Tags:

Jewish cuisine

Thu 10 2017 , by

Bygone Buttered Rolls?

On the face of it, it doesn’t seem like the common coffee-accompanying buttered roll has become bygone from NYC and the surrounding areas of NJ and Connecticut in any measurable way. However, in many cases they aren’t what they used to be, and finding them made properly (with a fresh, handmade Kaiser roll and real salted butter) is becoming a lot more iffy. While buttered rolls can still be bought as such in many small shops, diners, and sidewalk coffee carts throughout the city, the general consensus is that since bygone days (mid-20th century) in the majority of cases the quality of the rolls has gone down due to modern developments such as the disappearance of smaller, regional/local bakeries, leading to the mass production and the lack of freshness and quality of the hard rolls, and lack of knowledge of how they are “supposed” to be has led to rolls without the requisite crispy crust or poppy seeds on top. Then there is the butter, or lack thereof: the more frequent use of margarine of varying taste and mouthfeel by those who sell them, topped off by vendors wrapping them in plastic wrap in deference to modern sanitary sensibilities but giving the rolls the savor of the plastic. The comments section from this NY Times article about the phenomena of buttered Kaiser rolls or “butter rolls” as they are called in popular parlance is revealing: besides having arrived in NYC via “The Vienna Model Bakery” in 1870, which also brought commercial yeasted bread to the city, they derived from German/Austrian Jewish cuisine: one commentator reveals that her father called them “jew rolls” when at home, but not to appear anti-Semitic, ordered “hard rolls” from the local bakery. (In many cases, a local bakery was involved in the production of good old fashioned rolls with butter as they ought to have been-it is the scarcity of general purpose local bakeries that has been partly responsible for the taste and quality of buttered rolls becoming more frequently bygone.) How are the bastardized versions that have become widely available in our time still selling? For the same reason the original and better-tasting ones did: they might be the only thing some people can afford to eat all day. They are cheap and filling, though of dubious nutritional value. —

Ode to the Buttered Roll, That New York Lifeline

It can be hard to explain the appeal of a buttered roll.

Unlike the breakfast sandwich or the cruller, the humble buttered roll makes no claims to lusciousness. It’s not really greater than the sum of its parts: a round roll, sliced and slathered with butter. There is no alchemy involved.

And yet, like many New Yorkers, I’ve breakfasted all my life on buttered rolls, wrapped in plastic, foil or wax paper and sold for about a dollar at any corner deli, bodega or coffee cart.

Do I love them? No. That is not really the point. I love that they exist, an unsung, charmingly ordinary hero of the city’s mornings.…

Continue reading

Tenement Kitchens: Adaptation in America

Wednesday, May 18 6:30 PM

Make a mess in our kitchen with a hands-on-cooking class!  First, tour the Tenement, and explore the kitchens of two neighbors in the year 1916: the Confino family, who immigrated from present-day Greece, and the Rogarshevkys from Lithuania. Then, join culinary historian Sarah Lohman and learn how to prepare traditional baklava and an Americanized recipe from one of our 97 Orchard families. We’ll explore the diversity of Jewish cuisine on the Lower East Side and make present-day connections with your own family traditions.

 

This program includes a tour of 97 Orchard and a cooking class. The purchase of a ticket is required.

 

Ticket Costs

Adults: $25

Seniors: $20

Students: $20

Members: $15

 

Click here to purchase tickets. You can also purchase tickets by calling our call center at 1-877-975-3786.

 

If you have questions, contact Laura Lee at llee@tenement.org or 212.431.0233 ext. 259.

 

WATCH LISTEN

Continue reading

Copyright © 2011-2017 Bygone NYC - All Rights Reserved