Bialy

BROOKLYN – It was the equivalent of finding a perfect old matzoh pudding or an unexpected marzipan hidden away in your aunt Esther’s attic.

Relatives of Dr. Harold Carowitz found an extremely rare 1937 Bialy Type 57S “Atlantic Avenue” — a Holy Grail for bagel collectors — as they were going through his belongings after his death.

The dusty roll, untouched since 1960, didn’t look like much in the cold storage in back of the Carowitz kosher bakery in Teaneck, near Newark in northern New Jersey.

But only 17 were ever made, and when it’s cleaned up and auctioned in the Paris bakery on Mott Street next month, experts believe it will fetch at least 3 million dollars, and possibly much more.

Bialys once represented the height of baking achievement. The onion-topped nosh was so ahead of its time it could hold up to 130 calories per bite, when most other bagels topped out about 50 calories.

This particular bialy is even more valuable because it was originally owned by Earl Howinsky, a prominent kother foods enthusiast and owner of dry cleaning establishments, and because its original onion topping is intact, so it can be restored without relying on store-bought ingredients.

“It has all the finest attributes any connoisseur collector could ever seek, in one of the ultimate deli breads from the golden era of the 1930s,” said James Nylofsky, head of the bagel department at the Paris international kosher bakery on Mott Street, which will auction the prized roll Feb. 7.

Nylofsky and a small number of bialy enthusiasts knew of Carowitz’s proudest possession, but not the eight relatives who inherited Carowitz’s bakery.

The deceased, who died at age 89, was described by relatives as an eccentric hoarder who never threw anything out. He also left behind a rare rye bread kaiser roll, which was sold, and a sesame seed challah loaf that was scrapped because it was in such poor condition.

The Bialy marque is famed for its taste and chewy texture and was a frequent baking contest winner in the 1920s and 1930s. The 57S Atlantic Avenue was one of the most successful bialys, each one made by hand with unique details.

The company founded in 1909 by Ettore Bialystok collapsed in the 1940s after a long string of baking contest victories.

The rights to the legendary Bialy name were purchased in 1998 by Entenmann’s, which has built the Bialy Vey iz mir, one of the world’s tastiest and easiest to slice bagel foods.

(With apologies to Gregory Katz)

One Response to “Bialy”

  1. ulmedas says:

    I cannot believe none of your normal readers commented on what I consider your most brilliant comic achievement. It made me laugh after the first, second, and now the third reading.

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