Thursday, January 1, 2015

Making Love to Lox - The Last Jewish Slicer at Zabar's


Happy New Year! On this first day of 2015, many of our readers head for the local appetizing store or supermarket counter to pick up the makings of a New Year's brunch. 

The star of the show is often very thinly sliced Nova smoked salmon or salty belly lox, served with a schmear of cream cheese on a bagel fresh out of the oven.

For residents of Manhattan, the most popular destination is Zabar's, which has been serving lox and other delicacies since 1941 at their location on Broadway and 80th Street. 

Last week, the Jewish Daily Forward ran a piece on Len Berk, who they call the last Jewish lox slicer at Zabar's. The 86-year-old Berk took up lox slicing as a new career after retirement. New York Television Channel 5- FOX News also did a report on Zabar's and Berk.

As Paul Berger wrote in the Forward,
Berk has always had an interest in food, especially Chinese food.
After he sold his CPA business in 1992, he led food tours of China. Then, in 1995, a friend sent him a Zabar’s advertisement for a part-time salmon slicer.
Berk had always sliced his own salmon at home. Slicing fish at Zabar’s seemed like the perfect way to keep busy while doing something he loves. He works Thursdays and Fridays, and he always looks forward to it.
Driving the 20 miles to Zabar’s from his home in Pelham, New York, makes him feel like he is “in the middle of what’s going on today,” Berk said.
He begins a typical day at Zabar’s by cutting away the crusty parts of the fish to reveal the undersurface. “I love running my hand across it,” he said. “It’s a very sensual experience.”
Enjoy the FOX News video below!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO IS NOT VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)