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Smoked Fish: Where to buy

  • l

I am looking for a place to purchase smoked fish for the upcoming Jewish holidays. Any suggestions?

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  1. I like the house brand at Martys in Newton . Excellent quality and remarkably inexpensive

    1. Fishmonger on Huron (next to Formaggios) in Cambridge has gravlax and (I think) other smoked fish. Best to call ahead to check.

      1. Barry's Deli in Newton has the full assortment of smoked fish...closest thing Boston has to a NY style appetizer store.

        1. Berezka Russian Food Store

          Comm. Ave outbound on the right side just as you get to Harvard and Comm.

          Several varieties of smoked salmon. Whitefish. Might even have some sturgeon and Sable is your catch 'em.

          There is also a similar store on Beacon near Washington.

          Both have the best smoked fish in Boston.

          1. You can get Zabars smoked fish via Fedex at reasonable prices.

            Why accept sub-par when you can get the best?

            2 Replies
            1. re: hank

              Thanks all for the feedback...
              I have always shipped in from NY, actually Sables, not Zabars (the owner used to run the fish counter at Zabars), I was hoping someone brought it into boston. Do you know anything about the quality of Zathmary's fish?

              1. re: LBE

                Zathmary's smoked fish is, in a word, drek and is surely no way to start the new year. They may get it from New York but sell so little that even if it were good to start, by the time you get yours it's invariably dried out and not worth eating. Give Mark Federman a call at Russ&Daughters in NYC and you'll get fish which is truly to live for. I've had many varieties of smoked fish over-nighted from Russ&Daughters over the last twenty years and have never been disappointed. The kipppered salmon, sturgeon, whitefish salad, and creamed herring , not to mention the lox (salted as well as non-salted) are the best I,ve ever had. That's the way to start the new year and make to make it a true shannah tovah.

            2. I posed this question once before and got no replies. As the holidays approach, I'll ask it again.

              Boston has one of the largest Jewish populations in the US. Yet, all things Judaic foodwise, in a word, suck. Whenever people on this board recommend a deli, a falafel, or a kosher butcher it is always with the caveat that it is second rate.

              I am not making a NY comparison here. It is a comparison to the entire country! I've had better deli in Indianapolis and better falafel in LA.

              Why do Boston Jewish chowhounds (and we Jews are professional chowhounds!) allow this mediocrity to exist?

              Any theories, replies, or sympathies appreciated.

              3 Replies
              1. re: henry

                "Why do Boston Jewish chowhounds (and we Jews are professional chowhounds!) allow this mediocrity to exist?"

                Economics 101...we haven't supported the purveyors of the cuisine..they can't make a living..and don't blame me..:) I can find far better Vietnamese..or Hong Kong cuisine in downtown ..than I can find traditional Jewish cuisine.

                1. re: 9lives

                  You see my point. So why do Jewish chowhounds not support their own cuisine?

                  Is it some attempt at assimilation? The fact that there are only 2 kosher caterers left in MA is major evidence. Or a de facto resignation to the fact that the epicenter of Judaic food is 4 hours South? Having lived here for a decade now, I think it is somehow related to the former.

                  1. re: henry

                    Your question is an important one to me and brings on some troubling thoughts, if not complete answers. I think you're on to something with your observation that assimilation is the key element . I grew up in Chicago in the late 40's and 50's and loved Jewish cooking, especially my mother's. Afterall, she was a fabulous cook and that's what we ate. Eating out at an "American" restaurant was a rare occurence. Mostly when we went out to eat, it was to a good delicatessen. We soon learned to appreciate and demand high quality corned beef, pastrami, brisket, stuffed veal breast, knishes, kugel, kishke, great smoked fish, and all the rest. Our tastes may have been narrow but they were very highly developed. We knew the difference between first rate and "chazerie." Different time, different place, different demographics and not at all like present day Boston. Although our increased worldliness and escape from a more limiting culinary ghetto has given us a much wider set of eating options, it has also produced inferior bagels and lox and caused many other wonderful staples of my youth to become if not extinct, then of shamelessly poor quality. It strikes me that it is only the demographics of New York that has saved much of the best of traditional Jewish foods there but there too a trip to the suburbs often turns up the same decadence which sadly has characterized Boston for the forty years that I have lived here.
                    Nonetheless, Henry, I hope that each of us and chowhounds everywhere will be fortunate enough to find some delicious"haimishe" food in the coming new year.