This year was a doozy and while Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish celebration marking the new year has passed, Yom Kippur is just around the corner. What better way to break the fast after a day of atonement than with wood-fired bagels, caramel challah buns, smoked fish and BBQ brisket? Ruth Bader Ginsberg, may her memory be a blessing, notoriously adored the smoked fish found in Manhattan’s Jewish delis. Anything approved by the “Queen of Dissent” is worth a taste.
Edith’s, a revamped 1950’s Jewish deli, operates from Paulie Gee’s wood-fire pizza joint in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Named after Elyssa Heller’s great aunt Edith, the pop up was “born out of the desire to redefine Jewish food by showcasing the wide-ranging diaspora of Jewish cuisine.”
At Edith’s, chef Caroline Schiff riffs on traditional, well made baked goods. Elyssa Heller affirms, “Jewish people, as immigrants, have done a great job of assimilating in America and so have some of their foods. Bagels, schnecken (aka cinnamon rolls), smoked fish, pickles are all great examples of Jewish food that has really become American food.”
Traditional recipes for brisket scribbled on napkins and the backs of paper plates by Edith herself will become brisket buns. These nods to shared family history seem even more prevalent after months spent at home, feeding sourdough starters and sequestering with our own ovens.
The high Jewish holidays present a new opportunity according to Heller. “I think people are looking for a change to the same dry honey cake we all ate as kids and our mission is to give people something different, that still has comforting elements of past.”
The pop-up at Paulie Gee’s technically ends on October 18th, but Heller teases, “we have received a lot of requests from our customers to stick around! We may just listen to them…”