“What the hell am I going to do at home?”
December 29, 2014 7:55 AM   Subscribe

Len Berk, 84 years young, is The Last Jewish Lox Slicer at Zabar's.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (24 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
I gotta say, the Gentiles there do a damn fine job.
posted by escabeche at 8:03 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can't help being reminded of the pickle slicer joke.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 8:04 AM on December 29, 2014 [4 favorites]


Do you have to be jewish to cut lox?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:10 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


No, but you shouldn't lose your key in the first place.
posted by dr_dank at 8:13 AM on December 29, 2014 [21 favorites]


I gotta say, the Gentiles there do a damn fine job.

See also: Nepalese counterman Chhapte Sherpa, who the NY Times has called the Lox Sherpa of Russ and Daughters, and Herman Vargos, who third-generation Russ Joel Russ Federman once described as the world's only fluent goyishe Dominican Yiddish-speaker.
posted by Itaxpica at 8:13 AM on December 29, 2014 [7 favorites]


(Sorry, quoted the wrong post - I meant to quote The 10th Regiment of Foot there. Whoops)
posted by Itaxpica at 8:22 AM on December 29, 2014


Love the poem.
posted by Melismata at 8:31 AM on December 29, 2014


Wait, lox is one of their least popular meats? What has happened to America?
posted by selfnoise at 8:35 AM on December 29, 2014


...there is better smoked salmon out there. Full on fatty lox is a bit gross.
posted by The Whelk at 8:39 AM on December 29, 2014


OY!.....vot vould a treyf shellfish know of batampte lox ?
posted by lalochezia at 8:43 AM on December 29, 2014 [9 favorites]


Real lox is the ends and trimmings of smoked salmon. It can be tough and unattractive, and most delis don't even bother to sell it. If you do find it for sale, it'll be much cheaper than the more appealing cuts. It's good when fried up in scrambled eggs with onions.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:51 AM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Real lox is the ends and trimmings of smoked salmon.

What you're thinking of is called lox ends; it's the ends and trimmings of lox. Lox is preserved salmon that's brined instead of smoked; it's a whole lot saltier than smoked salmon. I love the stuff, but it's definitely an old-school-Jew kind of dish.
posted by Itaxpica at 8:55 AM on December 29, 2014 [5 favorites]


(It's a little more complicated than that, since lox is sometimes also smoked; when I say 'lox' I mean 'belly lox' since the terms are often used interchangeably. this article explains the distinctions pretty well)
posted by Itaxpica at 8:56 AM on December 29, 2014 [3 favorites]


The Last Jewish Lox Slicer at Zabar's

This is my favorite Mountain Goats song.
posted by gwint at 9:03 AM on December 29, 2014 [20 favorites]


"Between me and my salmon there is peace."

OY!.....vot vould a treyf shellfish know of batampte lox ?

Nothing and nothing. But to know of the peace between a man and his work, that's something.

roomthreeseventeen, thank you for this.
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:06 AM on December 29, 2014


I wasn't expecting 'the sensual side of salmon' to be the subheading... *reads on eagerly, wondering if I'm going to the wrong delis*
posted by lesbiassparrow at 9:13 AM on December 29, 2014


Also, I really, really hope he gets to cut his perfect slice one day.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 9:16 AM on December 29, 2014


And after he does so, what is there left to him but Death?
/sonorous voice


But how come lox isn't kosher?
posted by glasseyes at 10:16 AM on December 29, 2014


But to know of the peace between a man and his work, that's something.

Also, I really, really hope he gets to cut his perfect slice one day.


Yeah, definite shades of Jiro Dreams of Sushi here.
posted by Itaxpica at 10:58 AM on December 29, 2014


But how come lox isn't kosher?

Lox is kosher, hence its centrality to stereotypical Ashkenazi-American food. Confusingly, sturgeon (which is also often sold by many kosher-style but not actually kosher appetising shops, including Russ and Daughters) isn't kosher (I've forgotten the specifics of why but it has to do with what type of scales the fish has).
posted by Itaxpica at 2:14 PM on December 29, 2014


I wondered. Len Berk mentions his grandfather being religious and yet eating lox in spite of it not being kosher (from 1.48.) Maybe in Russia, the lox was likely to be sturgeon?
Thanks for the answer.
posted by glasseyes at 4:31 PM on December 29, 2014


Kosher fish has to have scales. Eel is not kosher, for example.
posted by gnutron at 5:02 PM on December 29, 2014


Kosher fish has to have scales. Eel is not kosher, for example.

Right, but sturgeon does have scales. Apparently (according to a quick google), the scales need to be easily removable without tearing the skin, and sturgeon's scale structure is such that that isn't the case.
posted by Itaxpica at 5:58 PM on December 29, 2014


Len Berk mentions his grandfather being religious and yet eating lox in spite of it not being kosher (from 1.48.)

I think he says "lobster". Not "lox". Lox is kosher. Lobster is not.
posted by ManInSuit at 11:23 AM on December 30, 2014 [1 favorite]


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