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The best and most iconic New York appetizing shop is probably Russ and Daughters, but a few good alternatives can also be found in Borough Park. The neighborhood is home to one of the largest Orthodox Jewish communities outside of Israel. Up and down Sixteenth and Eighteenth Avenues are bakeries, dairy restaurants, lots of kosher pizza joints, and the odd appetizing shop–a place that sells dairy products, smoked, cured, and pickled fish, and sometimes bagels and bialys.
Schwartz Appetizing is a small shop with a nice selection of fish salads, homemade gefilte fish, whitefish (smoked whole or shredded in a salad), smoked sable, lox, and herring–all at extremely fair prices. A whole smoked mackerel, with dense, rich flesh, sets you back only $8. Their smoked sable is buttery and mild, and at least five different kinds of herring can be found in the refrigerated section. There’s herring with schmaltz, with sour cream, with wine, plain pickled herring, and matjash herring, which are made from skinned fillets of the young fish, brined with onions–delicious.
Appetizing Plus is more of a small supermarket than an appetizing shop, but it does have a corner dedicated to cured fish, and dairy spreads, like beet-horseradish dip. The store stocks only Brooklyn-made fish, with the exception of the pickled herring, which come from Canada. The sable is from Tuv Taam, a large appetizing wholesaler in Bushwick, and there’s lox from Flaum Appetizing, also headquartered in Bushwick.
4824 Sixteenth Avenue, Brooklyn
4801 Eighteenth Avenue, Brooklyn