Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City
Peter Shelsky and I are kindred spirits in the fact that we are both terrible Jews, but we love the nostalgic food of our ancestors. Bagels, lox, cream cheese, pastrami. This is what being Jewish is all about.
Peter took his love for this food one step further. He opened up Shelsky’s, an appetizing store that has sprouted a deli counter. Normally in the kosher tradition you would never find deli meat and cream cheese in the same store. That’s called traif and it’s very unkosher.
But here there’s a treasure trove of traditional (yet not kosher) Jewish specialities in his little shop which moved a few years ago from its original location on Smith Street to Court Street. You can find pickles, chopped liver, and all sorts of smoked salmon and preserved fish. And while you won’t find any bacon, you will find the next best thing: salmon bacon.
Yes, you read that right. Salmon bacon. Wild king salmon bacon to be exact.
These fatty, cured and cold-smoked strips are perhaps everyone’s solution to the negative concerns of bacon. They’re healthier, kosher, halal, and addictive (ok, three out of four ain’t bad). There is a rich fatty salmon flavor but also a smoky sweet bite that actually makes you think of pork. It was amazing on its own, but I can imagine how perfect it would be next to scrambled eggs or on a lettuce and tomato sandwich.
With Shelsky’s brilliant salmon bacon strips, it’d be easy to give up real bacon and no longer be a bad Jew. But I’m sure that won’t stop me or Peter. After all, he has a pig tattoo on his arm and I eat pork on Yom Kippur. Price: $12.49 per 1/4 pound
|SHELSKY’S OF BROOKLYN|
|141 Court Street (between Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue),
Cobble Hill, Brooklyn