Monday, August 02, 2004


I discovered that my local grocery store makes and sells bialys (or is it bialies?). A bialy is similar to a bagel, but it's not a bagel. It is a Jewish/Eastern European style yeast roll with an indentation in the middle (not a hole) that is filled with sweet onions. The bialy is chewy, but it is dusted in flour so it is not shiny like a proper bagel. The dough is slightly salty and flavorful. I was very surprised to find a high quality bialy, let alone any bialy at Roch Brothers supermarket in Acton, Mass.

Bialies were a rare treat for me as a child. I grew up in New Jersey so good bagels were not hard to find. But as I was far enough away from New York, bialies were rare. I worked in a very good bagel shop in college and the baker who was from Long Island said he didn't make bialies because they were so labor intensive. Decent authentic bagels are pretty labor intensive so I can't imagine what goes into making a bialy.

I'm not sure how most people eat bialies. I like them unsliced, and slightly toasted to give them that fresh out of the oven taste and texture. This weekend, however, I discovered a new way to eat a bialy. It is probably not orthodox, but I will forgive myself. I also discovered that Trader Joe's makes really good home style hummus. It's chunky and garlicky. It really tasted like it was home made. I spread some of this on a toasted bialy and YUM! It was a garlicky, oniony, chewy match made in food heavan!

Beware of bialies though. They are not bagels, but they deserve the same respect as bagels when slicing. Matt sliced his hand open while trying to split a bialy on Sunday morning. I almost took him to the emergency room, but he stopped bleeding pretty quickly. It was a little unsettling though because he turned a very pallid yellow color and almost passed out. I think it was from shock more than anything else. There is a proper way to slice a bagel (or any type of roll). NEVER slice a bagel while holding it in your hand. They're slippery buggers.


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