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Jun 23, 2012 07:04 PM

Jewish or Scandinavian style pickled/smoked fish anywhere?

I was just looking at and was practically drooling on my keyboard. Does anybody know of any places in town that carry pickled or smoked fish in the Jewish / Scandinavian / Eastern European style?

Here's what I've found so far...

Central Market and Whole Foods both carry whole smoked whitefish. I've used them to make whitefish salad, and it turned out well.

That said, sometimes I'm too lazy to pick the meat off of some tiny bones, and luckily CM also has prepared whitefish salad in the deli section. It's not as good as the stuff you'd find in NY, but it does the job just fine!

CM also has rollmops... they're more German, I believe... I've never had them, but I'm definitely interested in trying them sometime.

I'd love to be able to find filets of pickled herring somewhere. With Texas's pretty rich history of European (esp German) settlers, it seems like finding at least something fairly similar around here wouldn't be too hard. I'm open to any suggestions in the area (New Braunfels, San Marcos, San Antonio).

We really could use a good Jewish deli around here... The Kosher Store is the only place I've seen, and they really only sell sandwiches and a few sides. Until a place with more variety shows up, I guess I'll keep staring at the R&D site, dreaming about maybe one day treating myself to some deliciousness via outrageously expensive overnight shipping :/

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  1. I've always enjoyed the ACME pickled herring (CM sells it), the kind in clear wine packing, not creamy is best. Here's our setup. We have it as a appetizer to a big Scandinavian (actually Latvian) winter goose dinner - sliced rye with butter and salt, red onion sliced thin and stashed in tarragon vinegar for a couple hours are portioned out with some of the herring on a plate with a dollop of sour cream and dill. That plus a nice near frozen wee glass of steinhager is a great starter...

    1 Reply
    1. re: cpencis

      Ah, thanks! That's definitely a step in the right direction; I'll have to pick some up next time I'm at CM.

    2. Check out Sasha's Russian market. The selection varies, but they've always had a variety of fish when I've been in there.

      1. Picked up some Acme "Homestyle" herring at CM today. I got that instead of the wine because I wanted to give the more basic version a taste first. It's good! I picked up some creme fraiche and tried it with the herring and some capers. Unfortunately, CM was out of fresh dill (Sunday, I suppose).

        BTW the whitefish salad is also made by ACME. So... these are definitely decent options.

        2 Replies
        1. re: popvulture

          Now I've just gotta find a place in town that bakes fresh pumpernickel... maybe CM does? I'll have to look next time (should've looked today, oops). The packaged stuff you buy in the bread aisle just really isn't the real thing. Any ideas on that front would be much appreciated.

          1. re: popvulture

            Excuse my ignorance, but if you go to Ikea thay have various fish products in jars and they are very good.

          2. CostCo has big jars (28oz?) of pickled herring fillets in 1" chunks dirt cheap - like $4.50/jar - half the price of CM. I think it's a sub-brand of Acme. They usually start carrying it around October until early spring, but I was surprised to see some still in stock last month. I get at least one jar a year around the holidays.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sqwertz

              They're labeled Blue Hill Bay at Costco and are quite good

            2. The CM stuff is ok when you don't get much else on a regular basis. I ate at Kenny and Ziggy's in Houston the other day and was instantly transported via taste memory to every Bar Mitzvah, Wedding, Bris etc..smorgasboard of my youth.

              The smoked and pickled fishes (and house pickles for that matter) were top notch. Tasted the corned beef and pastrami as well. We'd be lucky to have something approaching that here on a daily basis.

              Let's push for an Austin Kenny and Ziggy's!!!?

              In the meantime I've been enjoying the lox plate at Hillside Farmacy. They have Rockstar Bagels (which I'm not huge on) and a really nice house whipped cream cheese w/chives. The fish is smoked in (or at least near) house.

              When I go I usually order a bagel w/cream cheese, a lox plate and two poached eggs. With a cup of stumptown coffee my jew-food breakfast totals at around $20 I think. Not something I can or would do everyday, but it's all I can come up with when I get that urge on a Thursday morning.

              Finally, I've found the boquerones at Uchiko and Fino serve up that taste you crave in a single bite. Albeit an expensive one.