The former owner/proprietor of the beloved appetizing store on Manhattan's Lower East Side tells the delightful, mouthwatering story of an immigrant family's journey from a pushcart in 1907 to "New York's most hallowed shrine to the miracle of caviar, smoked salmon, ethereal herring, and silken chopped liver." (Jason Epstein, The New York Times Magazine)
When Joel Russ started peddling herring from a barrel herring shortly after his arrival in America from Poland, he could not have imagined that he was witnessing the birth of a gastronomic legend. Here is the story of this "Louvre of lox" (The Sunday Times, London) from its humble beginnings through the Great Depression, the food rationing of World War II, the passing of the torch to the next generation just as the flight from the Lower East Side to the suburbs was beginning, the heartbreaking years of neighborhood blight, and the almost miraculous renaissance of an area from which hundreds of other family-owned stores had fled. Filled with delightful anecdotes about how a ferociously hardworking family turned a passion for selling perfectly smoked and pickled fish into an institution with a devoted international clientele, Mark Russ Federman's reminiscences combine a heartwarming and triumphant immigrant saga, a panoramic history of 20th-century New York, a meditation on the creation and selling of gourmet food by a family that has mastered this art, and an enchanting behind-the-scenes look at four generations of people who are just a little bit crazy on the subject of fish.
- Cooking + Food + Wine, History
- Jewish, Regional + Ethnic / General
- March 5, 2013
- March 5, 2013
- Mark Russ Federman