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Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built Kindle Edition

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Length: 226 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The best thing in the world is to go to Russ & Daughters. The next-best thing in the world is to read Russ & Daughters.”
—Oliver Sacks
 
“Forget the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty . . . New York City’s  greatest living institution is very likely Russ & Daughters: a temple of uniquely New York deliciousness, Zen-like perfection, and a repository of generations of wisdom and experience.  Mark Russ Federman’s book is a story not just about the food that made New York great, but a deeply felt personal history.

When visiting a new city for the first time, I’ve always asked the question: ‘What do they here better than anywhere else?’ When visiting New York City for the first time, the answer is always ‘Russ & Daughters.’ ”
—Anthony Bourdain

About the Author

Mark Russ Federman, grandson of founder Joel Russ, took over the running of Russ & Daughters from his parents in 1978 and turned it over to the fourth generation, his daughter Niki and nephew Josh, in 2009. He has appeared individually and on panels at The Smithsonian Institute, The Museum of the City of New York, The New York Public Library, and The Conference of the Food Writers and Food Journalists Association, among many other venues. He makes frequent guest appearances on radio and television. Mark and Russ & Daughters were most recently featured on the PBS documentary The Jews of New York; on Lidia Bastianich's PBS series, Lidia Celebrates America; and on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations.

Product Details

  • File Size: 11781 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Schocken (March 5, 2013)
  • Publication Date: March 5, 2013
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00985DYJ2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,027 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Mark Russ Federman, grandson of founder Joel Russ, took over the running of Russ & Daughters from his parents in 1978 and turned it over to the fourth generation, his daughter, Niki, and nephew Josh, in 2009. He has appeared individually and on panels at the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of the City of New York, the New York Public Library, and the conference of the Association of Food Journalists, among other venues. Mark and Russ & Daughters were recently featured on the PBS documentary The Jews of New York; on Lidia Bastianich's PBS series Lidia Celebrates America; and on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations.

Russ & Daughters is located at 179 East Houston Street, New York, NY 10002. www.russanddaughters.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Larry Mark MyJewishBooksDotCom on March 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Before I review this book, let's talk about me - just as if we are schmoozing in a line at the counter of an appetizing store on the Lower East Side. I am not a Litvak... well, perhaps I am a half-Litvak, but still, I never ate whitefish or lox until I was at least twenty. And I still have never eaten herring. And yet, I loved this book.

In this book, the author, Mark Russ Federman, the grandson of the founder of Russ & Daughters, Joel Russ, recounts his family's stories from Manhattan's Lower East Side; the founding of his family's cut-rate herring and appetizing store; life in a four-generation family business; and glimpses into the Jewish or Russ family style of retail customer service. And for good measure, he throws in a few recipes (more on this below).

The book opens with a foreword by Calvin Trillin, the famed essayist, author, and humorist. One of Trillin's novels, "Tepper Isn't Going Out" was partially set in a parking space in front of Russ & Daughters' store on East Houston Street. Trillin's foreword alone was worth the book's purchase price to me. He recounts how he would shop for bagels and smoked fish with his daughters as they were growing up. Sure, perhaps he could find fish for a lower price, but where else would one of the Russ daughters drop everything to kvell over the beauty of his kids? Like eating at the now defunct Ratner's or a dairy restaurant, you came as much for the experience as for the food.

Joel Russ (pronounced Rooos originally but who's going to argue with a customer; just say Russ) arrived on Manhattan's Lower East Side from the Austro Hungarian area of Southeastern Poland and started to peddle herring from a barrel.
Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Biblio-Nut on March 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For any Jew growing up in New York after WWII a weekly visit to the appetizer store was a necessary ritual. There you could find all varieties of smoked fish and where the cream cheese was cut to order from a large slab. A few doors down you could buy your bagels and bialys for the week. In today's supermarket world the smoked sturgeon doesn't exist, the lox comes only in one or two varieties, the cream cheese is sold in small containers, and no one ever heard of a bialy. This memoir is the story of a family tradition and business that survived through persistence and innovation in a time of changing populations and neighborhoods. Fortunately, the author tells his story with engaging prose and great humor. The recipes are an added bonus.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Geraldine Ahearn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After living in New York forty-five years, born in Brooklyn, and spending most of my life there, there are special memories one can never forget. As a child growing-up with my cousins and my relatives all living in different sections of Brooklyn, everyone knew the famous name of 'Russ & Daughters.' When I think of one of New York's finest stores, this name has its amazing history. This incredible book tells the triumphant story of an immigrant beginning a family business that became the talk of the century, and a respected, famous name that anyone from New York could relate to. The heartwarming story delivers a colorful portrait of where it all began to good times, and bad times as well. The generations of family, the devotion, and the fight to keep it going through times of struggle and the Great Depression is an unforgettable story of remarkable family tradition. My Dad, and my aunts and uncles always raved about the service it provided to the community, even during changing times within the neighborhoods. You didn't have to be Jewish to appreciate this appetizer store, known to many as a farmer's market for smoked and pickled fish. The journey for the family tradition was as exciting and delightful as much as all the regular customers enjoyed visiting this store, and Sundays it became a conversational social event for many. One hard-working family began the business, and through all the years of tough times, it kept going as it continued to grow more-and-more admiration. The older folks today, who grew up in Brooklyn, remember very well how enchanting and inspiring this tradition became to millions of people over the years. The reminiscences of family history is motivating as it brings a smile to many who understand its symbolic background.Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By BrooklynReader on March 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
A great story, well told. The four generation Russ story will strike a chord with any Jew whose family passed through the Lower East Side on their way to assimilation. In fact, it will resonate with immigrants from any background. The characters come to life, with all their charms, and some of their flaws too. A very fast, fun read (I read it in one sitting). If you're a fan of the store, and even if you're not, you'll want to read this - and give it as a gift too!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sindy P.Levine on February 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although, i myself, did not live on the L E S ( as the t shirts down there read!) . My grandparents did. My dad and his siblings were raised in many of those tenements. My dad used to tell me he slept in the tub, which was covered by aboard during the day and used as a counter, as it was in the kitchen! In the 1950's he and my uncle bought one of the Katz's delies from the katz's! My aunts worked the registers and the tables.
My own son was born in florida, but ended up living across the street from katz' on Ludlow in a brand new building perhaps during the same time as that young couple from Boston, who reviewed Russ and Daughters!
It was so mind bending to walk around his neighborhood and revisit sights and smells of my grandparents!

This book gave me back memories, i had long forgotten and never had!
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