Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A NOSH-talgic Look at Jewish Food: The Original Seltzer in Glass Bottles from Brooklyn


In the early 1900's thousands of seltzer deliverymen criss-crossed the nation, schlepping heavy glass bottles full of fizzy water to millions of thirsty customers.
 
Today, with only a handful of deliverymen left in the country, the siphon machines at Gomberg Seltzer Works don't turn like they used to. 

Most of the old customers have passed on (or moved to Florida). But there are still bubbles being made by third-generation seltzer filler Kenny Gomberg. And Alex Gomberg, the fourth generation member of the family is giving tours of the factory.

As Marjorie Ingall wrote in Tablet last week after attending a tour with Alex,
In an old-school factory setting of cement floors, cinder block walls, and dusty crates of topless old bottles stacked to the ceiling, Alex told us of the joys of seltzer. “It’s a cleaner, crisper-tasting water because it’s triple filtered,” he said.
The siphon mechanism means the seltzer won’t lose its fizz for months, even years. “A bottle from the supermarket loses pressure the minute you open it,” he says. “It’s flat in days.” And of course, real seltzer bubbles aren’t your passive, wimpy little supermarket bubbles; they’re big and assertive, like Brooklyn. “You really feel it when it hits your throat,” Alex said. “Good seltzer should hurt.”
Enjoy!

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