Pletzels and Pretzels

August 21st, 2016 § 0 comments

The “pletzel” is a soft roll baked with a topping of fried onions. Now hard to find, it was once a staple in New York Jewish bakeries and bread baskets in “dairy” restaurants. They were also served in all of the great cafeterias like Belmore and Dubrow’s. One of HG’s favorite meals was at Belmore: A bowl of egg noodles with pot cheese; a buttered pletzel with lettuce and muenster cheese; many cups of coffee. HG has previously written about the warm gefilte fish at Famous Paramount Dairy Restaurant on W. 72nd Street. HG would dip pletzels in the warm broth (sided with powerful horse radish). Waiters looked on with disdain. They thought the only proper accompaniment for the dish was “challah” (egg bread). Candy store pretzels were another New York staple. They were kept in two containers, one for long, straight pretzels and the other for the traditional twisted shapes. They were the perfect snack when accompanied by an “egg cream”. The “egg cream” was constructed with seltzer, chocolate syrup and milk. (HG is the author of the section on egg creams in The Jewish Encyclopedia). The soft pretzel sold on New York streets was (and is) vile. The soft pretzel (with a squirt of mustard) sold in Philadelphia is delicious.

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