I just finished reading Mimi Sheraton's The Bialy Eaters: The Story of a Bread and Lost World.The Bialy is the other New York Jewish Bread - a chewey crusty roll with a indentation, not a hole like a bagel, filled with toasted onions and poppy seeds. The Bialy Eaters is the story of Ms Sheraton's search for the origins of the this marvelous bread first baked in the Polish town of Biaystok. It is a story of a town that once had fifty thousand Jews and by the end of the Nazi Holocaust only five thousand remained. A must read for all who chrish the meaning of bread and the human spirit. Mimi Shelton is a former New Times critic and author of The Whole World Loves Chicken Soup which won the Julia Child and James Beard Award.
Barry, thank you for the recommendation. Not only are bialys wonderful, but bialystockkuchen, the flat bialy boards covered with chopped onions and poppyseeds, and a little crunchier than the individual rolls because of the shape and thinner dimensions, are also so wonderful with a shmear of cream cheese or butter, or just by itself. Ah, we get nothing of this out here in Tucson. I have to keep reminding myself how wonderful is a real bagle. (I'm hearing myself yearning a little for a visit to NYC) I'm gonna look for that book.
Barry--yeah, I've heard about it. sounds great, I'll add it to our Recommended Chow Books list. And if anyone wants to order it in a way that pays this site a commission, use the link to Amazon below (it won't force you to buy...just shows you the book's info page on Amazon and tells Amazon who referred you...and you can buy or not).
By the way, if everyone would remember to begin all Amazon shopping sessions via the Amazon search box on our homepage (halfway down on the right), we get a commission on all purchases. It really helps us a lot. We'd appreciate it if you'd remember to do this, and perhaps even tell your friends (it doesn't cost you a cent and your privacy remains intact, as we can't "see" what you buy...nor do we particularly care!)