the world is a Japanese person supposed to order kasha varnishkas or matzo-brie?  Thank goodness I’m long past just pointing to many shades of beige items on the next table, when telling the server what I want.

Now with experience, I can proudly say (and pronounce) “Although I like matzo ball soup, I prefer kreplach soup”.

And no, I still haven’t found a Jewish deli in Tokyo.  While there are many delicatessens which sell cured meats and European delicacies, sadly, there’s not a matzo ball to be found in Tokyo.  Any investors out there?  Give my husband a call.

June 18th, 2011

Black, white and beyond

Black and white cookies falls into NYC classic category.  Not necessarily people grow up eating them, but New Yorkers grow up seeing them on the windows of many delis.  The origin of this cake like cookie seems rather vague.  Some says it is related to Germany’s Amerikaner cookie (only the white icing) or it is a version of half-moon, which was originated in upstate New York, and if it were for half-moon, the history goes back to early 20th century.  Cupcake stores have been popping up everywhere with tons of flavors like cotton candy, key lime and Artie Lange (not a beer).  So it was matter of time that beloved black and white cookie became a cupcake at Crumbs Bake Shop in NYC.  The texture of black and white cookie resembles already like a cake, so why not?  Taste?  I thought it was a good vanilla cupcake, and the chocolate fondant icing was rather really tasted like chocolate, whereas B&W cookie’s black fondant tastes only chocolate-y.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, there are variations of all different colors.  These novelty items, which is really cool, for example, for birthday, Christmas and/or Hanukkah gifts to be creative.  I’d say “so cute!” if I receive one of these for Valentine’s or something (although, note to my husband, I always prefer really good cake), and if I bring these colorful cookies as souvenir to my friends in Japan, they’ll also scream “Kawaii~” (cute).   However, black and white cookie has been in New York City staple because it’s black and white.  There are reasons that these colored variations are not in store front everyday.  Basic cake flavor is always vanilla and chocolate; so is cookies.  It’s gender/age neutral.  My dad wouldn’t want to eat a baby pink and white cookie on the street, but he won’t mind black and white.  If you don’t live near New York City, and want to try, William Greenberg Dessert will ship and has great variation in color and sizes (I tried their pink and white, it didn’t taste like strawberry), or you can go fancy with Dean and Deluca or go crazy with these guys who has many color as well as shapes!  If you wanna make it yourself, this recipe seems most delicious.